Table 2.1

From Yochai Benkler - Wealth of Networks
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Table 2.1: Ideal-Type Information Production Strategies

Cost Minimization/ Benefit Acquisition

Public Domain



Rights-based exclusion (make money by exercising exclusive rights - licensing or blocking competition)

Romantic Maximizers (authors, composers; sell to publishers; sometimes sell to Mickeys)

Mickey (Disney reuses inventory for derivative works; buy outputs of Romantic Maximizers)

RCA (small number of companies hold blocking patents; they create patent pools to build valuable goods)

Nonexclusion-Market (make money from information production but not by exercising the exclusive rights)

Scholarly Lawyers (write articles to get clients; other examples include bands that give music out for free as advertisements for touring and charge money for performance; software developers who develop software and make money from customizing it to a particular client, on-site management, advice and training, not from licensing)

Know-How (firms that have cheaper or better production processes because of their research, lower their costs or improve the quality of other goods or services; lawyer offices that build on existing forms)

Learning Networks (share information with similar organizations - make money from early access to information. For example, newspapers join together to create a wire service; firms where engineers and scientists from different firms attend professional societies to diffuse knowledge)


Joe Einstein (give away information for free in return for status, benefits to reputation, value of the innovation to themselves; wide range of motivations. Includes members of amateur choirs who perform for free, academics who write articles for fame, people who write op-eds, contribute to mailing lists; many free software developers and free software generally for most uses)

Los Alamos (share in-house information, rely on in-house inputs to produce valuable public goods used to secure additional government funding and status)

Limited sharing networks (release paper to small number of colleagues to get comments so you can improve it before publication. Make use of time delay to gain relative advantage later on using Joe Einstein strategy. Share one's information on formal condition of reciprocity: like "copyleft" conditions on derivative works for distribution)