The information commons and the free software movement
posted by:Chris Young // 01:43 PM // January 24, 2005 // Digital Democracy: law, policy and politics
This article by David M. Berry (doctoral candidate at the University of Sussex) is a bit of an opinion piece on trends in increasing privatization of information, and warns of a possible new "feudal order" based on renting of information owned exclusively by private corporations.
I post it because I want to draw attention to the increasing politicization of the free software movement. This article is published in FreeSoftwareMagazine.com, a new online and print publication dedicated to the Free software/Open source movement. Fully half the articles are at least partly political in tone, rather than dealing exclusively with technical aspects of open source software, as might be expected. The free software movement is an important front in the private vs. common information debate. Many of the articles in this magazine are published under the Creative Commons framework.
Good article by David, went through it...I think the logic of information being res communes is that by sharing information you are indeed increasing the value of information, not decreasing it for yourself, which is actually the case for physical assets...but I think one needs to distinguish between different types of information...and also analyse how free sharing of information can create sustainable incentives for those who are producing this information...
The F/LOSS movements of today, while becoming more widespread by the day, needs to address this fundamental issue - the issue of incentives. Because let us not forget that the most important asset for any human being is not money, not even oil ( sorry Mr Big Oil), but it is his time. By creating information, a human being utilises some of the time available to him on this earth, and hence it is not entirely true that by sharing information he is losing nothing...by sharing information that he has created he is certainly sharing some of his most precious wealth - his time. Just because information can be copied at no cost does not mean that a value that a person has created using his precious time should be shared by one and all at no monetary incentives to the creator. These are points that need to be addressed...
Ec @ http://www.eit.in
Posted by: BPO at June 18, 2006 07:05 AM
Thanks for pointing to the article...it provides an excellent introduction for those wishing to getting up to speed on the relationships between information society & the concept of commons...
I'd like to include that link soon at our Free & Open Source Software WWW Resources database ( http://www.eit.in/sw/free_software/free_software.html ) @ eIT.in
Thanks once again
Ec @ eIT.in
Posted by: FLOSS at June 23, 2006 02:26 AM