Popular Media

Book Review of Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks

Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks is a comprehensive, informative, and challenging meditation on the rise of the “networked information economy” and its implications for society, politics, and culture. Benkler, the Lillian R. Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Harvard Law School, is a leading authority on the law, economics, and politics of networks, innovation, intellectual property, and the Internet, and he puts his wide knowledge and deep understanding to good use. He argues that the digital revolution is more revolutionary than has been recognized, even by its most passionate defenders. The new information and communications technologies do not simply make the old ways of doing things more efficient, but also support fundamentally new ways of doing things. In particular, the past few years have seen the rise of social production, a radically decentralized, distributed mode of interaction that Benkler calls “commons-based peer production.”

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