The Cultural and Material life of Media Piracy is a three year project carried out by the Sarai programme of the CSDS in collaboration with the Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore. We begin with the premise that piracy is widespread in places where a media-saturated modernity meets severe inequalities of purchasing power for books, software, recordings, videos and other knowledge products. One of the key aims of this research project will be to understand this media environment as it unfolds itself in diverse contexts. The main research node is in India with comparative work in China and Pakistan. The Sarai-ALF teams of researchers work in tandem with an international project on media piracy with fellow researchers in Brazil, South Africa and Russia. The larger study is coordinated by the SSRC (New York).

The project seeks to open different debates on piracy other than simply that of enforcement and criminality. Through research, we hope to generate discussions of cultural needs, community practices of sharing and circulation in societies of high inequality. We will also look at media industry approaches to piracy and enforcement strategies. In addition, there will be ethnographic and quantitative work on media use in neighbourhoods. The study of piracy offers a unique vantage point to study the media environment, through the sites of media and its movement across limits set by law, the complexity of user-bases, and the diversity of cultural delivery platforms.

We are looking for bright, energetic and qualified researchers who can work in collaboration with a regional and international team. Applicants must demonstrate abilities to research and write on the subject. A familiarity with the debate on piracy and the creative commons is preferable. Social science and Humanities applicants should have completed post graduate degrees and law students a four year programme.

Researcher One: Delhi
The researcher will be looking at fieldwork material on media piracy in the Sarai archive, as well as conduct neighbourhood surveys slate to begin in 2009. Work will include research papers presentations and collaborative work with the team.

Researcher Two: Mumbai
The researcher will be looking at the range of piracy strategies pursued by media industries in the film and music sectors. Research will span the larger media companies as well as the smaller companies. Work will include research papers presentations and collaborative work with the team. Applicants from outside Mumbai are also welcome to apply for this position, although Mumbai based work will be significant.

Remuneration will be Rs 28000/ a month. Interested applicants may send their CV and a written research sample to researchjobs@sarai.net by September 20, 2008.
Applications without a written research sample will not be entertained.

SSRC piracy project: http://programs.ssrc.org/ccit/ip/
Sarai, CSDS : http://www.sarai.net/research/knowledge-culture/knowledge-and-culture
ALF: www.altlawforum.org
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