At the foundations of information justice
- 175 Downloads
Is there such a thing as information justice? In this paper, I argue that the current state of the information economy, particularly as it regards information and computing technology (ICT), is unjust, conferring power disproportionately on the information-wealthy at great expense to the information-poor. As ICT becomes the primary method for accessing and manipulating information, it ought to be treated as a foundational layer of the information economy. I argue that by maximizing the liberties (freedom to use, freedom to distribute, freedom to modify, and so on) associated with certain computer software, an incentives-rich and stable environment can be established in ICT that will foster development of the information economy among the information poor. I suggest that the now-mature Free and Open Source Software paradigm, which has already produced widely-used enterprise-class applications, can be harnessed in support of these ends.
KeywordsInformation and computer technology Information justice Information economy Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aristotle, (2001). Politics. In R. McKeon (Ed.), The basic works of Aristotle. NY: Modern Library.Google Scholar
- BSA (Business Software Alliance) and IDC (International Data Corp.). (2005, May). Third Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy study. Washington, DC: BSA.Google Scholar
- Butcher, M. (2009, forthcoming). Book review: Decoding liberation. APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computing, 9(1).Google Scholar
- Butcher, M. (forthcoming). Should non-original databases be copyrightable? (Contact the author for copies).Google Scholar
- Chopra, S., & Dexter, S. (2007). Decoding liberation: The promise of free and open source software. NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Circular 92: Copyright Law of the United States of America. (2003). June. Washington, DC: U.S. GPTO.Google Scholar
- Creative Commons. Creative Commons. http://creativecommons.org/. Accessed 31 Jan 2007.
- Faden, E. (2007). A fair(y) use tail. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/documentary-film-program/film/a-fair-y-use-tale. Accessed 17 Nov 2007.
- Feller, J., Fitzgerald, B., Hissam, S. A., & Lakhani, K. R. (2005). Perspectives on free and open source software. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Gasper, D. (2004). Human well-being: Concepts and conceptualizations. United Nations University: WIDER.Google Scholar
- Ghosh, R. A. (2004). CODE: Collaborative ownership and the digital economy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- GNU Free Documentation License. (2002). Nov. GNU.org. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html. Accessed 31 Jan 2007.
- Gosh, R. A. (2003). License fees and GDP per capita: The case for open source in developing countries. Fist Monday, 8(12), December. http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_12/ghosh/index.html. Accessed 12 Nov 2006.
- Hirsch, T. (2003, Aug 1). Seed battle heads to Supreme Court. BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3116713.stm. Accessed 1 Feb 2007.
- Khiem, P. G. (2004, March 2). Decision no. 235/QD-TTg of March 2, 2004 approving the overall project on application and development of open-source software in Vietnam in the 2004–2008 period. Ministry of Posts and Telematics, Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam. http://www.mpt.gov.vn/details_law_e.asp?LawDoc_ID=100138. Accessed 28 Jan 2007.
- Krishnamurthy, S. (2005). An analysis of open source business models. In J. Feller, B. Fitzgerald, S. A. Hissam, & K. R. Lakhani (Eds.), Perspectives on free and open source software (pp. 279–296). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- LaMonica, M. (2005, Sept. 23). Massachusetts moves ahead sans Microsoft. C|Net News.Com. http://news.com.com/2100-1012_3-5878869.html. Accessed 31 Jan 2007.
- Leonard, A. (2006, Jan 12). Free Software, Big Oil, and Venezuelan Politics. Salon.Com, How the World Works column. http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2006/01/12/venezuela/index.html. Accessed 30 Jan 2007.
- Lerner, J., & Tirole, J. (2005). Economic perspectives on open source. In J. Feller, B. Fitzgerald, S. A. Hissam, & K. R. Lakhani (Eds.), Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (pp. 47–78). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Lessig, L. (2003). Law regulating code regulating law. Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal, 35, 1–14.Google Scholar
- Lessig, L. (2004). Free culture: How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity. NY: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Lessig, L. (2006). Code, V.2. Ch1, Part 2. http://codebook.jot.com/Book/Chapter1/Ch1Part2. Accessed 4 Dec 2006.
- Mill, J. S. (1859/1956). On liberty. NY: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
- Miller, F. (2002). Aristotle’s political theory. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/. Accessed 29 Jan 2007.
- Mossberger, K., Tolbert, C. J., & Stansbury, M. (2003). Virtual inequality: Beyond the digital divide. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
- National Basketball Association vs. Motorola, Inc. (1997). 105 F.3d 841 (2d Cir. 1997).Google Scholar
- Netcraft. (2007, January). January 2007 Web Server Survey. Netcraft.Com. http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html. Accessed 31 Jan. 2007.
- One Laptop per Child. One Laptop Per Child. http://laptop.org. Accessed 31 Jan 2007.
- Perens, B., et al. The Open Source Definition: Version 1.9. The Open Source Initiative. http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php. Accessed 9 Nov 2006.
- Red Flag Software. http://www.redflag-linux.com/eindex.html. Accessed 31 Jan 2007.
- Shrader-Frechette, K. (2006). Gene Patents and Lockean constraints. Public Affairs Quarterly, 20(2), 135–161.Google Scholar
- Sojo, C. A. (2004, Dec. 8). PDVSA moves to Open Source too: Venezuela embraces Linux and Open Source Software, but faces challenges. Venezuela Analysis. http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1439. Accessed 28 Jan 2007.
- Staff writer (2003, Nov. 3). Vietnam government opts for open source. CNET Asia. http://www.silicon.com/management/government/0,39024677,39116719,00.htm. Accessed 26 Jan 2007.
- Stallman, R., et al. The Free Software definition. Free Software Foundation. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html. Accessed 23 Oct 2006.
- Sunstein, C. (1997). Free markets and social justice. NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Trout, J. D. (2009). Overcoming the empathy gap. NY: Viking.Google Scholar
- Truscello, M. (2003). The architecture of information: Open Source Software and tactical poststructuralist anarchism. Postmodern Culture, 13(3).Google Scholar
- Vaidhayanathan, S. (2001). Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity. NY: NYU Press.Google Scholar
- “Welcome to Rosetta.” Launchpad Project, Ubuntu. https://translations.launchpad.net/. Accessed 31 Jan 2007.
- Wilpert, G. (2003, Aug. 30). The economics, culture, and politics of oil in Venezuela. Venezuela Analysis. http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1000. 29 Jan 2007.
- WIPO. (1979). Berne convention for the protection of artistic and literary works. World Intellectual Property Organization. http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/. Accessed 4 Dec 2006.