Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sharing v. control: one of the defining battles of our time

Charles Leadbeater just released OA versions of the first three chapters (1, 2, 3) of his new book, We Think (Profile, March 2008).  Also see two videos of him discussing the book's ideas (1, 2).  From his summary:

We Think explores how the web is changing our world, creating a culture in which more people than ever can participate, share and collaborate, ideas and information.

Ideas take life when they are shared. That is why the web is such a potent platform for creativity and innovation.

It's also at the heart of why the web should be good for : democracy, by giving more people a voice and the ability to organise themselves; freedom, by giving more people the opportunity to be creative and equality, by allowing knowledge to be set free.

But sharing also brings with it dilemmas....

Everywhere we turn there will be struggles between people who want to freely share - music, films, ideas, information - and those who want to control this activity, either corporations who want to make money or governments who fear debate and democracy. This conflict between the rising surge of mass collaboration and attempts to retain top down control will be one of the defining battles of our time, from Communist China, to Microsoft's battle with open source and the music industry's desperate rearguard action against the web....