Book of the Day: Sharing, Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age. Philippe Aigrain. Amsterdam University Press. 2012.

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. Sharing provides a new view of the value of peer-to-peer sharing of digital works. Taking stock of what we have learnt about the cultural economy in recent years, Aigrain develops new economic models for rewarding creativity and for valuable cultural functions to remain sustainable.

Concentrating 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.


Professor Juan Carlos De Martin – Faculty Director, NEXA Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino:

“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.”

Charles Nesson, Weld Professor of Law and Founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University:

“Philippe Aigrain (…) 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.”

Milad Doueihi, Research Professor of Digital Cultures, Université Laval, Canada:

“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.”

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