Format: Lecture, followed by discussion
Lead: Yochai Benkler
This session will discuss the enormous benefits of open systems and address the ways in which openness at all layers of the networked environment can be achieved. Yochai Benkler will present a set of examples in which physical access, social production of content, and other forms of user creation and collaboration play a powerful role in supporting freedom and new forms of innovation. Skype will provide an illustrative usecase through which to explore these topics. From these examples, he will draw out how proprietary networks and standards (like mobile networks) differ from open ones (like TCP/IP, competitive infrastructure, free software, open standards, and free culture/content-based models). The case of WikiLeaks will provide a lens through which to view questions related to openness, access, and content distribution at different layers of the network.
The Wealth of Networks
- Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, "Chapter 12: Conclusion: The Stakes of Information Law and Policy", Yale University Press (New Haven: 2006).
- Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, "Chapter 11: The Battle Over the Institutional Ecology of the Digital Environment".
- Dubai School of Government, "Civil Movements: The Impact of Facebook and Twitter" Arab Social Media Report, May, 2011.
- Also recommended: Arab Spring Case study
- James Glanz and John Markoff, U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors June, 2011.
- Michael Hickins, "Freedom Box Needs A Good User Interface" February, 2011.
- Bharat Rao, Bojan Angelov, Oded Nov, "Fusion of Disruptive Technologies: Lessons from the Skype Case" European Management Journal Vol. 24, Nos. 2-3, pp. 174-188, 2006.
- Verne G. Kopytoff, Facebook Offers Video Chat in Arrangement with Skype July, 2011.
- Peter Bright, Microsoft Confirms $8.5 Billion Skype Purchase, Clarifies Nothing May, 2011.
Google Voice Rejected from iPhone
- Jenna Wortham, "Even Google Is Blocked With Apps for iPhone" July 2009.
- John Paczkowski, "Who Rejected Google Voice for iPhone? AT&T: Not Us. Google: REDACTED. Apple: We're 'Studying' It, Not Rejecting It." August, 2009.
Protect IP Act
- Declan McCullagh, "Senate bill amounts to death penalty for Web sites" May 12, 2011.
The Berkman Center's Broadband Report
- Background information about the Berkman Center's Broadband Report
- Introduction and Executive Summary
- Chapter 4.1-4.3
Related Case Examples
- Yochai Benkler discusses the shift from the 150 year trend of concentration and commercialization of information production to the Internet's open, collaborative system of production.