"Anyone interested in the future of culture in the Internet age will want to read this carefully reasoned, pragmatic yet passionate book. Dr Aigrain enlightens our understanding of the present while opening our minds to new, better ways of reaping the cultural and social benefits of the digital revolution." -- Prof. Juan Carlos De Martin - Faculty Director, NEXA Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino|"More than an impassioned defense of the Creative Contribution, this essay is a must read for anyone interested in a viable economic structure adapted to the realities of the digital environment. Precise, well argued and lucid, it offers a clear and pragmatic alternative to the failed models grounded in a simple extension of Copyright and Intellectual property conventions. Aigrain's work is essential for developing and implementing a just and appropriate economic model for the circulation of cultural production on the net." -- Milad Doueihi, Chaire de recherche sur les cultures numériques, Université Laval (Québec)|"Philip Aigrain has written am ambitious and important book that seeks to open minds and shape debates over the legal regimes that govern the sharing of information in an Internet age. Aigrain is unusually well informed about the nuances of fresh thinking about the legal, social and economic aspects of sharing, and he presents incredibly useful and shrewd insights into the twin challenges of facilitating lawful sharing of information and providing sustainable rewards for creative communities involved in the production of cultural works." -- James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International|"Philippe Aigrain writes a brave book, venturing out into difficult territory. He articulates the value of sharing and collaboration in the Internet age; he explains why - contrary to what is generally stated - non-commercial sharing of cultural works by individuals is a widely beneficial practice. Most importantly, he explores what can be done in practice to sustain creativity in the new digital landscape." -- Charles Nesson is the Weld Professor of Law and Founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
In the past fifteen years, file sharing of digital cultural works between individuals has been at the center of a number of debates on the future of culture itself. To some, sharing constitutes piracy, to be fought against and eradicated. Others see it as unavoidable, and table proposals to compensate for its harmful effects. Meanwhile, little progress has been made towards addressing the real challenges facing culture in a digital world.Go ahead. Take a copySharing is LegitimateAn in-depth exploration of digital culture and its dissemination,Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age offers a counterpoint to the dominant view that file sharing is piracy, analyzing it rather as the modern form of long recognized rights to share in culture. Sharing starts from a radically different viewpoint, namely that the non-market sharing of digital works is both legitimate and useful. Philippe Aigrain looks at the benefits of file sharing, which allows unknown writers and artists to be appreciated more easily. It supports this premise with empirical research, demonstrating that non-market sharing leads to more diversity in the attention given to various works. New Business ModelsConcentrating not only on the cultural enrichment caused by widely shared digital media, Sharing also discusses new financing models that would allow works to be shared freely by individuals without aim at profit. Aigrain carefully balances the needs to support and reward creative activity with a suitable respect for the cultural common good and proposes a new interpretation of the digital landscape.Living BookSharing is also published as a ‘living book’ on WWW.SHARING-THEBOOK.NET. The author will continuously update the book with the latest developments in the field of digital file sharing. Readers are also invited to join in the discussion and provide updates to the book. Sharing is an Open Access publication and can be distributed under under a Creative Commons (CC BY NC ND) license.
Philippe Aigrain is the CEO of Sopinspace - Society for Public Information Spaces and one of the founders of La Quadrature du Net.|Suzanne Aigrain is lecturer in astrophysics at Oxford University and is a fellow of All Souls College.