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HSRC Press :: Stealing Empire

Stealing Empire
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Stealing Empire

P2P, intellectual property and hip-hop subversion

Adam Haupt

Format148mm x 210mm
ISBN 100-7969-2209-8
ISBN 13978-07969-2209-0
Publish Year2008
RightsWorld Rights
DescriptionRelated ProductsEmail To A FriendProduct RatingCustomer Reviews

Stealing Empire :: P2P, intellectual property and hip-hop subversionFree DownloadStealing Empire :: P2P, intellectual property and hip-hop subversion
PodcastLaw, technology, the Internet to the media and all things cultural - listen to the views of Adam Haupt, Martin Hall, Burni from Godessa and Caco the Noble Savage on Stealing Empire.

Duration: 8 min 22 sec


Stealing Empire poses the question, "What possibilities for agency exist in the age of corporate globalisation?" Using the work of Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt as a point of entry, Adam Haupt delves into varied terrain to locate answers in this ground-breaking inquiry. He explores arguments about copyright via peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms such as Napster, free speech struggles, debates about access to information and open content licenses, and develops a politically incisive analysis of counterdiscourses produced by South African hip-hop artists. From ‘empire stealing’ through their commodification of countercultures to the ‘stealing empire’ activities of file-sharers, culture jammers and hip-hop activists, this book tells the story of people defining themselves as active, creative agents in a consumerist society.

Stealing Empire is vital reading for law, media and cultural studies scholars who want to make sense of the ways in which legal and communication strategies are employed to secure hegemony.



1. Reading Empire
1.1 Theorising Empire
1.2 The power of the multitude
1.3 Critiques of Empire
1.4 The case for the power of the multitude
Conclusion: multitude, media and culture

2. Revolution for Sale? Hollywood and Subversion in the Age of Empire
2.1 The Matrix as its own pure simulacrum
2.2 Empire, culture and agency in The Matrix
2.3 Rage Against the Machine and thematic depth in The Matrix
2.4 Rage Against the Machine and Zapatismo

3. The technology of subversion: from digital sampling in hip-hop to the MP3 revolution
3.1 Interpreting the Statute of Anne
3.2 The politics of digital sampling in hip-hop
3.3 Digital sampling, ownership and recuperation
3.4 The digital continuum: MP3 technology
3.5 Empire and the failure of democracy

4. Enclosure of the commons and the erosion of democracy
4.1 Enclosure of the commons
4.2 The Internet as an information commons
4.3 Open source, P2P and the culture of tinkering
4.4 Enclosing the information commons
4.5 Reclaiming the commons: open source and Creative Commons in South Africa
4.6 Culture jamming and free speech: citizens versus corporations
Conclusion: toward the common

5. Hip-Hop, gender and co-option in the age of Empire
5.1 Racial stereotypes, gender politics and the commodification of hip- hop
5.2 ‘Conscious’ hip-hop’s continued appeal
5.3 Godessa in dialogue with Empire
5.4 Immortal Technique in dialogue with Empire
Conclusion: global affiliations

6. Hip-Hop, counterpublics and noise in post-apartheid South Africa
6.1 Noise from POC and Black Noise
6.2 Noise from younger MCs
6.3 Noise and subaltern counterpublics
6.4 Democracy, the nation-state and Empire




About the Author/s

Adam Haupt is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Film & Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. He has taught at the Universities of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch and has freelanced as an arts journalist. In the mid-90s, Haupt set the scene for research on black youth culture in South Africa with his work on rap group Prophets of da City, whose work was banned by the apartheid regime.


Associate Professor Geraldine Bloustien, Deputy Director, Hawke Research Institute, School of Communication, University of South Australia

This is a fascinating and innovative book which explores the ways marginalised peoples are able to challenge and 'resist' the negative impact of the global economy through creativity and technical innovation.

Bongani Madondo, journalist and author of Hot Type: Icons, Artists & God-Figurines

From the digital divide to the politics of democracy in the public sphere, this book is that rarity: as much a bible for academics in the lecture hall as for b-boys in the ballroom hall.

Tony Mitchell, editor of Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA

Haupt's engaging book provides informative and lively reading.

Shaheen Ariefdien, former Prophets of da City MC & producer

This vibrant book builds on Haupt's previous work on articulations of resistance through hip-hop and is a superb contribution to the growing body of literature that recognises agency in the face of global capitalism's barbarity.

African Book Publishing Record, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 2009

"In short, in addressing the pervasive influence of American popular culture in Africa, Haupt’s study makes an interesting contribution and thus is a worthy addition to social science libraries."
Jonathan Zilberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Click on the links below to read the reviews:

Media Coverage Amandla! 01 June 2009
Journal Review - Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion



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