The pre-digital marketplace is no longer sustainable. With the imposition of digital rights management restrictions on the distribution of media, the Internet cannot promote intellectual freedom. Peer-to-peer file sharing technology helps expose the work of artists and authors to a much wider audience than previously possible. This provides an opportunity for more sales and a greater number of successful artists and authors. Yet corporate copyright owners continue to propagate the “piracy” label to discredit the idea of open access channels. This paper argues that as information professionals, librarians are in a position to promote policy change that revolutionizes the political economy of digital goods.

This article is helpful for readers seeking to learn more about:

  • activism, civil disobedience, human rights, international law, libraries, media, policy, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, digital rights management (DRM), BitTorrent, Gnutella, droit d’auteur and contrefaçon, user rights, librarians, piracy, digital technology, technological neutrality, copyright, digital goods, file transfer protocol, torrent indexes, copyright infringement, intellectual property, communicative citizen, media conglomerates, technological protection measures, information technology, intellectual freedom, metadata, distribution of works, digital vendors, exceptions to copyright, information users, Pirate Party

Topics in this article include:

  • digital revolution, developments in copyright protection, balancing user rights and property of authors/ artists, file-sharing technology, duties of librarians, rivalry in consumption, technological innovation, MegaUpload, Recording Industry Association of America, home taping scare, fair dealing, fair use, pre-digital marketplace, copyright owners, political neutrality, Internet, media industry

Authorities cited in this article include:

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
  • Copyright Modernization Act
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Sony v Universal Studios
  • A&M Records Inc. v Napster Inc.
  • MGM Studios Inc. v Grokster Ltd.
  • Amstrad Consumer Electronics PLC v The British Phonographic Industry Ltd.
  • Théberge v Galerie d’Art du Petit Champlain
  • Voltage Pictures LLD v Jane Doe