publications  

Kinek írjam meg, ha nem neked? Mikor írjam meg, ha nem most?

 

Elutasítás, düh, alkudozás, depresszió, belenyugvás. Azt mondják, ez a haldoklás öt fázisa. Nem tudom, hogy az öngyilkosok is ezeken a stációkon mennek-e keresztül. Nem tudom, hogy aki gyilkossá válni készül, annak a pokol milyen bugyrain kell átmennie. Azt sem tudom, hogy aki nem a szó fizikai értelmében készül a halálra, hanem csupán az identitása egy részét készül levetni, egy ilyen ember is vajon ezeken a fázisokon esik-e át.

Valahol a depresszión túl, a belenyugváson innen írom ezt a szöveget. Haldoklom. Nem a szó fizikai értelmében, de temetni készülök bennem a magyart. Ez a szöveg a hazámmal való végleges szakítás dokumentuma szándékszik lenni, villanófénybe merevített pillanata annak a folyamatnak, ahogy felmondom a hazámmal meglevő kulturális, társadalmi, politikai, de mindenekelőtt sorsközösséget.

Ha innen nézem, haldoklás, kétségbeesett kapaszkodás valamihez, amiről tudom, hogy el kell múlnia. Ha onnan nézem, hidegvérrel, számító kegyetlenséggel elkövetett gyilkosság, az eddigi életem, eddigi lojalitásaim kiirtása, az engem eddig tápláló közösségek szisztematikus leépítése, felszámolása.

Önmagam ellen elkövetett gyilkosság ez a szöveg. Önvédelemből elkövetett öngyilkosság.

Read the rest of this entry »

A long piece on pirate libraries’ role in the knowledge economy (in Dutch).
Read the rest of this entry »

Pirate e-book libraries enable historically unprecedented access to the best of scholarly knowledge, which CEE countries are definitely taking advantage of. Who is using these libraries and for what reasons? Unique data on pirate library use helps answer these questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

This short essay explores how the notion of hacktivism changes due to easily accessible, military grade Privacy Enhancing Technologies PETs. Privacy Enhancing Technologies, technological tools which provide anonymous communications and protect users from online surveillance enable new forms of online political activism. Through the short summary of the ad-hoc vigilante group Anonymous, this article describes hacktivism 1.0 as electronic civil disobedience conducted by outsiders. Through the analysis of Wikileaks, the anonymous whistleblowing website, it describes how strong PETs enable the development of hacktivism 2.0, where the source of threat is shifted from outsiders to insiders. Insiders have access to documents with which power can be exposed, and who, by using PETs, can anonymously engage in political action. We also describe the emergence of a third generation of hacktivists who use PETs to disengage and create their own autonomous spaces rather than to engage with power through anonymous whistleblowing.

Read the rest of this entry »

An analysis on the role of hackers in the age of cyberwarfare, published in the special issue on business and technology of the Hungarian weekly HVG.
Read the rest of this entry »

A longform piece on guerilla open access in the Hungarian book industry periodical Konyvesblog.
Read the rest of this entry »

My analysis of the mass protests against Hungarian plans to tax the internet in the Hungarian weekly Magyar Narancs.

Read the rest of this entry »

This paper discusses whether a compensation system (CS) for recorded music – endowing private Internet subscribers with the right to download and use works in return for a fee – would be welfare increasing under current market conditions. It reports the results of a discrete choice experiment conducted with a representative sample of the Dutch population consisting of 4,986 participants. The Internet penetration rate in the Netherlands is 95%, one of the highest worldwide (Eurostat 2014). The Netherlands also entertain a system of levies on copying technology, so that basic elements of a CS should be familiar to many residence.

We find that applied only to recorded music, a mandatory CS could increase the welfare of rights holders and users in the Netherlands by over €600 million per year (over €35 per capita). This far exceeds the current sales value of recorded music of ca. €144 million. Even if a CS were to substitute all of the current sales of recorded music and provided no cost savings, it could simultaneously increase user welfare and rights holder revenues at a price that constitutes a reasonable surplus split. According to our results, this is achieved over a broad range of CS user fees, for example between ca. €1.74 and €9.25 for a CS that is mandatory for all households with Internet subscription.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Piratebrowser is a web browser which utilizes the Privacy Enhancing Technology Tor to circumvent nationally implemented internet filters blocking the access to the Pirate Bay. The article analyzes the possible consequences of a mass influx of copyright pirates into the privacy domain. It addresses the effects of the uptake of strong privacy technologies by pirates on copyright enforcement, on the free speech and on the privacy technology domains. It then analyzes the norms and values reflected in the specific design choices taken by the developers of the Piratebrowser.

