This empirical paper explores the complex problem space of unauthorised music file sharing, providing insight into collaboration activities in online communities. As many consumers now access their music through unauthorised file sharing, it is interesting to consider what makes such communities so attractive. This paper presents the debates surrounding music piracy/file sharing, using a critical perspective to consider ‘another way of doing things’. The arguments in this paper are based on a doctoral study involving 30 interviews, 3 focus groups, and 120 days of participant observation within an underground music file sharing community. Actor- network theory is useful in identifying the controversies in this complex problem space, encouraging a reconceptualisation of file sharers and the information systems they create. These new insights contribute to the literature of information systems development within the context of online communities.



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