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[liberationtech] New article from the Cybernorms Research Group

Marcin de Kaminski marcin at
Sat Dec 22 12:41:37 PST 2012

Dear all,

A new article from Stefan Larsson if the Cybernorms Research Group, called "Copy Me Happy: The Metaphoric Expansion of Copyright in a Digital Society", was just published International Journal for the Semiotics of Law.

In it Larsson uses conceptual metaphor theory to argue for that copyright has expanded in a digital society. To do so Larsson uses a model for calculating values for media files that was used in the case against The Pirate Bay and calculate the entire value (according to this model) of one entire BitTorrent site to show how big the numbers gets. Larsson argues that this value-by-click-assumptions can be questioned in a digital context, and that these assumptions essentially come from an analogue, pre-internet conceptualization of reality. 

Merry Christmas :)


Find it here:
Copy Me Happy: The Metaphoric Expansion of Copyright in a Digital Society

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique
The article uses conceptual metaphor theory to analyse how the concept of “copy” in copyright law is expanding in a digital society to cover more phenomena than originally intended. For this purpose, the legally accepted model for valuing media files in the case against The Pirate Bay (TPB) is used in the analysis. When four men behind TPB were convicted in the District Court of Stockholm, Sweden, on 17 April 2009, to many, it marked a victory over online piracy for the American and Swedish media corporations. The convicted men were jointly liable for the damages of roughly EUR 3.5 million. But how do you calculate damages of file sharing? For example, what is the value of a copy? The article uses a model for valuating files in monetary numbers, suggested by the American plaintiffs and sanctioned by the District Court in the case against the BitTorrent site TPB, in order to calculate the total value of an entire, and in this anonymous other, BitTorrent site. These calculated hypothetical figures are huge—EUR 53 billion—and grow click by click which, on its face, questions some of the key assumptions in the copy-by-copy valuation that are sprung from analogue conceptions of reality, and transferred into a digital context. This signals a (legal) conceptual expansion of the meaning of “copy” in copyright that does not seem to fit with how the phenomenon is conceptualised by the younger generation of media consumers.

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