Leif Dahlberg’s article Pirates, Partisans and Politico-Juridicial Space outlines the issues with copyright law and the concept of public domain. Within the text, the author makes comparisons between the idea of piracy and its use in describing the “illegal” access of various media in the digital realm. Dahlberg, instead, employs the term partisan as the appropriate description of those who access this information.
As we travel deeper into the digital era, we find that one of the main social issues is that of copyright infringement. The author outlines the ambiguous nature of the copyright legislation that is in place. Dahlberg speaks further of the continuous battle between corporations and other institutions and the right for the public to access information through developing technologies, such as file sharing programs.
Dahlberg goes further to emphasize the difference between the definitions of pirates and partisans. The author describes a pirate as someone who exercises territorial control of areas with no sovereign claim. A pirate also has no political motivations in their actions, rather a drive defined simply by greed. A partisan, on the other hand, is used to describe someone connected to an organized resistance group, dedicated in overthrowing some political establishment.
The argument here is that society has the right to access information in its various forms under certain circumstances. There should be fewer legislative measures to institute proprietary rights on ideas or at the very least, there should be a clear definition on what these rights should be. Government and corporate institutions must find ways to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape and embrace the unification of society via the internet.
Dahlberg explains, “Some societal institutions have shown great circumspection and restrictiveness, whereas others have taken a more pragmatic attitude and allow a freer use of digital information” (Dahlberg 273).
I believe that society has the right to access digital information for personal use. In my opinion, copyright laws for digital media should extend as far as duplication with the intent to sell. As far as free access, I believe everyone should have the right to whatever media is available. As Dahlberg explains, there is a great deal of ambiguity in the entire system. While legal action may be taken against citizens who access information, government and the media freely access social networking sites for the same thing that citizens are being condemned for. There needs to be a shift towards the free flow of information and revisions to the definition of public domain.
Dahlberg, Lief. “Pirates, Partisans and Politico-Juridicial Space.” Law and Literature 23.2 (2011): 273.