APCNews 137 – Media Piracy and access to knowledge – 14/3/11

APCNews 137 – Media Piracy and access to knowledge – 14/3/11

APCNews – March 14 2011 – Year XI Issue 137
The news service on ICTs for social justice and sustainable development
Although media piracy is ubiquitous in most low and middle-income countries, piracy in South Africa is also a result of its distinctive history of repression and political tensions dating back to the Apartheid era. While recent anti-piracy and enforcement efforts have attempted to break the media piracy cycle, a new study on media piracy in South Africa (http://piracy.ssrc.org) shows that pirated goods provide a way for those who cannot afford access these good legally, to access mainstream culture and social inclusion. Pirated goods lessen the social gap between different social classes and allows them to become a part of a global conversation.


Media Piracy in South Africa

CALGARY (LC for APCNews) – Poverty and social inequity in South Africa have shaped the development of media culture and distribution in the country. Low incomes in a country where one-third of the population lives on less than one dollar a day, high prices for commercial DVDs and Cds and a widespread advertising culture have created a high demand for media goods which are not easily obtained legally for the great majority of South Africans. Making pirated disks, books and online digital formats the desirable alternative. A new study on media piracy Media Piracy in Emerging Economies examines why piracy has come to be so widespread world-wide, the reasons why it persists and looks at the future. APC is the contributor for the South African chapter.

Pirated DVDs in a South African township mean access to culture and social inclusion

CALGARY (LC for APCNews) – Although the political significance of piracy as a form of rebellion in South Africa has mostly dropped away in the post-Apartheid era, “the sharply racialised patterns of inequality and access to media have not,” says a new book that looks at the prevalence of media piracy, how it is organised, and why people buy pirated goods or work in the black market. The book collects case studies from various countries including a chapter on South Africa by APC. The case study of Hanover Park, a township outside Cape Town, reveals that watching pirated films brings families together. And more importantly, allows people with limited means the opportunity to access information and culture they would otherwise not be able to afford, bridging the social gap between the different social classes and making them be a part of a global conversation.



Environment and ICT
Read the book
New Project
Internet and Human Rights

Spectrum Findings
South Africa
About Spectrum

Recent Research
Violence, women and technology
African telecom knots
Internet in the Andes
Sexuality and Internet


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