Lu & Weber on Internet Software Piracy in China: A User Analysis of Resistance to Global Software Copyright Enforcement

Dr. Jia Lu of Tsinghua University, and Dr. Ian Weber of the University of Southern Queensland, have published Internet Software Piracy in China: A User Analysis of Resistance to Global Software Copyright Enforcement, 2 Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 298 (2009). Here is the abstract:

“China’s entry into the global networked society has raised considerable debate over what is derived from the development and expansion of information and communication technologies (ICTs). One of the hotly debated issues is Internet copyright piracy, which is critical to the credibility and stability of China’s membership to the global networked society. This paper examines Chinese users’ online discussion about Internet software piracy as local resistance to global copyright enforcement exercised through globalization processes. The study uses Mittelman and Chin’s (2005) framework of Polanyi’s (1957) counter-hegemony and Gramsci’s (1971) counter-movements as a heuristic device to conceptualize the resistance points to globalization located within the dominant discourse on intellectual property rights, specifically Internet software piracy, by Chinese Internet users. Gee’s (2002) discourse analysis framework is applied to produce seven recurring themes within online postings: cost, convenience, software companies, foreign developed countries, China’s development, Chinese culture, and moral dilemma. The analysis on these dominant themes illustrates the cultural models held by Chinese users towards the issues of Internet software piracy: Internet as a public domain, socialist market economy, patriotism, and Chinese culture. These cultural models represent different types of resistance in Mittelman and Chin’s (2005) framework. Meanwhile, these resistance positions are integrated under the notion of Chinese nationalism to constitute a complete set of counter-discourses to global software copyright enforcement.”

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