The Knowledge Society – a Freedom Centred Perspective

The core team behind the Free Knowledge Institute publishes an article about the Knowledge Society from a freedom centred perspective. This week it is presented by David Jacovkis at the Free Culture Research Conference in Berlin.

There has been much discussion in recent years about the Information Society, the knowledge economy, network economy, postindustrial society, post-scarcity society and a large etcetera of terms to indicate the ‘new’ times in which we live. In fact, almost any self respecting country has its own government department and policies for it. We might wonder however how new the Information Society is, what were it's original premises as formulated by policy makers and later how the development of the Internet changed so many things, including these policies. By studying these questions, even if briefly, we hope to put in perspective the current debates around the Internet and the ownership of knowledge.

In this article we will briefly explore the rise of the Information Society and argue for a knowledge society that encourages individual freedoms while not diminishing others. We question some of the efforts to bring the Internet under control by specific interest groups. Some of those groups are at the same time firm advocates of increasingly stronger copyright and patent regimes. The need for such state granted monopolies is discussed from a critical point of view to review whether the granting of such strong monopolies is justified in order to achieve the declared goals.

The main content of the article has been previously published also in the Open Source Yearbook 2010 under the title "The Knowledge Society"1.

Find here a PDF version of the paper (179Kb).

1. Tebbens, Wouter & Ten Berge, Hinde & Jacovkis, David. (2010). The Knowledge Society. Open Source Jaarboek 2010. MediaUpdate Vakpublicaties, Gorredijk (The Netherlands).