How to Think about Intellectual Property of Open Source Software from a Feminist Political Economic Perspective?

By Micky Lee.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper asserts that a feminist political economic perspective enriches the understanding of how intellectual property of software is related to an equitable information society. This approach is used to examine how F/OSS may contribute to a people-centred and development-oriented information society. Three questions are asked: (1) Is it helpful to view F/OSS as market or non-market production? (2) How is F/OSS distributed and marketed? (3) How does F/OSS rely on gendered labour? By analysing existing writings on F/OSS, it is concluded that market production should not be privileged over other modes of production; state intervention is required to ensure an equitable distribution of F/OSS; and gendered labour needs to be made visible in the F/OSS production.

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Open Source Software, Feminist Political Economy

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.107-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 673.102KB).

Dr. Micky Lee

Assistant Professor in Media Studies, Department of Communication and Journalism, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Micky Lee is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Suffolk University, Boston. She obtained her PhD from the University of Oregon and has previously taught at Ithaca College, New York. Her research interests include international communication and the political economy of telecommunications, information and new information and communication technologies. Her work has appeared in Continuum: The Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies, Information, Communication, and Society, International Communication Gazette, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, Javnost-The Public, and Media, Culture, and Society.

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