Informations and abstract
Keywords: information society, open content, sociology of knowledge, social network, web 2.0.
Born with the aim of creating an open and free encyclopaedia, with quality content, Wikipedia offers the opportunity to study the interactions between various dimensions of the information society from a sociological standpoint: technological, legal and cultural aspects. In particular, in Wikipedia we encounter the development of free software, the new legal means of safeguarding intellectual property, such as the copyleft licences and creative commons, hacker ethics and culture. The result of this encounter is a very complex organisation with social roles and regulations that operate at both a formal and an informal level. The functioning of Wikipedia and the attainment of its objectives is still an open question, beginning with the reliability of an encyclopaedia in which anyone, whatever their level of competence, can create or amend the items. Rather than offering definitive solutions to these problems, Wikipedia presents itself as a workshop in which the individuals can acquire the necessary cognitive resources for open management of knowledge in the information society.