Concept of Rent Relevant to a Discussion of Surplus-Value in the Digital World
* Essay: Olivier Frayssé - Is the Concept of Rent Relevant to a Discussion of Surplus-Value in the Digital World?
From the book: Reconsidering Value and Labour in the Digital Age. Ed. by Fuchs, Christian, Fisher, Eran (Eds.)
Christian Fuchs et al.:
"In Chapter 10, Olivier Frayssé asks the question: “Is the Concept of Rent Relevant to a Discussion of Surplus-Value in the Digital World?” Frayssé examines the question of value creation in the digital age through the concept of rent, insisting on the polysemy of that notion. He distinguishes between different interpretations of the concept from classic political economists to Marx’s notions of differential and absolute ground-rent. Frayssé suggests that the Marxian notion of rent sheds some light in the case of the underpinnings of the political economy of the internet – advertising and market research. In advertising, it brings to the fore the ability of media owners to monopolize screen-space in order to levy a “ground-rent” on the brain power, or attention, of internet users. In market research, since the internet is a fertile ground for collective users’ information, the element of rent lies in the expropriation of ground-rent by placing tracker on users’ devices."