Publication details

Online Piracy and the Transformation of the Audiences’ Practices: The Case of the Czech Republic

Investor logo


Year of publication 2016
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description This empirical-research-based chapter focuses on the Czech post-TV audiences and their uses of alternative and non-authorized online sources of films and TV series. The chapter draws on descriptive data from a representative survey of the Czech population (2014) and on two distinct qualitative inquiries into the everyday practices of Czech audiences (2012-2015). In the text we reconstruct the general picture of the post-TV practices related to the consumption of "pirated" content and we map the audiences' motivations for such practices as well as the audiences' ethical reflexivity regarding the phenomenon. At the same time, we focus on the ways that members of the post-TV audiences choose particular technological interfaces and sources of content as well as the particular content they consume. In this regard, we identify three major distinct modes of content choice: expert curation, social curation and data-consultation curation. The survey data plausibly show that post-TV audiences significantly differ in these practices from the audiences relying on reception from TV broadcasting. Theoretically we address the topic drawing on Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration: we employ the structuration model of media, a theoretical model applying Giddens' notion of social agency on media-related practices and emphasising the position of media-related practices within the contexts of everyday life. In this regard, we avoid both media-centric and normative approach to the topic. Instead, we employ the context-oriented approach taking into the account the fact that the reception of content from illegal online sources is part of a broader set of practices and that it is subordinated to particular moral economies. Our conclusion is that the post-TV audience could hardly be seen as "pirates" or immoral pragmatists on the one hand, or, on the other, as highly reflexive and empowered actors intentionally challenging the media industries. Instead, our respondents could be seen as common viewers aiming to "reasonably" fulfil their textual needs - viewers that are mostly aware of their possible conflict with the Czech legal regulation but that are, regarding Czech specifics of online content distribution, conceiving their practices as ethically more or less non-problematic.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info