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“Although the Grokster case is represented by film studios as a war of survival against rogues, thieves, and pirates, it is seen by a (largely western) technologically-imbricated public as a threat to emerging parameters of individual creative authorship, in amateur, educational, and entrepreneurial contexts. Thus a broad middle-class consuming population appears on the verge of being classified as inherently criminal.” (Philip, 203)”

Often when reading pieces for Modern Culture and Media classes I find myself violently scoffing at a sentence for a moment and having to spend a long time figuring out what was so viscerally discomforting or alarming about it. The final sentence of the above paragraph is one of those sentences. I was faced with a sudden realization, though perhaps obvious to others, that much of the liberal, anti-regulation of piracy outrage is not about technology or about freedom of speech. It is a basic objection to the mass criminalization of a certain group of people. P2P sharing represents a form of piracy that the middle class can get behind, that even the wealthy can take grand advantage of. The public is outraged that lobbyists are trying to criminalize such a large portion of the country that had as of yet remained innocent by default. As a young black male I felt immediately queasy when I saw this thread running through much of the pro-piracy rhetoric. Like Philip and Liang I agree that the forms of piracy that are often protected by liberals are those specifically used by primarily bourgeoise western (and therefore largely white) technology users.