The Politics of Contraband - The Honor Economies of the Warez Scene
16 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2008
Lodged within the Internet's increasingly commercialized webs there exists a thriving subculture that has developed an economy all its own. Specifically, a modern gift economy, a consistent and internally rational structure of actively anti-economic behavior that presents an interesting juxtaposition to our contemporary notions of economy. Based on an extended ethnography, this subculture is analyzed as a society ordered by agonistic play and gift-giving as economy. The contribution can best be described as adding ethnographic data from the post-industrial phase in Western economic development to the discussion of gift economies, a discourse that has usually dealt only with archaic communities.
Keywords: Gifts, gift economy, software piracy, potlatch
JEL Classification: A14, P52, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation