Think Global, Print Local

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* Article: “Think Global, Print Local”: A case study on a commons-based publishing and distribution model. By Vasilis Kostakis, Stacco Troncoso, and Ann Marie Utratel. Journal of Peer Production, Issue #10: Peer Production and Work, 2017.

URL = http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-10-peer-production-and-work/varia/think-global-print-local-a-case-study-on-a-commons-based-publishing-and-distribution-model/


Summary

"This article presents a case study that demonstrates the convergence of decentralized online and offline ways of sharing knowledge. We describe a new techno-economic form of value creation and distribution in relation to the knowledge commons and the publishing industry. The dynamics and challenges of an emerging, commons-oriented copyright license (the Peer Production License) are also outlined. We conclude that the approach introduced by this case study could build bridges across languages and cultures, and enable concrete, material commoning practices."

From the introduction:

"To bolster commoning as challenge to the standard practices of economics, alternative relations and structures of production are needed. In this context, the starting points of this article are a problem and a nascent opportunity. The problem is the need to share a knowledge artifact, such as a book, with people and communities elsewhere, but in a language into which the artifact has not yet been translated. The opportunity is the convergence of decentralized online and offline ways of sharing knowledge, from the Ιnternet and book printers to commons-oriented copyright licenses and crowdfunding platforms.

This article discusses a case study that synthesizes the aforementioned dynamics and tools and, therefore, presents a new commons-based publishing model codified as “think global, print local”. The uniqueness of the case rests in its goal to pioneer a commons-based model of artisanal, decentralized text translation and international book distribution and publishing. By using the digital knowledge commons as well as distributed nodes of printing hardware, this case study tries to avoid centralized production and environmentally harmful international shipping in an economically viable way for its contributors.

The question we address is the following: Can this experiment serve as a template or an example that could strengthen commons-based practices in the field of writing, translating and publishing? This article focuses on two interrelated aspects that may allow us to further the understanding of institutions for the use and management of shared resources. First, we describe an emerging techno-economic model of value creation and distribution in relation to the knowledge commons. Second, we discuss the dynamics of the chosen commons-oriented copyright license, named the Peer Production License."

Contents

"The paper is structured as follows: In section 2, we provide a literature review on an emerging model of value creation, which inspired this paper’s case study and builds on the conjunction of digital knowledge commons with distributed manufacturing infrastructures. Section 3 contains a description and discussion of the case study with regards to the commons-based publishing model as well as the used copyright license. In section 4, we conclude by addressing how this intrinsic case study could become instrumental and, thus, provide proposals for future research and action."


Excerpt

From the conclusion, By Vasilis Kostakis, Stacco Troncoso, and Ann Marie Utratel:

"We shed light on a case study that tried to pilot and demonstrate a new commons-oriented model of knowledge creation and distribution in relation to publishing. Inspired by the “Design Global, Manufacture Local” model, our pilot-model was codified as “think global, print local”. The production and distribution model introduced here could help build bridges across languages and cultures, and enable concrete, material commoning practices. Moreover, we discussed an alternative license to the Creative Commons licenses, named Peer Production License. In contrast to the Creative Commons Non Commercial license, the Peer Production License allows monetization of the licensed work to worker-owned and not-for-profit collectives, thus opening the possibilities for commercialization, with the gains benefiting non-capitalist entities. Through our practical experience with the latter, we outlined the basic challenges and opportunities emerging from using such a copyfair license. Hopefully, some of the lessons drawn from this case study may help other content producers, publishing houses, artistic groups, translation communities and scholars to repeat the experience with new books and texts in the future."