Four people on my blogroll -- Lawrence Lessig, David Weinberger (who has the best summary), Bruno Giussani and John Bracken -- this week posted that Yochai Benkler's book of this title is out. Actually, the PDF version is available for free download but when I ordered a copy from Amazon, it said it wouldn't be shipped for a month. I've read only the introduction so far, but the treatment seems compelling and I look forward to reading the whole thing. The PDF will travel with me across the country three times next month, so maybe I'll finish reading it on my tablet before the hard copy arrives. Here's the Amazon description:
"With the radical changes in information production that the Internet has introduced, we stand at an important moment of transition, says Yochai Benkler in this thought-provoking book. The phenomenon he describes as social production is reshaping markets, while at the same time offering new opportunities to enhance individual freedom, cultural diversity, political discourse, and justice. But these results are by no means inevitable: a systematic campaign to protect the entrenched industrial information economy of the last century threatens the promise of today’s emerging networked information environment. ¶ In this comprehensive social theory of the Internet and the networked information economy, Benkler describes how patterns of information, knowledge, and cultural production are changing—and shows that the way information and knowledge are made available can either limit or enlarge the ways people can create and express themselves. He describes the range of legal and policy choices that confront us and maintains that there is much to be gained—or lost—by the decisions we make today."
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School has a podcast of Prof. Benkler discussing this book. MP3, 38 MB. You don't need an iPod, iTunes or any other portable thingy to listen to podcasts. Your computer works just fine. Link: Berkman Center.