Governing and being governed by commons-based peer (Social) production

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Governing and being governed by commons-based peer (Social) production is a 2009 conference paper written in English by Kallinikos J., Lanzara G.F., Tsiavos P., Hanseth O. and published in 17th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2009.

[edit] Abstract

Just a decade after Castells' (1996) seminal contribution on the significance of networks as alternative templates for organizing the production of goods and services in the late capitalism of the information age, the idea has been given a new push by Benkler (2006) and his The Wealth of Networks. The innovative character of Benkler's work pivots around the concept of social production, that is, commons-based peer production of information- based goods and services (e.g. open-source software production, Wikipedia) through open collaborative arrangements that bypass the institutional framework associated with markets and corporations. Social production is the joint outcome of several developments. Among them figure prominently 1) the publicly available and non-rival nature of much information, 2) the diffusion of information resources across the population 3) the distinctive character of computational technology and 4) the low capital necessary to sustain network associations over the internet. The preservation of social production and its further social and economic embeddedness are heavily contingent on the degree to which they will continue to epitomize a radically different model of bringing together people and resources. This entails as much a cultural as a legal battle. The cultural battle is fought over the organizational arrangements that pattern and regulate the contribution individuals make to common-based projects, that is, who makes what, under which conditions and so forth. The legal battle is fought over the institutional environment of property rights and the degree to which information will remain publicly available. Social production requires a regulatory environment that would allow access to common resources in the most frictionless fashion. Perhaps the most distinctive characteristics of social production is its viral nature: it tends to propagate in all levels and forms altering and affecting not merely the ways of producing intellectual or cultural goods but also the ways in which regulatory institutions are produced. The ultimate trophy in this battlefield of production modes is about who will have control over our common regulatory resources. Panelists.

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