Ultimately, there is an irreconcilable incompatibility between the idea of free information and the existence of corporations that profit from its commodification. The battle to make information free is the battle for an entirely different world, one characterized by public luxury—an abundance of commons, and a corresponding dearth of parasitic corporations extracting rent by enclosing ones and zeroes. The open-source movement opens a crack in the economic edifice, but only a small one; if it wants to be anything more, it’ll need to embrace a bolder vision for reclaiming the commons. Only then can it reclaim its long-buried emancipatory soul.

Wendy Liu

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