chapter  1
8 Pages


In 2006, Nicholas Carr, a prolifi c blogger and a successful writer on technology and business, and Yochai Benkler, a professor of law and author of the infl uential book The Wealth of Networks, made an interesting wager on the long-term sustainability of commons-based peer production. The term ‘commons-based peer production’ was coined by Benkler to describe a new form of economic production in which the efforts of a large number of individuals distributed across the globe are coordinated to produce complex goods without the need for centralized control, and often without monetary reward. Benkler’s position was that by 2011 most of the content produced on social media sites-such as Flickr, a popular photo-sharing site, and YouTube, a video-sharing platform-would still be generated by amateurs working without payment. Carr, on the other hand, was convinced that the main reason why these collectives were operating outside the price system was because a market had yet to emerge that puts a price on their contributions and skills.