Read the rest of this entry »

RuNet, the Russian segment of the internet is now the home of the most comprehensive scientific pirate libraries on the net. These sites offer free access to hundreds of thousands of books and millions of journal articles. In this contribution we try to understand the factors that led to the development of these sites, and the sociocultural and legal conditions that enable them to operate under hostile legal and political conditions. Through the reconstruction of the micro-histories of peer produced online text collections that played a central role in the history of RuNet, we are able to link the formal and informal support for these sites to the specific conditions developed under the Soviet and post Soviet times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aleph is currently the biggest online piratical collection of scholarly publications, with more than a million books, and tens of millions of journal articles. This chapter explores the question of the growth and impact of the Aleph network, via a close look at its collections and traffic. In so doing, we want to push the debate beyond the simple rhetoric of criminality and the accompanying claims of criminal profits made via these sites . Instead we want to better understand how these services operate, what publics they serve, and what harms to publishers and authors can be reasonably attributed to them. Aleph and its mirror sites infringe the copyrights on hundreds of thousands of works, potentially undercutting the market for those works. But they also respond to clear (and sometimes not so clear) market failures where work is unavailable or unaffordable, and play a role in the democratization of scientific and scholarly work. On what basis can we evaluate these trade offs? To date, there has been no substantive account of the shape, reach, or impact of these archives. This chapter takes some steps in that direction.

Read the rest of this entry »

On the 10th of August, for its 10th anniversary, The Pirate Bay (TPB) released a piece of software called the Piratebrowser, tagged with the headline: “No more censorship!”(Anon 2013b) It enables users who live in countries where access to TPB is blocked to circumvent national internet filters. It is a simplified version of a Tor network-based web-browser , which is used by many who want to stay anonymous and avoid the blocking and the surveillance of their online activities. The Tor network is used by: dissenters in oppressive countries with pervasive internet censorship; privacy-conscious users who wish to stay hidden from the surveillance machinery of spy agencies; leakers and whistleblowers; and users who wish to engage in various illegal activities from watching child pornography to buying drugs.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the digital era where, thanks to the ubiquity of electronic copies, the book is no longer a scarce resource, libraries find themselves in an extremely competitive environment. Several different actors are now in a position to provide low cost access to knowledge. One of these competitors are shadow libraries – piratical text collections which have now amassed electronic copies of millions of copyrighted works and provide access to them usually free of charge to anyone around the globe. While such shadow libraries are far from being universal, they are able to offer certain services better, to more people and under more favorable terms than most public or research libraries. This contribution offers insights into the development and the inner workings of one of the biggest scientific shadow libraries on the internet in order to understand what kind of library people create for themselves if they have the means and if they don’t have to abide by the legal, bureaucratic and economic constraints that libraries usually face. I argue that one of the many possible futures of the library is hidden in the shadows, and those who think of the future of libraries can learn a lot from book pirates of the 21st century about how users and readers expect texts in electronic form to be stored, organized and circulated.

Read the rest of this entry »

A complex system of rules and governance mechanisms control the lives of piratical P2P file-sharing darknets and ensure the survival and the quality of the shared P2P resource pool. In some communities these rules include the voluntary intellectual property (IP) protection as well. I show three different examples of voluntary, bottom-up IP regimes in piratical file-sharing communities. I demonstrate that though the emergence of such norms may sound counter-intuitive, they are in fact logical consequences in the development of the underground file-sharing scene. I then move to discuss whether or not the long-term consolidation of such norms is harmonious with the default ethical vision of copyright. Here I show that current practices in the IP field are scattered in both the legal and the ethical dimensions, and stable (social, business) practices consolidate not according to their legality but according to whether they comply with the default ethical vision. Finally I suggest that voluntary IP regimes can be effective enforcement mechanisms that rights-holders should begin experiment with.

Read the rest of this entry »

An open source textbook on open source cultures (in Hungarian).

Read the rest of this entry »

A lengthy analysis on the Megaupload case in Magyar Narancs, a Hungarian weekly.
Read the rest of this entry »

A longfrom analysis of Gigapedia in the Hungarian weekly Magyar Narancs.
Read the rest of this entry »

The MPEE book is also available in Russian and Spanish!

