The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

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Yale University Press, 2006 M01 1 - 515 pages
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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.


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User Review  - RobertPollard - LibraryThing

Brilliant book. Must read. In keeping with the analysis in the book, Yochai Benkler made the full text available under a Creative Commons, Non-Commercial licence. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hennis - LibraryThing

Very interesting book, explains in DETAIL the facets of peer production and collective intelligence. A must read, but quite difficult to go through. Read full review

Selected pages


Introduction A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge
The Networked Information Economy
Some Basic Economics of Information Production and Innovation
Peer Production and Sharing
The Economics of Social Production
The Political Economy of Property and Commons
Individual Freedom Autonomy Information and Law
Political Freedom Part 1 The Trouble with Mass Media
Cultural Freedom A Culture Both Plastic and Critical
Justice and Development
Social Ties Networking Together
Policies of Freedom at a Moment of Transformation
The Battle Over the Institutional Ecology of the Digital Environment
Conclusion The Stakes of Information Law and Policy

Political Freedom Part 2 Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere

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About the author (2006)

Yochai Benkler is the Joseph M. Field '55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Yale University.

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