Reinforcing Property by Strengthening the Commons: A New Media Policy Paradigm?

  • Peter Jakobsson Södertörn University
  • Fredrik Stiernstedt Södertörn University
Keywords: cultural commons, digital enclosures, media policy, social media, capitalism, critical political economy


In much scholarly writing and in many leftist and activist accounts the enclosures of the cultural commons have been fiercely critiqued. However, during the last years, new media business models, that challenge the notion of the cultural industries as “copyright industries”, has been taking shape. A new class of entrepreneurs is instead working to expand the commons as part of their businesses. Accordingly, representatives from these new media industries, policy makers, and politicians have joined the academic and political critique of the “enclosures of the cultural common”. The paper argues that this is a shift within the dominant media policy paradigm and an attempt to integrate existing practices on the Internet, based on cooperation and sharing, into the market. By relocating the struggle from “intellectual property” to “platform economics”, the media industry can exploit the productivity of the commons while holding on to the power that comes with ownership and property.
"Critical Theory and Political Economy of the Internet @ Nordmedia 2011" (ed. Christian Fuchs, Göran Bolin)