Book Review: Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own

Julie Graves Krishnaswami

Yale Law School

April 8, 2009

Book review of David Bollier's Viral Spiral (2008). The Internet today is controlled chaos: user-generated content on Web 2.0 platforms, blogs by citizen-journalists, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the photo-sharing community of Flickr, digital remixes of music and videos, wikis, open-access journals, and e-books. The Web has been transformed and a new cultural movement - known as "Free Culture" or "the commons" - is underway. Members of the Free Culture movement (commoners) value collaboration, share intellectual property, are self-directed, and resourceful. Yet these trailblazing individuals are simultaneously entrepreneurial and well-aware of traditional market forces. In Viral Spiral: A History of Our Movement, David Bollier argues that these values and behaviors are "history-making," creating a "new species of citizenship in modern life" and over time "this citizenship and the culture that it is fostering are likely to be a politically transforming force." This text is highly recommended for any law library’s collection.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 3

Keywords: digital commons, open-source, creative commons

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Date posted: February 11, 2011 ; Last revised: October 9, 2015

Suggested Citation

Krishnaswami, Julie Graves, Book Review: Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own (April 8, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1654568 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1654568

Contact Information

Julie Graves Krishnaswami (Contact Author)
Yale Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
2034327934 (Phone)
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