Book Review: Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own
3 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2011 Last revised: 9 Oct 2015
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: digital commons, open-source, creative commons
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