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  Overview Chapter Summaries Context Invention Teaching Ideas Extending this Work & Conclusion

Logie, John. Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-to-Peer Debates. West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor Press, 2006, 164 pp. $22.00 (paper). ISBN 978-1-60235-005-2. $12.00 (Adobe eBook on CD, $12.00). 978-1-60235-006-9. Reviewed by Martine Courant, Rife, JD, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University and Lansing Community College.

The entire book can be downloaded for free here:

One of my professional goals as a composition and rhetoric teacher and researcher is to use rhetoric or concepts from rhetoric in order to make the argument that rhetoricians are very handy people to have available for consultation, and that rhetoric is invaluable for informing one’s pedagogical and research stances and practices. John Logie’s book makes an important move towards this goal by using a rhetorical lens to examine current debates and events in peer-to-peer filesharing/copyright contexts. It appears to me an obviously smart and especially appropriate choice to use rhetoric for examining legal debates of any kind, since classical rhetoric was at the time of its invention, so closely aligned with the practice of law. Using rhetorical analysis informed in part by Steven Mailloux and Kenneth Burke, Logie examines the criminalization, theft, piracy, sharing, and combat metaphors in the peer-to-peer filesharing controversies; he discusses how ethos, pathos, and logos were used by filesharing stakeholders in order to persuade sometimes naive peer-to-peer filesharing service users, such as the hundreds of students sued for illegal filesharing. Such stakeholders used persuasion to aid in users' beliefs that "sharing" via a filesharing service, was akin to sharing in face-to-face environments. Yet, as Logie points out in digital environments sharing does not diminish the quality of the copy. One can have their cake, share it, and eat their cake as well. Also, some filesharing services failed to tell users that not only were they able to download others' files, but the users' files were being shared with others. Rhetorical persuasion was used to construct narratives of war, criminalization, piracy, and theft by music stakeholders worried about shrinking profit margins. It is this use of rhetorical persuasion that Logie examines in his book.