The Oil of the 21st Century - File-Sharing as Culture Industry
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Peer-to-peer networks are here to stay. Often dismissed as a mere conspiracy of teenage consumers against the media industry, these networks have become one of the most powerful and resilient environments for the collaborative production and reproduction of cultural data. Thus it seems that the question of file-sharing is no longer just a matter of identifying and routing around its corporate adversaries. Instead, it is becoming a question of organization. One can already make out a multitude of new initiatives, groups, alliances, coalitions and business entities that are heavily - and not only ideologically - invested in the future of peer-to-peer protocols and infrastructure. The next Culture Industry may already be in the making.