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FEATURE: Spotting the pirates

The Economist (20 August) looks at the consequences of file-sharing for local media industries and global cultural trade. The piece concludes that while downloading music and films illegally from the internet appears an innocuous act – hardly as egregious as looting – the legions of pirates are quietly reshaping world culture even so.

“At least two music shops were looted during the riots that swept Britain earlier this month. In north London, a warehouse containing CDs and DVDs was set on fire. This was devastating for shopkeepers and local residents. But the British media industry may note, cheerily, that its products are still seen as valuable enough to risk a prison sentence,” writes The Economist. “In many countries it is hard to conceive of looters stealing music or films from a store. In a few, it is difficult to imagine that a warehouse filled with recorded music would even exist.”

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Story filed 08.09.11

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