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Shirky, Clay. “File-Sharing Goes Social.” Clay Shirky’s Writings About the Internet.2/15/2010 (2003).  <http://www.shirky.com/writings/file-sharing_social.html>.

Shirky highlights the RIAA’s “Crush the Connectors” strategy in this article.  Specifically Shirky notes how the disintegration of highly networked, multiply linked node systems via RIAA action will work to deter file sharing among groups; however, he also recognizes that the nature of networks and the desire to get music will far outpace the efforts of legal action.

After highlighting the weaknesses like the “internal horizon” in distributed p2p networks like KaZaa and Gnutella, Shirky claims that the next development in file sharing technologies will have “real membranes” that are social as well as technological.  As this article was written before the advent of bittorrent, Shirky describes a proto-bittorrent system characterized by controlled membership and encrypted file transfer that is  invite-only, socially constituted and communally produced.  Shirky, not anticipating the transnationalization of private, invite-only bittorrent communities claims that file sharing will likely take the model of small reputation based communities of 6 to 36 members.

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