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Capital, knowledge and ownership : the information society and intellectual property.

May, Christopher (1998) Capital, knowledge and ownership : the information society and intellectual property. Information, Communication and Society, 1 (3). pp. 246-269. ISSN 1468-4462

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Abstract

The argument that the information society represents 'something new' is predicated on the claim that its use of a new resource — knowledge/information — fundamentally differentiates it from previous systems of capitalism. However the actual organization of the posited information society constructs a widespread recognition of the legitimacy of intellectual property. The article examines the two central claims for transformation made in the information society discourse: that information is a new resource, and that increasingly it is theoretical or symbolic knowledge that is valued. However, neither shift has produced a change in the relations of production, and much that is claimed as new in information society is actually the fragmentation of the social division of labour. Though there have been changes in the forms of production, the relations of production remain organized on the basis of property, though often now intellectual property. This reveals the discourse of information society as a justification for the intensification of capitalism, not an account of its transformation.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Information, Communication and Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capitalism ; division of labour ; information society ; intellectual property rights
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 35562
Deposited By: Mr Richard Ingham
Deposited On: 24 Jan 2011 11:18
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:53
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/35562

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