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Ramon Lobato

Senior Research Fellow (ARC DECRA fellow)


Ramon Lobato is Senior Research Fellow in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research and a lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication. He conducts research on screen and digital media industries, focusing on the international dynamics of distribution, intellectual property, and piracy. Ramon is particularly interested in how digital media circulate -- formally and informally.

Ramon's current project is a three-year Australian Research Council DECRA fellowship ("Geoblocking, circumvention and the organisation of digital media markets", 2015-17). It investigates how people use streaming sites, how they negotiate geoblocking restrictions, and how digital distribution is changing the nature of media markets. Together with an international team of collaborators, Ramon recently published the first book on geoblocking -- the open-access edited collection Geoblocking and Global Video Culture -- and is currently working on a book about Netflix.

Ramon is known for his work on film piracy and informal media economies. His first book Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Film Distribution was published by the British Film Institute in 2012. His second book, The Informal Media Economy (with Julian Thomas), was published by Polity in 2015. He is co-editor of the anthology Amateur Media: Social, Cultural and Legal Perspectives (Routledge 2012), and special issues of Television and New Media and M/C. He also writes regularly for Inside Story.

Ramon teaches in Swinburne's Cinema and Screen Studies programme, convening the third-year unit MDA30011 Global Screen Studies: Beyond Hollywood. Between 2012-2015 he convened the reseach methods training programme for School of Arts, Social Science and Humanities students. Prior to coming to Swinburne, he taught at University of Melbourne and RMIT, and worked as a freelance writer and editor.

Ramon is available to supervise PhD and MA theses in cultural, media and screen studies, particularly projects related to distribution technologies such as streaming, apps, P2P, etc, and other topics in media industry research. Please feel free to get in touch if you are considering a project in this area.

Research interests

Media industries; Audiences; Film and television; Cultural theory; Piracy; Copyright

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Coordinating Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Music and film industries in the internet age: Students interested in conducting research related to digital distribution platforms (Spotify, Netflix, etc) and the changing structure of music and film industries are encouraged to get in touch.

Piracy, copyright and informal media: We welcome proposals around any of the following topics: streaming, file-sharing, piracy, social media, theories and models of the informal economy (in relation to media), case studies of particular networks and infrastructure, field-based studies of informal media workers, especially in Asia, or comparative studies of media systems.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Communication And Media Studies - 200100


  • 2016, International, Outstanding Young Scholar Award, International Communication Association, Popular Communication division
  • 2015, Swinburne, Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2014, Swinburne, Faculty Research Excellence Award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2013, International, X Limina Award for best international film studies book, Udine Film Forum, University of Udine


Also published as: Lobato, Ramon; Lobato, R.
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Recent research grants awarded

  • 2015: Geoblocking, circumvention and the organisation of digital media markets *; ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)
  • 2015: Music usage metrics and the future of the Australian Music Industry *; ARC Linkage Projects - Grant applications for funding commencing in 2015
  • 2011: Informal economies and audiovisual industries: histories, dynamics, legal and policy responses *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme

* Chief Investigator

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