Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers Into Collaborators by Clay Shirky
With Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky reveals how new digital technology is unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world. For the first time, people are embracing new media that allow them to pool their efforts at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range from mind-expanding reference tools like Wikipedia to life-saving Web sites like Ushahidi.com, which allows Kenyans to report acts of violence in real time. Cognitive Surplus explores what’s possible when people unite to use their intellect, energy, and time for the greater good.
Link: Cognitive Surplus
The Master Switch: The Rise And Fall Of Information Empires by Tim Wu
It is easy to forget that every development in the history of the American information industry–from the telephone to radio to film–once existed in an open and chaotic marketplace inhabited by entrepreneurs and utopians, just as the Internet does today. Each of these, however, grew to be dominated by a monopolist or cartel. In this pathbreaking book, Tim Wu asks: will the Internet follow the same fate?
Link: The Master Switch
Consent Of The Networked by Rebecca MacKinnon
Sudden changes in Facebook’s features and privacy settings have exposed identities of protestors to police in Egypt and Iran. Apple removes politically controversial apps at the behest of governments as well as for its own commercial reasons. Dozens of Western companies sell surveillance technology to dictatorships around the world. Google struggles with censorship demands from governments in a range of countries—many of them democracies—as well as mounting public concern over the vast quantities of information it collects about its users.
Link: Consent Of The Networked
Fair Use: How To Put The Balance Back In Copyright
In the increasingly complex and combative arena of copyright in the digital age, record companies sue college students over peer-to-peer music sharing, YouTube removes home movies because of a song playing in the background, and filmmakers are denied a distribution deal when some permissions “i” proves undottable. Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi chart a clear path through the confusion by urging a robust embrace of a principle long-embedded in copyright law, but too often poorly understood—fair use.
Link: Reclaiming Fair Use
Freedom Of Expression by Kembrew McLeod
Freedom of Expression® covers the ways in which intellectual property laws have been used to privatize all forms of expression—from guitar riffs and Donald Trump’s “you’re fired” gesture to human genes and public space—and in the process stifle creative expression. Kembrew McLeod challenges the blind embrace of privatization as it clashes against our right to free speech and shared resources.
Link: Freedom Of Expression