Guido Noto La Diega

The Commons in the Age of Rematerialisation. The Internet of Things between Openness and Collective Resistance

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Internet of Things; beni comuni; open source; resistenza collettiva; occupazioni; smart anticommons

The Internet of Things (IoT) heralds an era of unprecedented opportunities for capitalists to deploy new extractive practices leading to a third enclosure of the commons. The reason for that is what we call rematerialisation, namely the incorporation of immaterial goods (software, data, digital contents, even services) into material ones, which gives rise to a new category of hybrid good: the smart device. As the world – including its most private spaces i.e., the home and the body – becomes embedded with sensors and actuators, IoT companies can extend their techno-legal power (stemming from a combination of contracts, Intellectual Property Rights, technological protection measures, and factual controls) to each component of our smart devices and systems. Knowledge being a commons, these powers lead to a tragedy of the anti-commons well illustrated by the transformation of our entire existence into data flows that are appropriated, re-used, and monetised by the smart capitalists. Against this backdrop, this article sets forth a strategy to counter the third enclosure by relying on the commons in the twofold sense of openness and alliances to collectively subvert smart power.

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