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Freedom in the Commons: Towards a Political Economy of Information

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Benkler, Yochai
Journal: Duke Law Journal
Volume: 52
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2957
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): information commons
open access
intellectual property rights
open access
Abstract: "In this Lecture, I want to outline two fundamental social aspects of the emerging economic-technological condition of the networked information economy: the economic concerned with the organization of production and consumption in this economy, and the political concerned with how we pursue autonomy, democracy, and social justice in this new condition. We have seen over the past few years glimpses of this emerging economy and of its emerging political implications. We have seen the surprising growth of free software, an oasis of anarchistic production that is beating some of the world s richest corporations at their own game making reliable high-quality software. We have seen a Russian computer programmer jailed for weeks in the United States pending indictment for writing software that lets Americans read books that they are not allowed to read. These and many other stories sprinkled throughout the pages of the technology sections of our daily newspapers hint at a deep transformation that is taking place, and at an epic battle over how this transformation shall go and who will come out on top when the dust settles."

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