ECC2013/Knowledge Stream/Resources

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Readings and other resources related to stream themes to be aggregated here; feel free to add and edit, or suggest via the stream forum.

Categorization of readings is problematic; many are wide-ranging. Feel free to add further headings.

This wiki also has a much more extensive and general reading list related to knowledge commons; this page is intended to be relatively brief and directly attuned to stream themes and participants.


These resources give a good general background on free/libre/open/commons knowledge movements, with a more commons-centric approach than is typical for such introductions. Wouter Tebbens Prabir Purkayashta interviews Lawrence Liang

Ostensibly about Aaron Swartz (nothing new there, in fact it was made shortly after his death), but paints a much larger picture, including that enclosures of knowledge are ancient.

The Unfolding of the Knowledge Commons by Charlotte Hess

Knowledge and Science as Commons chapter, similar material in a video lecture by Prabir Purkayashta

An Introductory Historical Contextualization of Online Creation Communities for the Building of Digital Commons by Mayo Fuster Morell

Definitions by Mayo Fuster Morell includes a definition of digital commons:

information and knowledge resources that are collectively created and owned or shared between or among a community and that tend to be non-exclusivedible, that is, be (generally freely) available to third parties. Thus, they are oriented to favor use and reuse, rather than to exchange as a commodity. Additionally, the community of people building them can intervene in the governing of their interaction processes and of their shared resources.

Digital Commons: A dictionary entry by Felix Stalder

Although many political, legal and economic questions remain yet to be solved, the digital commons represents a paradigm change, whereby new technological, social and economic frameworks have already generated an informational order in outline that is socially more just, economically more productive and politically more democratic than the current regime of informational monopolies. This movement could unleash the empowering, rather than the controlling, potential of our new digital infrastructures. Yet, gains made so far are not yet sufficient, nor are they certain to endure

All commons as knowledge commons Wouter Tebbens Prabir Purkayashta

The key to the control of capital over production has been its ability to create continuously new knowledge and technology. Its ability create new knowledge that has given big capital its edge over other forms of production. It is here at the heart of capital that creation of new knowledge and technology -- the active commons -- is emerging. This is the active commons driven by the collective brain power of humanity. If capital can no longer control the production of new knowledge, it loses control over technology. Its use of WTO and TRIPS – creating a larger domain of “intellectual property” -- shows not its strength but its weakness. It is its inability to control the physical process of knowledge creation that it now seeks to control it through legal means. That is why this new form of collaborative knowledge creation spells the doom of capital. Even if its death throes are going to be long and painful. chapters by Gaelle Krikorian include: Access to Knowledge as a Field of Activism and Social Mutations of the Future. From the latter:

In a way, in this scenario (the marginalization of intellectual property), we can witness a popular outflanking not only of the intellectual property system, but of the traditional, stratified social structure that is anchored upon it. The logic and the exercise of open-source production show a tremendous normative effect on cultural production and appropriation, social practices and representations, and the rigid social structures characteristic of most societies.
In the second scenario (the era of free exploitation), the spread of the Internet and the persistent enforcement of intellectual property restrictions leads to social mutations that are much less promising: the metastasization of neoliberal logics and practices throughout the knowledge economy and the information society and the consequent exacerbation of social and economic polarities.

Commons-first strategy for knowledge commoning Glyn Moody Glyn Moody Wouter Tebbens

As we saw before, copyright and patent legislation turn ideas and expressions of authorship from commons/public goods into private property. Given their non-rival nature, this is clearly a case of generated scarcities. And a very relevant one in the current industrial societies, where a large part of the formal economy is controlled by these state granted monopolies. … [F]or a commons-based market, a “liberated” one, such monopolies should not exist. Not in the least part to assure people’s freedoms to participate in the market, the threat of patent or copyright litigations should be expelled. video/presentations of Chuang/Dubosch/Helfrich/Walsh

How could "Creative Commons" be more aligned with and better at commoning? Mike Linksvayer

Control of knowledge to perpetuate inequality ancient; assert primacy of commons values for info policy; expand options beyond increase/decrease enclosure and commoning within that regime to include pro-commons regulation

Stream reflections

Blog posts, links to discussion, interviews, other resources directly about the ECC2013 knowledge stream.

Pre-conference blog post from stream coordinator motivating this resource list.

Post-conference blog post(s) by Alan Toner

Post-conference blog post(s) by Marco Fioretti