Society of African Journal Editors

International Journal of Communication: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication Studies

Piracy & Social Change| The Pirate Party and the Politics of Communication

Authors: Martin Fredriksson

Journal: International Journal of Communication: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication Studies

This article draws on a series of interviews with members of the Pirate Party, a political party focusing on copyright and information politics, in different countries. It discusses the interviewees’ visions of democracy and technology and explains that copyright is seen as not only an obstacle to the free consumption of music and movies but a threat to the freedom of speech, the right to privacy, and a thriving public sphere. The first part of this article briefly sketches how the Pirate Party’s commitment to the democratic potential of new communication technologies can be interpreted as a defense of a digitally expanded lifeworld against the attempts at colonization by market forces and state bureaucracies. The second part problematizes this assumption by discussing the interactions between the Pirate movement and the tech industry in relation to recent theories on the connection between political agency and social media.