Knowledge as a global public good
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Societies without borders
, p. 157-174
This paper argues that knowledge should be considered as a global public good first and as a private right second. The argument is underpinned by the claim that the growing movements for source-, data-, and knowledge-sharing (Open Access, Open Source, Open Courseware, etc.) have enhanced our ability to facilitate the global production and dissemination of 'knowledge', so that more people in the world can enjoy its benefits. In contrast with the existing intellectual property regime - which does not succeed in balancing the public and private gains of knowledge - these movements and their corollary technologies have improved peoples' access to knowledge goods and services. By enabling less developed countries to tap into the global knowledge pool they have also provided a new context to rethink the 'digital divide'