The Rediscovery of the Commons

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Date

2003

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Abstract

"The prevailing discourse for talking about the Internet is that of the market. But economic categories are too parochial for understanding our broader needs as citizens and human beings in the emerging cyber-polity. They also fail to understand how many websites, listservs, open source software programs and peer-to-peer file sharing systems function as commons – open, community-based systems for sharing and managing resources. It turns out that peer production is often a more efficient, creative mode of value-creation than a market as well as more humanistic. The commons paradigm helps us understand this fact because it recognizes that value-creation is not just an episodic economic transaction, as market theory holds, but an ongoing process of social life and political culture. When will we recognize that the commons plays a vital role in the economic and cultural production of our time?"

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economics, information commons, markets--theory

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