Paper: Digital goods and the concept of the commons, By Sabine Nuss

From: Zapopan Martin Muela-Meza <zapopanmuela_at_YAHOO.COM>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 14:26:23 -0700

Nuss, Sabine (2005) Digital goods and the concept of the commons. In
Proceedings Left Forum, New York (US).

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A lot of scholars and activists don^Òt question the social form of the
private good - in contrast they praise the market and the form of the
private good as efficient and well installed ^Ö for certain goods.
Accordingly, most of the advocates of the commons concept defend it only
for certain goods and they justify that with a diffuse mixture of material
consistence and normative claims. They ignore that under capitalist
circumstances public goods are functional for the capital itself and that
they are a pure social construction, so that they will be transformed in a
private good as soon as its profitable for capital and as long it is not
in the interest of the nation state to keep control over these goods - as
it is the case in the national defense. If one wishes to withdraw goods
from commodification then its better not to justify that with any material
consistence but rather with a clear political statement against the social
form of private goods. That requires rethinking and questioning this form,
which is obviously the prevailing and seldom challenged form in which
everything tends to transform, dependent on technological, legal and
ideological means and dependent on the state of the art of capitalism.
Keywords: Commons. Common knowledge. Digital commons. Digital goods.
Public goods. Libraries. Common-pool resources. Commodification of
information and knowledge. Information commons
Subjects: E. Publishing and legal issues. > ED. Intellectual property:
author's rights, ownership, copyright, copyleft.
B. Information use and sociology of information. > BC. Information in
B. Information use and sociology of information. > BE. Information
ID Code: 4855
Deposited By: Muela-Meza, Zapopan Martín
Deposited On: 29 October 2005
Alternative Locations:,
All fields: Show all fields

Lehmann, Michael (1997). "Digitalisierung und Urheberrecht." In: Lehmann,
Michael (ed.) (1997). Internet- und Multimediarecht (Cyberlaw), Stuttgart,
p. 27.

Marx, K. (1857/58, 1953). A Contribution to the Critique of Political
Economy. p. 432.

Ostrom, Elinor and Hess, Charlotte (2001). "Artifacts, Facilities and

Information as a Common-pool Resource." Paper presented at the ^ÓConference
on the Public Domain,^Ô Duke Law School, Durham, North Carolina, USA,
November 9-11, 2001.

Smith, A. (1776/1976). An Inquiry into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth
of Nations. Buch V, p. 244.

Zapopan Muela
----------------------------- v -------------------------------
"Tiranos y autócratas han entendido siempre que el alfabetismo,
el conocimiento, los libros y los periódicos son un peligro
en potencia. Pueden inculcar ideas independientes e incluso
de rebeldía en las cabezas de sus súbditos.
----------------------------- v -------------------------------
"Tyrants and autocrats have always understood that literacy,
learning, books and newspapers are potentially dangerous.
They can put independent and even rebelious ideas to the heads
of their subjects."
----------------------------- v -------------------------------
-- Sagan, Carl (1997). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle
in the Dark : El mundo y sus demonios: La ciencia como una luz en la
oscuridad. México: Planeta, p. 390; New York: Ballantine Books, p. 362.

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