The pirate imaginary and the potential of the authorial pirate.

Litwin Books Llc
Publication Type:
Piracy: Leakages from Modernity, 2014, pp. 19 - 38
Issue Date:
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The figure of the pirate and acts of piracy themselves are most frequently defined by their opposition and exception to the legal framework of copyright law. However, the term ‘pirate’, used to describe those who have been seen breaching such a legal framework, does not just evoke images of rows of computer towers in a back room, adjacent to a pile of blank discs ready for commercial reproduction and distribution, or the ubiquitous footage of the youthful and impressionable ‘movie downloader’ found on the beginning of DVDs (see Loughan 2008). It also carries a deeper cultural resonance, reminding us of bands of renegades, hijacking European ships returning from colonial outposts, or in the contemporary era, of the two most evocative pirate imaginaries which exist concurrently: The machine-gun wielding Somalian pirate – a martyr-rebel and a refugee of globalization – or more humorously, Johnny Depp’s, Keith Richards inspired, Captain Jack Sparrow, the debonair star of the successful Walt Disney franchise Pirates of the Caribbean (Ali and Murad 2009).
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