Rishab Ghosh

Rishab Aiyer Ghosh is Program Leader at the International Institute of Infonomics at Maastricht University. He was one of the founders and is the current managing editor of First Monday, the peer-reviewed Internet journal.

  • CODE

    CODE

    Collaborative Ownership and the Digital Economy

    Rishab Ghosh

    How "open source" creative collaboration provides an alternative to commercially driven policies determining intellectual property rights.

    Open source software is considered by many to be a novelty and the open source movement a revolution. Yet the collaborative creation of knowledge has gone on for as long as humans have been able to communicate. CODE looks at the collaborative model of creativity—with examples ranging from collective ownership in indigenous societies to free software, academic science, and the human genome project—and finds it an alternative to proprietary frameworks for creativity based on strong intellectual property rights.

    Intellectual property rights, argues Rishab Ghosh in his introduction, were ostensibly developed to increase creativity; but today, policy decisions that treat knowledge and art as if they were physical forms of property actually threaten to decrease creativity, limit public access to creativity, and discourage collaborative creativity. "Newton should have had to pay a license fee before being allowed even to see how tall the 'shoulders of giants' were, let alone to stand upon them," he writes.

    The contributors to CODE, from such diverse fields as economics, anthropology, law, and software development, examine collaborative creativity from a variety of perspectives, looking at new and old forms of creative collaboration and the mechanisms emerging to study them. Discussing the philosophically resonant issues of ownership, property, and the commons, they ask if the increasing application of the language of property rights to knowledge and creativity constitutes a second enclosure movement—or if the worldwide acclaim for free software signifies a renaissance of the commons. Two concluding chapters offer concrete possibilities for both alternatives, with one proposing the establishment of "positive intellectual rights" to information and another issuing a warning against the threats to networked knowledge posed by globalization.

    Contributors Philippe Aigrain, Yochai Benkler, Boatema Boateng, David Bollier, James Boyle, John Henry Clippinger, Paul Allen David, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Cori Hayden, Tim Hubbard, Christopher Kelty, James Leach, James Love, Fred Meyers, Anthony Seeger, Richard Stallman, Marilyn Strathern

    • Hardcover $37.50 £30.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00

Contributor

  • Opening Standards

    Opening Standards

    The Global Politics of Interoperability

    Laura DeNardis

    The economic and political stakes in the current heated debates over “openness” and open standards in the Internet's architecture.

    Openness is not a given on the Internet. Technical standards—the underlying architecture that enables interoperability among hardware and software from different manufacturers—increasingly control individual freedom and the pace of innovation in technology markets. Heated battles rage over the very definition of “openness” and what constitutes an open standard in information and communication technologies. In Opening Standards, experts from industry, academia, and public policy explore just what is at stake in these controversies, considering both economic and political implications of open standards. The book examines the effect of open standards on innovation, on the relationship between interoperability and public policy (and if government has a responsibility to promote open standards), and on intellectual property rights in standardization—an issue at the heart of current global controversies. Finally, Opening Standards recommends a framework for defining openness in twenty-first-century information infrastructures.

    Contributors discuss such topics as how to reflect the public interest in the private standards-setting process; why open standards have a beneficial effect on competition and Internet freedom; the effects of intellectual property rights on standards openness; and how to define standard, open standard, and software interoperability.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99