Piracy as Labour Struggle

  • Gavin Mueller George Mason University
Keywords: Intellectual property, piracy, neoliberalism, cultural studies, digital media, social organization


This paper examines the organization of digital piracy in the context of reshaping labor under neoliberalism. It discusses the practices by which enclosures of intellectual property are resisted by drawing from literature on the labor process, and examining the historical emergence of piratical practice on electronic bulletin board systems. These pirates sought, above all, to preserve autonomous, self-managed working conditions in the face of tendencies to commodify, enclose, and deskill.

Author Biography

Gavin Mueller, George Mason University
Gavin Mueller is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at George Mason University. He researches the cultural history of the Internet, online social movements, and emergent digital labor practices. He is a contributing editor to Jacobin Magazine and an editor at Viewpoint Magazine.