Lawyers, Nerds, and Money: Understanding the Internet’s Resistance to Late Capitalism

By Jacob Oliver.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online February 19, 2016 $US5.00

The Internet has been lauded as a way for independent content creators, such as writers, musicians, and filmmakers, to distribute their work outside of traditional media structures, thereby circumventing entry barriers that prevent aspiring artists from developing creative careers. Unfortunately, the logistics of network influence necessary for any widespread reach are often overlooked. As a result, only a few such creators actually succeed. This study articulates the extent to which the “anyone-can-publish” paradigm resists late capitalist modes of content production, but with particular attention to network infrastructures required for any sustainable publishing success. I propose that free online content can represent a new model of artistic production that is financially viable for the producer while maintaining the ethos of free content, but only within certain contexts that take advantage of these infrastructures.

Keywords: Podcasting, User-Generated Content, Networks, Late Capitalism, Internet

Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing, Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online February 19, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 743.402KB)).

Jacob Oliver

Ph.D. Student, Department of English Literature and Language, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA