acts have formed what many have been calling a second enclosure movement: A concerted effort to shape the institutional ecology in order to help proprietary models of information production at the expense of burdening nonmarket, nonproprietary production.1 The new enclosure movement is not driven purely by avarice and rent seeking--though it has much of that too. Some of its components are based in well-meaning judicial and regulatory choices that represent a particular conception of innovation and its relationship to exclusive rights. That conception, focused on mass-mediatype content, movies, and music, and on pharmaceutical-style innovation systems, is highly solicitous of the exclusive rights that are the bread and butter of those culturally salient formats. It is also suspicious of, and detrimental to, the forms of nonmarket, commons-based production emerging in the networked information economy. This new enclosure movement has been the subject of sustained and diverse academic critique since the mid-1980s.2 The core of this rich critique has been that the cases and statutes of the past decade or so have upset the traditional balance, in copyrights in particular, between seeking to create incentives through the grant of exclusive rights and assuring access to information through the judicious limitation of these rights and the privileging of various uses. I do not seek to replicate that work here, or to offer a comprehensive listing of all the regulatory moves that have increased the scope of proprietary rights in digital communications networks. Instead, I offer a way of framing these various changes as moves in a large-scale battle over the institutional ecology of the digital environment. By "institutional ecology," I mean to say that institutions matter to behavior, but in ways that are more complex than usually considered in economic models. They interact with the technological state, the cultural conceptions of behaviors, and with incumbent and emerging social practices that may be motivated not only by self-maximizing behavior, but also by a range of other social and psychological motivations. In this complex ecology, institutions--most prominently, law--affect these other parameters, and are, in turn, affected by them. Institutions coevolve with technology and with social and market behavior. This coevolution leads to periods of relative stability, punctuated by periods of disequilibrium, which may be caused by external shocks or internally generated phase shifts. During these moments, the various parameters will be out of step, and will pull and tug at the pattern of behavior, at the technology, and at the institutional forms of the behavior. After the tugging and pulling has shaped the various parameters in ways that are more con- sistent with each other, we should expect to see periods of relative stability and coherence. Chapter 11 is devoted to an overview of the range of discrete policy areas that are shaping the institutional ecology of digital networks, in which proprietary, market-based models of information production compete with those that are individual, social, and peer produced. In almost all contexts, when presented with a policy choice, advanced economies have chosen to regulate information production and exchange in ways that make it easier to pursue a proprietary, exclusion-based model of production of entertainment goods at the expense of commons- and service-based models of information production and exchange. This has been true irrespective of the political party in power in the United States, or the cultural differences in the salience of market orientation between Europe and the United States. However, the technological trajectory, the social practices, and the cultural understanding are often working at cross-purposes with the regulatory impulse. The equilibrium on which these conflicting forces settle will shape, to a large extent, the way in which information, knowledge, and culture are produced and used over the coming few decades. Chapter 12 concludes the book with an overview of what we have seen about the political economy of information and what we might therefore understand to be at stake in the policy choices that liberal democracies and advanced economies will be making in the coming years.
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