Experimental Interaction – Reading Assignment

The non-rivalrous nature of knowledge is central to human freedom. In traditional proprietary modes, it is argued that copyright and patents are key supports for information markets. In page 25, it is said that “innovation would not occur without a strong incentive system for the innovator to to exploit for commercial gain.” Here, the proprietary ideology imposes extra costs to those buying information from the ‘brilliant individual author’. In terms of artistic creation and production, the integrity of  cultural products is now suboptimal as the focus is now on profits, such as creating films for the purpose of selling toys to children and adults. Whilst traditional proprietary modes are beneficial for large businesses, creative individuals receive the short end of the stick as “openness was now being criminalised”(pg 26).


Benkler argues that “the assumption that people will only produce information if they are monetarily compensated is false” (Benkler, 2008). As such, this has an effect on creators who stand against the restrictions over technology and creative processes. The Free Software Foundation (pg 26) shows that a community of dedicated creators is needed to create new markets and audiences around non-rivalrous goods. Through this, it has drastically changed the cost of computer networking technology, in which now peer-to-peer social interaction allows for information and cultural production to come together, replacing commercial forms of cultural production. In terms of artistic creation and production, commons based peer production results in a decentralised network that reduces barriers to entry for individuals who are creating out of passion, rather than monetary gain.


As such, peer-to-peer social interaction has departed from the traditional proprietary modes as commons based peer production results a greater quality of cultural products, however is not able to enjoy commercial gain, unlike the traditional proprietary models.