South African Music Studies

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The culture of digital music piracy: A South African perspective

B Sherman


South Africa has yet to experience the full effects of the digital music revolution – either ill or benign. But, it is clear that those who do have the necessary technological means to take advantage of it have already begun doing so. And, as the price of technology and the cost of connectivity come down – as they undoubtedly will – there is a good chance more South Africans will begin doing the same. The aim of this paper is to analyse the behaviour of a sample of these people in terms of what promotes or discourages their engaging in digital piracy. In addition, it situates digital piracy within a wider context of more traditional piracy practices and examines the music industry’s handling of the issue. Finally, I explore issues of how people value music, with specific emphasis on its social value, and look at how this has changed, and is changing as a result of digital consumption and distribution technologies.
AJOL African Journals Online