This paper explores the economical and cultural implications of file-sharing on the creative industries. Through several case studies and perspectives on file-sharing, beneficial relationships between the file-sharing and the music-, movie- and games industry are revealed. In the so-called hybrid economy, sharing economies run parallel to commercial economies. This paper reveals that a part of the creative industries benefits from the hybrid economy, while another part struggles with it. This paper asserts that file-sharing attracts and generates valuable attention to digital media objects.
This paper explores the economical and cultural implications of file-sharing on the creative industries. While big media conglomerates are still waging war against copyright infringement, copying media has become as common as breathing (Lessig, 2008). Over the last couple of years popular file-sharing websites like The Pirate Bay are increasingly targeted by anti-piracy organizations. This does not seem to have a clear impact on the ongoing practice of downloading and uploading copyrighted material. Legislators are struggling with copyright law, as they intend to protect the financial compensation of cultural production and at the same time have to keep up with the common use of new media technologies. File-sharing, the downloading and uploading of especially music and movies and games through new media technologies, has become a common use of the internet. However, it still generally perceived as a criminal and illegal activity.
File-sharing is a widely debated topic and national governments are currently trying to find a solution to what seems to be a radical economical problem for the creative industries. In my view this radical problem should be nuanced by looking at the possible benefits of the use of peer-to-peer technologies. The common practice of online file-sharing creates both disadvantages and benefits for the creative industries. In the file-sharing debate the possible benefits must not be overlooked. The research question that therefore will be addressed in this paper is: What do the creative industries gain from file-sharing?
Throughout this paper, several contemporary file-sharing platforms will serve as case studies to discuss several perspectives on file-sharing: Bittorrent website Mininova.org, file-sharing blog Rlslog.net and movie distribution service VODO.net. Three sectors of the creative industries, that are known to be affected by file-sharing, will be dealt with: the music-, movie- and games industry. By discussing each industry the following question will be answered: what are the economical and cultural implications of file-sharing on the industry?