In Benkler’s book, Wealth of Networks, he argues that information should be free to everyone. How does he feel about getting information that is copyrighted? What is his stand on the moral issues of stealing information?

There has been a serious change in technology and it has had a major impact on the

"The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler"

The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler

economic organization and social practices. This environment has created new opportunities for how we make and exchange information, knowledge, and culture. With this emerging technology there has been an increase in individuals freedom; it has directly effected democratic participation; critical and self-reflective culture; and made an information dependent global economy. Benkler believes that information should be public for everyone as a connection to common good. He argues that the explosion of information has made world smaller. Information can be shared across the world at an alarming fast rate. Decentralization of information will flatten the world.

But the real question is are we just in the beginning stages of society sharing information at an alarming rate. Social production and exchange of information will play a larger role in property and market based production. The networked information economy that the book says has emerged is because of the declining price of computation, communication, and storage have placed the material means of information and cultural production in the hands of a significant fraction of the world’s population. For a larger part of the century information was distributed by the mass media. Individuals did not have a huge information tool at there convenience such as the Internet.

With this large information tool such as the Internet individuals have started to come together to collaborated on making user generated information such as Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a collection of numerous information about a vas amount of subjects that regular individuals go online and add information too. Other forms of peer production that we see in today’s society is Linux. It seems that users have put aside a capitalistic approach to information on the web but have adopted a more socialist approach. People are putting information online not to make money but to inform, entertain, and persuade other users. But even with all this wealth of knowledge being given to us by the Internet, you have to acknowledge that all the information that users are uploading to the Internet may not be accurate and they may be obtaining this information illegal.

So the question is where is the lined drawn. We know that Benkler does not believe in copyright laws. He probably believes that if you create something it’s supposed to be seen by everyone. I agree that I might want my artwork seen or my song heard by everyone but at what price. Since information is easier than ever to create people assume that it should be free. But I wonder how we make the artist that worked 20 hours on that song and everyone loves it but he is not making any money from it. If this is his only way of producing an income because this is all he know then aren’t we robbing him. I believe that all information is free to everyone but I also agree that the person’s who make the text, art, or music should be allowed to be compensated for there hard work. If not, then the laziest, most unmotivated person in the world is allowed to be involved in the decision making process.