This article examines what appears to be the most important factor shaping file sharing: the failure of traditional cultural markets to efficiently supply the demand in the online environment. Its findings are based on tracking the traffic of movies on three Hungarian P2P networks. This dataset is then matched with cinematic distribution data of the films tracked in P2P transactions. Central to our analysis is the assessment of two piracy paradigms: substitution and shortage, that is, whether pirated content is available through legal or only illegal channels. Shortage-driven downloaders are found to outnumber those downloading only current theater releases. Nonetheless, the supply of films available for downloading is more affected by parameters of cinematic distribution than it is by box office success. Therefore, part of the sales effort directly contributes to propping up piracy.
Read the rest of this entry »

The exhibition entitled “Metropolitan archeology” by Tamás Budha, András Tábori and Miklós Rácz was on show at the Holdudvar gallery from mid June to mid July 2010. We met with Miklós Rácz, the archeologist team member to talk about the project. The interview features photos from the exhibition.
Two artists and an archeologist decide to document the city… what does an archeologist do in contemporary culture?
Read the rest of this entry »

An analysis of the SOPA debate the the Hungarian weekly Magyar Narancs.
Read the rest of this entry »

A short piece on transborder ethnic piratical networks on mindennapi.hu
Read the rest of this entry »

An analysis prepared for Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute on the media reception of the Fukushima disaster. We analyzed how the mainstream Hungarian online press discussed the events of the Fukushima nuclear accident. We were asked to focus on the Hungarian contexts and analyze the ways atomic energy; the Paks Nuclear Power Plant and the Hungarian energy policy were mentioned and discussed in the context of the Japanese events.
Read the rest of this entry »

Book chapter on the reason d’etre of cultural black markets.

Read the rest of this entry »

http://piracy.ssrc.org/http://piracy.ssrc.org/

http://www.typotex.hu/konyv/aszerzoijogkalozaihttp://www.typotex.hu/konyv/aszerzoijogkalozai

This is a two part article in Hungarian about the local p2p informal film markets.

Here is the abstract (if you read hungarian switch to the hungarian version to access the documents):

Throughout the past few years, peer-to-peer file-sharing has become the major form of piracy in developed countries. Debates on its negative impact on the cultural industry and the legal struggle over its criminalization continue into the next decade.
Surprisingly, despite the attention devoted to the subject, research into p2p downloading – especially in Hungary – is still rudimentary, and the majority of empirical studies can only establish circumstantial evidences on the nature of relationship between the legal and pirate marketplaces. Also, data on the consumption of content are typically self-reported (i.e., questionnaire-based), rather than observed which may be appropriate for the offline and legal context but is inadequate (or at best highly inaccurate) in the case of p2p piracy. In this article we look at the interconnections between the p2p and legal marketplaces in the case of the film industry using data collection methods that avoid the pitfalls of questionnaire-based surveys. Central to our analysis is the assessment of two piracy paradigms: substitution and shortage, that is whether pirated content is available through legal or only through illegal channels. In the first part of our article we review the evolution of both marketplaces of audiovisual content, outline the data collection method using real-time transactional data and present the main characteristics of online movie piracy.
Using transactional data (real time observation of p2p downloading activity by users of three major Hungarian torrent trackers) and movie distribution statistics we found that shortage-driven downloaders (pirating old catalogues only) outnumber those downloading only current theatrical releases, while the majority pirates both categories. The analysis of causal relationships reveals nonetheless that demand for a film among online pirates is impacted by its theatrical distribution (number of copies) rather than its actual success at the box
offices, the effect of which is insignificant. This leads to the conclusion that part of the marketing efforts directly contributes to propping up piracy. At the same time, the high diversity of movie genres downloaded by individual users may suggest that p2p pirating is also, to a considerable extent a behavior difficult to describe using conventional sets of sociological factors and as such is characterized by a high degree of freedom whose consequences may include the enrichment of one’s cultural experience, or cultural omnivorousness.

Kulturális alkotások magyarországi online kalózközönségének empirikus vizsgálata

Bodó, B., & Lakatos, Z. (2010): A filmek online feketepiaca és a moziforgalmazás 1. rész.: A tranzakciószintű elemzés lehetőségei. Szociológiai Szemle, 20 (3), 34-75

A fejlett országokban az elmúlt években a fájlcserélés vált a kalózkodás elsődleges  formájává. A kulturális iparra gyakorolt negatív hatásával kapcsolatos viták, valamint a büntethetősége körüli jogi küzdelem a következő évtizedben is folytatódik. E kitüntetett figyelem fényében meglepő, hogy a fájlcserélő tevékenység kutatása – különösen itthon –  gyerekcipőben jár, és a publikált vizsgálatok többsége a legális és kalózpiac összefüggéseiről az alkalmazott módszertanok miatt csak közvetett megállapításokat tud tenni. A tartalomfogyasztást elemző kutatók jellemzően kérdőíves felmérésekből, és nem közvetlen megfigyelésből származó adatokkal dolgoznak, a legális és offline tartalmak fogyasztásának vizsgálatára alkalmas módszerek  azonban nem,  vagy csak nagy nehézségekkel használhatók a p2p kalózkodás kutatásában.  Tanulmányunkban a filmipar kapcsán a legális és a p2p piactér közötti kapcsolatokat a kérdőíves felvételek problémáitól mentes adatgyűjtésre alapozva vizsgáljuk. Kutatásunk középpontjában a kalózkodás két fő paradigmája, a „helyettesítő” és a „hiánypótló” funkció, vagyis a legális csatornákon is beszerezhető, illetve az onnét hiányzó tartalmak kalózforgalma áll.  A tanulmány  első részében  bemutatjuk az audiovizuális  alkotások  legális és feketepiacainak  fejlődését, ismertetjük a valós  idejű, tranzakció-alapú  adatgyűjtés módszerét, valamint a filmek online kalózforgalmának legfontosabb jellemzőit.

