Philippe Aigrain

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Philippe Aigrain = Author of an important french-language book on the informational commons

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Source: updated from "Towards a positive recognition of commons-based research and innovation in international norms",

"Philippe Aigrain (born 1949) is the Founder and CEO of Sopinspace, Society for Public Information Spaces, a company that provides free software-based solutions for the public debate by citizens of policy issues and for collaborative work over the internet. He acts at international level as an advocate for the information and knowledge commons, and tries to address challenges in making commons-based cooperation sustainable. He is the author of 'Cause commune : l'information entre bien commun et propriété" (, Italian and Arabic translation to be published in the 1st semester of 2007). Philippe Aigrain was trained as a mathematician and computer scientist and active as a media (video, music, photographs) software researcher and in science policy. He was head of sector "Software technology" within the European Commission research programmes, where he initiated the policy in support of free / open source software innovation. He has authored many papers in computer and information science, sociology and history of technology, most of which are accessible under Creative Commons licenses from his blog at"

His Vision

"Commons-advocate Philippe Aigrain, in his book Cause Commune, argues for a two-pronged strategy: de-monetising the cognitive capitalists (big pharma, microsoft, the bio-pirates, etc...), and find strategies to monetise the commons-sphere of open content production."

Comment from Michel Bauwens: "This would create an intermediary sector between the sphere of pure peer production (which could be enhance by the universal income, but is still some way off, and in the meantime can survive and even thrive through the distributed surpluses of the current system), on the other hand a purely private sphere, but in between we can imagine a sphere of cooperative production. This sector would answer your problematic: different means can be thought of, such as traditional cooperatives, trusts (Peter Barnes), and Limited Liability Partnerships (which work with eternal proportional shares, as advocated by Chris Cook in Open Capital). Of course, this would not be the totally marketless and stateless society that Parecon advocates, but if you believe, as I do, that is not feasible, then the kind of situation I describe here is the next big thing in society reform: a commons-based political economy, centered around freefrom peer production, surrounded by a cooperative sphere, and surrounded by a dwindling private sphere." (

Policy Oriented Writings

Towards a positive recognition of Commons-based research in international norms, at

More Information

Key Book

Philippe Agrain. Cause commune : l'information entre bien commun et propriété, Editions Fayard, 2005.