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Illegal LiteratureToward a Disruptive Creativity$
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David S. Roh

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816695751

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816695751.001.0001

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The Open-Source Model

The Open-Source Model

Versioning Literature and Culture

(p.96) 3 The Open-Source Model
Illegal Literature

David S. Roh

University of Minnesota Press

In chapter 3, Roh shifts focus to distribution networks and how they facilitate dialogic activity on intratextual and intertextual scales. The advent of decentralized networks complicates the regulating effect law has on dialogic activity. Strongly centralized distribution channels throttle the dissemination of unsanctioned works. Digital networks widen output and loosen control and for this reason have come under regulation to simulate existing paradigms of control. More than a simple technological innovation, distributed communications networks reflect a discernible cultural shift in alignment with postmodernity. Using the XDA Developers open source software community as a model, Roh evaluates how their carefully curated environment employs a decentralized structure—a form without center—and analyzes the resulting dialogic operability. That is, Roh argues that the online network environment best reflects the cultural and architectural roots of nonhierarchical dialogue conducive to rapid, iterative cultural, and textual evolution. With a historical and theoretical survey of decentralized networks, Roh shows how the mechanics of nonhierarchical textual exchange operate online and how that may benefit literary development.

Keywords:   Distribution, Law, Open source, Decentralized network, Literature, Digital writing, Postmodernity

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