The Wealth of Networks
How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
by Yochai Benkler
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With the radical changes in information production that the Internet has introduced, we stand at an important moment of transition, says Yochai Benkler in this thought-provoking book. The phenomenon he describes as social production is reshaping markets, while at the same time offering new opportunities to enhance individual freedom, cultural diversity, political discourse, and justice. But these results are by no means inevitable: a systematic campaign to protect the entrenched industrial information economy of the last century threatens the promise of today’s emerging networked information environment.
In this comprehensive social theory of the Internet and the networked information economy, Benkler describes how patterns of information, knowledge, and cultural production are changing—and shows that the way information and knowledge are made available can either limit or enlarge the ways people can create and express themselves. He describes the range of legal and policy choices that confront us and maintains that there is much to be gained—or lost—by the decisions we make today.
Yochai Benkler is professor of law at Yale Law School, Yale University.
Table of contents:
* 1. Introduction: A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge 1
* Part One. The Networked Information Economy 29
o 2. Some Basic Economics of Information Production and Innovation 35
o 3. Peer Production and Sharing 59
o 4. The Economics of Social Production 91
* Part Two. The Political Economy of Property and Commons 129
o 5. Individual Freedom: Autonomy, Information, and Law 133
o 6. Political Freedom Part 1: The Trouble with Mass Media 176
o 7. Political Freedom Part 2: Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere 212
o 8. Cultural Freedom: A Culture Both Plastic and Critical 273
o 9. Justice and Development 301
o 10. Social Ties: Networking Together 356
* Part Three. Policies of Freedom at a Moment of Transformation 379
o 11. The Battle Over the Institutional Ecology of the Digital Environment 383
o 12. Conclusion: The Stakes of Information Law and Policy 460