The wealth of networks

Lawrence Lessig is calling it “the most important and powerful book in the fields that matter most to me in the last ten years”. Amazon is selling it for £20, but there is a free PDF to download (note: this is a large file (>3mb), try individual chapters if this bothers you) simultaneously published today. The licence for the download is Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA (which publications under the research and writings tabs above will be, when I get around to doing it!). Another interesting element is the book’s wiki, which will (over time) include summaries, links etc.

I’m talking about “The Wealth Of Networks” (ISBN 0300110561) by Yochai Benkler (Yale, Law). The publisher’s summary describes it as “a this comprehensive social theory of the Internet and the networked information economy” and says that the author “describes the range of legal and policy choices that confront us and maintains that there is much to be gained—or lost—by the decisions we make today”. At first glance, it’s quite sociological in tone, and closer to Manuel Castells (Network Society etc) than to Lessig, Vaidhyanathan etc. I’ve only read the introduction and dipped into other bits so far, so I’ll post a more detailed review in the near future.


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