illegal copy in Mars & Medak 2019

the laborer’s
labor.6 Copyright might be just a more efficient mechanism of
exploitation as it unfolds through selling of produced commodities
and not labor power. Art market obscures and mediates the
capital-­labor relation
When we talk today of illegal copying, we primarily mean an
infringement of the legal rights of authors and publishers. There’s an
immediate assumption that the infringing practice of illegal copying
and distribution falls under the domain of juridical sanction, that it is
a matter of law. Yet if we look to the history of copyright, the illegality
of copying was a political matter long before it became a legal one.
Publisher’s rights, author

illegal copy in Medak 2016

on the history of copyright, before there was legality there
was legitimacy. In the context of an almost completely naturalized and
harmonized global regulation of copyright the political question of legitimacy
seems to be no longer on the table. An illegal copy is an object of exchange
that unsettles the existing economies of cultural production. And yet,
copyright nowadays marks a production model that serves the power of
appropriation from the author and market power of the publishers much more
than the labor of cultural producers. Hence the illegal copy is again an
object begging the question as to what do we do at a rare juncture when a
historic opening presents itself to reorganize how a good, such as knowledge
and culture, is produced and distributed in a society. We are at such a
juncture, a jun

illegal copy in Stalder 2018

d texts, regardless of whether this practice is legal or

The lines between these different mechanisms of access are highly
permeable. Content acquired legally can make its way to file-sharing
networks as an illegal copy; content available for free can be sold in
special editions; content from shadow libraries can make its way to
publicly accessible sites; and, conversely, content that was once freely
available can disappear into shadow libraries. As regards free acc


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