Welcome To The Scene: A Study Of Social Organization And Recognition Amongst Warez Hackers
Décary-Hétu, David & Carlo Morselli & Stéphane Leman-Langlois. (2012). “Welcome To The Scene: A Study Of Social Organization And Recognition Amongst Warez Hackers.“ Journal Of Research In Crime And Delinquency. 49(3): 359-382.
Objectives. This article seeks to describe and understand the social organization as well as the distribution of recognition in the online community (also known as the warez scene) of hackers who illegally distribute intellectual property online. Method. The data were collected from an online index that curates a list of illegal content that was made available between 2003 and 2009. Sutherland’s notion of behavior systems in crime as well as Boase and Wellman’s notion of network individualism are used to theorize the social organization and the distribution of recognition in the warez scene. These were then analyzed using social network theory. Results. There is a strong correlation between the productivity of the hacking groups and the recognition they receive from their peers. These findings are limited by the lack of data on the internal operations of each hacking groups and by the aggregate nature of the network matrix. Conclusions. We find that hacking groups that make this online community generally have a very limited life span as well as low production levels. They work and compete in a very distributed and democratic community where we are unable to identify clear leaders.
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