Info 98

The Politics of Digital Piracy

2 units

Course Description

How can we critically think about emergent phenomena of the Internet? Is the Internet a democratic medium for political action (a "networked public sphere") or a surveillance apparatus of centralized control? Who has access to digital information and what techniques are used to make information artificially scarce? How do trade group lawsuits against digital "piracy" affect a generation's perception of the law? Should we look at the growing sphere of copyright as a public interest problem, or celebrate the expansion of creators' rights? Can free software thrive independently from ideological backing? Why are peer production communities like Wikipedia and Linux affected by extreme gender disparity?

In this course, we will examine the societal implications of computer networks from critical and technical perspectives. We will collectively engage with issues of intellectual property, access to information, privacy, freedom of speech, representation, and peer production. We will be discussing provocative texts and media, doing hands-on exploration of emerging technologies, and practicing ethnographic fieldwork in online communities. We will also offer opportunities for field trips and guest speakers to provide us with different perspectives. Additionally, students will engage in a semester-long collaborative project in a flexible format.

This is a student-initiated group study course (DE-Cal). Please contact the student coordinator(s) for specific questions.

Must be taken on a passed/not passed basis.

Course History

Fall 2014

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Rodrigo Ochigame, Tony Chen

Spring 2014

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Rodrigo Ochigame Tony Chen

Fall 2013

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Angelica Tavella , Rodrigo Ochigame

Spring 2013

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Angelica Tavella

Spring 2012

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Katie Gilmore, Kevin Gorman

Fall 2011

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Katie Gilmore, Kevin Gorman

Spring 2011

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Patrick Berger, Max Klein

Fall 2010

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Max Klein, Matt Senate

Last updated:

January 9, 2017