Dialogic comedy in pirate rhetoric

Michael High*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article analyzes how the groups of the Swedish Pirate movement (specifically the Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay, the Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet, and the Piratpartiet) use dialogical comedy to counter the rhetoric of the copyright lobby. By appropriating the discourse, slogans, and even names of pro-copyright groups, the Swedish groups position themselves as the natural respondents to antipiracy campaigns. This positioning helps them to publicize onerous copyright legislation and prompt discussion on infringement, free speech, and digital rights. The reclamation of the term piracy and the subversive doubling of antipiracy rhetoric in parody, irony, and satire allows for the resignification of piracy and the recontextualization of incorrect and alarmist statements by industry representatives. As a rhetorical strategy, dialogic comedy counters hegemonic discourse, facilitates social learning, and inaugurates debate and dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-940
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Appropriation
  • Comedy
  • Copyright
  • Dialogism
  • Irony
  • Kopimism
  • Parody
  • Piracy
  • Piratbyrån
  • Piratpartiet
  • Rhetoric
  • Satire
  • The Pirate Bay


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