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ITIF Forum: “Info-Communism:” A Progressive Path Forward or a Political and Intellectual Dead End?

In the last decade, an intellectual and political movement has emerged both here in the United States and Europe to challenge exclusive property rights over informational goods and promote the concept of openness in communication-information policy. The movement goes by various labels: the “commons” movement; “free culture”; the “openness movement”. Among the goals of the movement include: free software, creative commons and other forms of resistance to copyright; opposition to software patents; and (in some cases) publicly-owned broadband networks and extreme net neutrality proposals.

Please join ITIF for a presentation by Syracuse University Professor Milton Mueller over the nature of the info-communism movement. Mueller will argue that while open-access commons and a widening public domain have many benefits, a pure info-communism is an intellectual and policy dead end, which ignores the many creative complementarities between property and commons regimes. Mueller will analyze the interaction of property and commons in information and communication and argue that we need to get to a more pragmatic discourse that treats certain critical resources as open access commons in some cases; while at the same time recognizing the benefits of markets organized around exclusive property rights in others.

Date: Tuesday, January 26th
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Location: ITIF, 1101 K Street, Washington, DC 20005, Suite 610 (map)

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Robert Atkinson (bio)
President, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation


Milton Mueller (bio)
Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University
Read Professor Mueller’s article "Info-Communism? Ownership and Freedom in the Digital Economy"


Patrick Ross (bio)
Executive Director, Copyright Alliance
View Patrick’s power point presentation

Jef Pearlman (bio)
Equal Justice Works Fellow, Public Knowledge

Video and audio from event