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Between commodification and "openness" : the information society and the ownership of knowledge.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalJournal of Information, Law and Technology
Journal number2-3
Volume2005
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this paper I explore how commodification in the newly emerged information society undermined what was once a popular claim that ‘information wants to be free’. However, in the last couple of years the (re)exploration of ‘openness’ as a model for information and knowledge exchange, building on the example of work in the software sector, helps us recognise a countervailing dynamic to commodification that has emerged within the ‘information society’. While it is unlikely that all information will ever be free, it is now also clear that it is equally unlikely that the commodification of knowledge and information can ever become complete, nor even continue as it has in the last decade. As so often in the history of intellectual property the key is balance; a balance between commodification and openness.