A három legfontosabb magyarországi torrent tracker felhasználóinak valósidejű p2p tranzakcióit, valamint a filmek mozis forgalmazásának statisztikáit elemezve a  filmes kalózpiac  hiánypótló paradigmáját találtuk erősebbnek: a fájlcserélők között jóval nagyobb arányt képviselnek azok, kizárólag mozikban nem játszott, mint akik csak mozikban is megnézhető filmeket
töltenek le ― a fájlcserélők többsége viszont mindkét kategóriából letölt. Az oksági kapcsolatokat vizsgálva  azonban az is nyilvánvaló, hogy a filmek online kalózkereslete legalább részben  és közvetlenül marketingvezérelt (ezáltal  független a mozis közönség méretétől), vagy ami ugyanaz: a komolyabb promóció egy része szükségszerűen nagyobb p2p kereslet formájában hasznosul. Az egyes fájlcserélők által letöltött filmek műfaji  strukturálatlansága  ugyanakkor arra is utalhat, hogy a p2p kalózkodás  nem kismértékben  az egyéni ízlés  szociológiai  összetevőivel nehezen leírható, „magas szabadságfokú”  magatartás, melynek egyik  lehetséges következménye a kalózok kulturális fogyasztásának gazdagítása, a  „kulturális mindenevés”.

1. rész
2. rész

Wikileaks represents a new type of (h)activism, which shifts the source of potential threat from a few, dangerous hackers and a larger group of mostly harmless activists — both outsiders to an organization — to those who are on the inside. For insiders trying to smuggle information out, anonymity is a necessary condition for participation. Wikileaks has demonstrated that the access to anonymity can be democratized, made simple and user friendly.

Read the rest of this entry »

A piece in the Infocommunications and Law journal on pricing problems and piracy. In this piece I argue that the problem is not that pirates and ISPs are not willing to pay rightsholders, but that legitimate businesses cannot get the right price with which they could outcompete the black market. I argue that if there is a room for intervention, it must be concentrated on forcing rights holders to set a price which reflects local market realities, instead of forcing ISPs or their users to pay a levy for file-sharing.
Read the rest of this entry »

A longform piece in the Prae literary journal on the Hungarian e-book market.
Read the rest of this entry »

In this book my aim was to look beyond the legal and economic readings of contemporary western copyright piracy and understand it as a unique social practice that merits attention not only because of its dubious legality, ubiquity, or the havoc it has played with copyright-based business models, but first and foremost because it shapes the ideas and attitudes of millions of netizens about what intellectual property is and could be; what sharing and online cooperation means in a p2p setting; what privacy is and how it can be protected; how to form and negotiate online identities in an anonymous environment, just to name a few issues. Piracy is not just a drain on the cultural economy, but a powerful productive force whose legacy in social relations will stay with us long after the economic conditions that called it into being –and the power vacuum that enabled it – have passed.
Read the rest of this entry »

In this article we look at the interconnections between the p2p and legal marketplaces in the case of the film industry using data collection methods that avoid the pitfalls of questionnaire-based surveys. Central to our analysis is the assessment of two piracy paradigms: substitution and shortage, that is whether pirated content is available through legal or only through illegal channels. Using transactional data (real time observation of p2p downloading activity by users of three major Hungarian torrent trackers) and movie distribution statistics we find that shortage-driven downloaders (pirating old catalogues only) outnumber those downloading only current theatrical releases, while the majority pirates both categories. The analysis of causal relationships reveals nonetheless that demand for a film among online pirates is impacted by its theatrical distribution (number of copies) rather than its actual success at the box offices, the effect of which is insignificant. This leads to the conclusion that part of the marketing efforts directly contributes to propping up piracy. However, the high diversity of the movie genres downloaded by users suggests that p2p pirating is also an activity that is disembedded from the context of personal taste and is thus contributing to the evolution of cultural consumption beyond preexisting preferences and loyalties.
Read the rest of this entry »