Yochai Benkler

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Distinguished lawyer of the Internet and information goods; introduced the concept of Commons-Based Peer Production; specialised in the development of a "Sharing Economy" and Platform Cooperativism"

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Bio

from his own bio page 2017-01

Yochai Benkler is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Since the 1990s he has played a role in characterizing the role of information commons and decentralized collaboration to innovation, information production, and freedom in the networked economy and society. His books include The Wealth of Networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom (Yale University Press 2006), which won academic awards from the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, and the McGannon award for social and ethical relevance in communications. In 2012 he received a lifetime achievement award from Oxford University “in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the study and public understanding of the Internet and information goods.” His work is socially engaged, winning him the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award in 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award for 2007, and the Public Knowledge IP3 Award in 2006. It is also anchored in the realities of markets, and was cited as "perhaps the best work yet about the fast moving, enthusiast-driven Internet" by the Financial Times and named best business book about the future in 2006 by Strategy and Business. Benkler has advised governments and international organizations on innovation policy and telecommunications, and serves on the boards or advisory boards of several nonprofits engaged in working towards an open society. His work can be freely accessed at benkler.org.

Discussion

Citation on the political positioning of Yochai Benkler:

"None of this is to say that nonmarket and decentralized production will completely displace firms and markets. That is not the point. The point is that the networked information economy makes it possible for nonmarket and decentralized models of production to increase their presence alongside the more traditional models, causing some displacement, but increasing the diversity of ways of organizing production rather than replacing one with the other. This diversity of ways of organizing production and consumption, in turn, opens a range of new opportunities for pursuing core political values of liberal societies -- democracy, individual freedom, and social justice."
(http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1191&context=dlj)


More:

  • Interview in Open Democracy, by Christian Ahlert, at

http://www.opendemocracy.net/media-copyrightlaw/benkler_3487.jsp

Yochai Benkler's writings on peer production

Coase's Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm (2001)

URL = https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9238/534e7836ce094b2498b3587b10c89b733afe.pdf

The Political Economy of the Commons (2003)

URL = http://www.benkler.org/Upgrade-Novatica%20Commons.pdf

The concept of Information Commons is defined by Yochai Benkler in "The Political Economy of Commons", in Upgrade, juin 2003, vol. IV, n° 3

Sharing Nicely: On Shareable Goods and the Emergence of Sharing as a Modality of Economic Production (2004)

URL = http://www.yalelawjournal.org/essay/sharing-nicely-on-shareable-goods-and-the-emergence-of-sharing-as-a-modality-of-economic-production

"The paper offers a framework to explain large scale effective practices of sharing private, excludable goods. It starts with case studies of distributed computing and carpooling as motivating problems. It then suggests a definition for “shareable goods‿ as goods that are lumpy and mid-grained in size, and explains why goods with these characteristics will have systematic overcapacity relative to the requirements of their owners. The paper then uses comparative transaction costs analysis, focused on information characteristics in particular, combined with an analysis of diversity of motivations, to suggest when social sharing will be better than secondary markets to reallocate this overcapacity to non-owners who require the functionality. The paper concludes with broader observations about the role of sharing as a modality of economic production as compared to markets and hierarchies (whether states or firms), with a particular emphasis on sharing practices among individuals who are strangers or weakly related, its relationship to technological change, and some implications for contemporary policy choices regarding wireless regulation, intellectual property, and communications network design."

Freedom in the Commons: Towards a Political Economy of Information (2003)

URL = http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1191&context=dlj

"None of this is to say that nonmarket and decentralized production will completely displace firms and markets. That is not the point. The point is that the networked information economy makes it possible for nonmarket and decentralized models of production to increase their presence alongside the more traditional models, causing some displacement, but increasing the diversity of ways of organizing production rather than replacing one with the other. This diversity of ways of organizing production and consumption, in turn, opens a range of new opportunities for pursuing core political values of liberal societies -- democracy, individual freedom, and social justice."

Print Versions

Selected Articles "Coase's Penguins, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm," 112 Yale Law Journal

"Freedom in the Commons, Towards a Political Economy of Information," 52 Duke L.J.

"Overcoming Agoraphobia: Building the Commons of the Digitally Networked Environment," 11 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology

Key Books

Yochai Benkler. The Wealth of Networks. Yale University Press, 2006 [1]

Podcasts of Yochai Benkler

Berkman Center http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/audio/uploads/12/58/benkler_2006-04-24.mp3

PopTech 2005 http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail776.html

More Information

Pages on this wiki (video webcasts, podcasts etc.)

External links