Media and communication

Flattr Part II: From piracy to supporting creators


The hacker culture has resulted in a network called the Pirate Movement, sharing values ​​of freedom, anonymity and free file sharing. The name comes from members just like pirates, sailing on open water where nations’ regulations can’t reach them (Dahlberg 2010). You can link the metaphor ”pirates” to the Swedish word piratkopiering, meaning an illegal copy of a CD sold on the black market. How to make sense of the term ”pirate” may differ, as a Pirate Movement supporter, one can imagine a hero figure who rebel against the establishment in the form of the capitalist system and the media industry. Looking however to the movement’s opponents such as media companies which make a living selling media content, ”pirate” is interpreted as a villain who violate copyright laws.


There is no fixed group of people that make up the Pirate Movement, but it includes everything from file sharing to lobbying organization Piratbyrån, and a political party in the form of the Pirate Party (Dahlberg 2010). The Pirate Bay is another talked about and much publicized example that can be considered part of the movement. It is a file sharing site with several million regular users and one of the Internet’s hundred most popular pages in 2010 (Andersson & Snickars 2010). Peter Sunde is one of the founders and two years ago he launched with Linus Olsson a new digital service called Flattr.  He described it as a technical extension of The Pirate Bay (Ekström 2010 , p.78). With this as background, we can understand why for Sunde and the rest of the organization behind Flattr, it is important to image the network as promoting craft and creativity. 




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