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There Is No "I" in Torrent: Collective Effort and the Collected Self in Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Networks

Frostgård, Christoffer LU (2012) ABMM43 20121
Division of ALM
Abstract
In this study, the file-sharing networks known as private trackers are discussed, which are networks centered around BitTorrent technology. The purpose of the study is to explore how individuals share content on private trackers and discuss how the act of uploading is affected by actors within the file-sharing network. By using actor-network theory, both human and non-human actors that affect the network are taken into account.

The main findings are as following. File-sharing on this type of platform is dependent on users experiencing a sense of community. This experienced sense of community is not, however, taken as a basis for an academic definition of the concept. Instead, actor-network theory is used to show how the sense of... (More)
In this study, the file-sharing networks known as private trackers are discussed, which are networks centered around BitTorrent technology. The purpose of the study is to explore how individuals share content on private trackers and discuss how the act of uploading is affected by actors within the file-sharing network. By using actor-network theory, both human and non-human actors that affect the network are taken into account.

The main findings are as following. File-sharing on this type of platform is dependent on users experiencing a sense of community. This experienced sense of community is not, however, taken as a basis for an academic definition of the concept. Instead, actor-network theory is used to show how the sense of community on the private trackers is constructed through interactions between several human, as well as non-human, actors. Hence, the community cannot be said to be primarily social in nature.

Since the network does not take the form of a primarily social grouping, the private tracker cannot be said to be a gift-giving economy, as described in previous research on file-sharing. Because of the large number of non-human actors in the network, interactions within the network are also shaped by the various incentivizing features built into the technology. Since gift exchanges between human actors are mediated by and through a large number of technological components, the metaphor of gift-giving is inadequate in the case of private trackers. (Less)
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author
Frostgård, Christoffer LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM43 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Copyright, Anti-Piracy, Piracy, Actor-Network Theory, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Library and Information Science, File-Sharing, Peer-to-Peer, BitTorrent, Netnography, Virtual Community, biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, ABM, ALM
language
English
id
2701498
date added to LUP
2012-06-26 14:17:40
date last changed
2014-04-11 14:16:26
@misc{2701498,
  abstract     = {In this study, the file-sharing networks known as private trackers are discussed, which are networks centered around BitTorrent technology. The purpose of the study is to explore how individuals share content on private trackers and discuss how the act of uploading is affected by actors within the file-sharing network. By using actor-network theory, both human and non-human actors that affect the network are taken into account.

The main findings are as following. File-sharing on this type of platform is dependent on users experiencing a sense of community. This experienced sense of community is not, however, taken as a basis for an academic definition of the concept. Instead, actor-network theory is used to show how the sense of community on the private trackers is constructed through interactions between several human, as well as non-human, actors. Hence, the community cannot be said to be primarily social in nature.

Since the network does not take the form of a primarily social grouping, the private tracker cannot be said to be a gift-giving economy, as described in previous research on file-sharing. Because of the large number of non-human actors in the network, interactions within the network are also shaped by the various incentivizing features built into the technology. Since gift exchanges between human actors are mediated by and through a large number of technological components, the metaphor of gift-giving is inadequate in the case of private trackers.},
  author       = {Frostgård, Christoffer},
  keyword      = {Copyright,Anti-Piracy,Piracy,Actor-Network Theory,Science and Technology Studies (STS),Library and Information Science,File-Sharing,Peer-to-Peer,BitTorrent,Netnography,Virtual Community,biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap,ABM,ALM},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {There Is No "I" in Torrent: Collective Effort and the Collected Self in Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Networks},
  year         = {2012},
}