The Wealth of Networks:
How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
by Yochai Benkler, Yale University Press

Copyright 2006, Yochai Benkler.


This online version has been created under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike license - see - and has been reformatted and designated as recommended reading for the Education Committee of CONGO - the Conference Of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations - in conjunction with the Committee's commitment to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World and related international Decades, agreements, conventions and treaties.


"Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing."

"Such are the differences among human beings in their sources of pleasure, their susceptibilities of pain, and the operation on them of different physical and moral agencies, that unless there is a corresponding diversity in their modes of life, they neither obtain their fair share of happiness, nor grow up to the mental, moral, and aesthetic stature of which their nature is capable."

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)



  1. Introduction: A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge

Part I: The Networked Information Economy

  1. Some Basic Economics of Information Production and Innovation
  2. Peer Production and Sharing
  3. The Economics of Social Production

Part II: The Networked Information Economy

  1. Individual Freedom: Autonomy, Information, and Law
  2. Political Freedom Part 1: The Trouble with Mass Media
  3. Political Freedom Part 2: Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere
  4. Cultural Freedom: A Culture Both Plastic and Critical
  5. Justice and Development
  6. Social Ties: Networking Together

Part III: Policies of Freedom at a Moment of Transformation

  1. The Battle Over the Institutional Ecology of the Digital Environment
  2. Conclusion: The Stakes of Information Law and Policy