David Bollier on Building a New Digital Republic
"Host Francesca Rheannon talks with David Bollier about his latest book, Viral Spiral. It’s about how the Internet is building a new digital republic.
The idea of the commons is an ancient one. Peasants of medieval Europe seldom owned their own land. Legally, it was held by the nobles, the king or the Church. But they did have the right to use certain lands in common to grow crops, cut wood, or graze livestock. As capitalism took over from feudalism, the commons began to be privatized. First, land and forests were enclosed. As commodity relations spread, more natural resources, like water, followed suit. In our own era privatization has gobbled up a huge new arena of the commons as intellectual property, from the patenting of traditional plant varieties and the copywrighting of traditional folk tales to the human genome and biodiversity itself." (http://www.writersvoice.net/2010/04/the-digital-commons/)