Digital and Analog Logics: An Analysis of the Discourse on Property Rights and Information Goods
Karim Jetha, Nicholas Berente, and John Leslie King
We examine arguments both for strengthening property rights and expanding the public domain for digital information goods. Specifically, we conduct a Toulminian analysis of arguments made at a cross-disciplinary symposium at Duke Law School on information goods and the public domain. We find that there are two “logics” underlying arguments on issues related to information goods: what we describe as digital and analog logics. We also identify five argument categories – profit motive, economic efficiency, innovation, ethics and fundamental rights, and temporality – and two different timeframes used for judging impacts – proximal and distal. We conclude with a number of theory-generating propositions and a provocation for our conceptions of capitalism in the digital age.
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