Intellectual Property rights and their discontents
‘Piracy’ is a negative term describing the worldwide popular practice of sharing, distributing and
consuming cultural and intellectual goods without authorisation. The ‘affordances’ (Jenkins, 2006) of new
digital information and communication (ICT) technologies offer users many possibilities to develop a ‘free
culture’ (Lessig, 2004) surpassing ‘free’ market laws, contrary to ICT industries’ planning. ICT industries
largely perceive piracy as a major problem with many dimensions: economic, social, cultural, moral,
political. Intellectual property rights’ (IPR) policies attempt to counter piracy on a worldwide scale.