The Juncker administration is making encouraging noises about our virtual world. A recent interview with Robert Madelin, director general of the European Commission’s Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT) department talked about high-speed connectivity, an associated 300 billion euro investment, and looking again at enshrining a ‘fair use’ approach to copyright. The EU knows this is a priority, but will action be underpinned with a commitment to Yochai Benkler’s networked information economy? Benkler’s ‘Wealth of Networks’ may be old, but his analysis of how the ‘institutional ecology of proprietary business models’ is running head on into emergent social practices is still powerful, as is his point that a core common infrastructure is part of the solution. The European Commission’s latest digital agenda scorecard shows only a tiny proportion of households have a subscription of over 100 Megabytes per second (MBPS). Benkler again- countries “don’t lack creativity but the basic tools of innovation”, so an EU administration that is prepared to tackle both digital pipework and our access to what comes down it, would be very welcome.
http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_Of_Networks.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/sites/digital-agenda/files/digital_agenda_targets_overall_2014_final_may_2014_green_v2.jpg http://www.euractiv.com/sections/innovation-enterprise/robert-madelin-eu-not-putting-its-money-where-its-mouth-broadband