Confronting the Commodification of Human Discovery

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* Book: Free Knowledge. Confronting the Commodification of Human Discovery. Edited by Patricia W. Elliott and Daryl H. Hepting. University of Regina Press, 2015



"Alarms are being sounded around the globe over the increasing commercialization of public knowledge for private profit. Whether you are a farmer, a medical patient, or a library user, these developments impact your daily life.

Knowledge privatization holds growing sway over the choice of the foods you eat, the medicine you take, the software you use, the music you hear, and even the flowers you plant in your own backyard. This is the result of a world where plant seeds have become subject to patents, medical research is overseen by pharmaceutical giants, universities are beholden to corporate funders, and indigenous knowledge is expropriated.

The good news is that people are fighting back, working to create spaces where humanity's knowledge can be reclaimed and shared for the public good. Composed of fifteen essays from seventeen writers, ranging from academics to farmers to indigenous knowledge keepers, Free Knowledge is a book on the front lines of the shared project of creating and protecting our Knowledge Commons."


Patricia W. Elliot is an assistant professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Regina. Her background includes alternative media practice and community-based research.

Daryl H. Hepting is an associate professor of Computer Science and an associate member of the Film Department at the University of Regina. He is also the coordinator of the Farming and Local Food Working Group in Saskatchewan.