<CPOV> The costs of knowledge

Andreas Kemper andreas.erich.kemper at googlemail.com
Tue Mar 23 16:41:30 CET 2010

There are programs to find the main-authors. It didn't seem to be the big
problem to find the main-authors in Wikipedia. We had in the German
Wikipedia a big discussion about the question: should we name the
main-authors in the beginning of a Wikipedia-article

and we had also a big discussion about VG Wort/Metis:

and here is my blog-article about the solidarity economy in Wikipedia:
where I published the possibility to get royalty from the state for

All this articles are in German language, sorry.

The most Wikipedia-articles have enough clicks per year to get the royalty
from VG-Wort/Metis, so Wikimedia and the German Wikipedia-Authors could get
each year a big peace of the cake (12 million Euro!), Matthias Schindler
spokes about 5 million Euro.

2010/3/23 Juliana Brunello <juliana at networkcultures.org>

> Wow, I wasn't aware of such a possibility!
> However, I don't know how exactly this would work in the case of
> Wikipedia. Articles are edited by a different number of authors, so how to
> compensate them? Divide equally? Divide per word count? How should it
> actually be measured and is it possible to automate the process?
> Juliana
> > Hi Juliana
> >
> > Thats really a necessary question.
> > We had in the germanspeaking Wikipedia in the last year trouble about
> it.
> >
> > In Germany you can get money from the state, if you are publishing books
> or
> > articles. And since two years you can get money, if you publish
> > internet-articles. If your internet-article has enough clicks, than you
> can
> > get 30-40 € for each article. If your article is published by an
> organization, than you get 60% and the organization gets 40% of the
> royalty.
> > Each year the internet-authors in Germany get 12 million € from
> the state
> > (from VG-Wort).
> >
> > I was in contact with VG-Wort and they told me, they want also give
> money
> > to
> > Wikipedia / the Wikipeda-Authors. But the Wikimedia-Foundation and the
> German chapter didn't want to have the money. They didn't told anything
> to
> > the German authors. The ideology: Wikipedia-Authors have a lot of fun,
> if
> > they write articles for Wikipedia. It's not work, it's a hobby.
> >
> > If there an internet-content-organization is not part of the VG-Wort,
> than
> > the internet-authors can get a special distribution. VG Wort was giving
> around three € for each article (if it has enough clicks). It's
> not much
> > money for one article, but some authors have written thousands of
> articles.
> > The German Wikimedia-Chapter knows about this special distribution, but
> they
> > didn't inform the Wikipedia-Authors about this easy possibility to get
> money
> > for their work.
> >
> > Best
> > Andreas
> >
> > 2010/3/23 Juliana Brunello <juliana at networkcultures.org>
> >
> >> Hi all,
> >> This is a two paragraph quote from a text published at firstmonday
> called
> >> ‘Signs of epistemic disruption: Transformations in the knowledge
> system of the academic journal’ by William W. Cope and Mary
> Kalantzis.
> >>
> http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2309/2163
> I find their questions not only interesting, but necessary.
> >> “Everybody who writes for Wikipedia has to have another source of
> income. What would happen to the global scholarly publishing industry
> if
> >> academics assumed collective and universal responsibility for self
> publishing, an industry supporting in 2004 a reported 250,000 employees
> worldwide with a US$65 billion turnover (Peters, 2007)? What would
> happen
> >> to scholarly associations and research institutes that have
> historically
> >> gained revenue from the sale of periodicals and books? An ironical
> consequence of a move to social production would, in the
> >> much–trumpeted era of the knowledge or creative economy, be to
> value
> >> knowledge making and creativity at zero when coal. How do knowledge
> workers eat and where do they live? Without doing away with the market
> entirely, we are consigning a good deal of knowledge work to
> involuntary
> >> volunteerism, unaccountable cross–subsidy, charity or penury. We
> know from experience the fate of workers in other domains of unpaid
> labor,
> >> such as the unpaid domestic work of women and carers. Making it free
> means
> >> that it is exploited. In the case of the knowledge economy, the
> exploiters
> >> are the likes of Google who take the unpaid work of social producers
> and
> >> make a fortune from it.
> >> …
> >> In this perspective, in this era of the new, digital media we might be
> witnessing no more than one of the old marvels of industrial capitalism
> — a technology that improves productivity. In the case of
> knowledge
> >> making, the efficiencies are so great — print encyclopedias vs.
> Wikipedia, celluloid movies vs. digital movies posted to YouTube, PDF
> journal articles vs. print journals — that we get the impression
> that the costs have reduced to nothing. But they have not. They have
> only
> >> been lowered. We have become too dazzled by the reduction in costs to
> notice the costs we are now paying. So low are these costs in fact that
> we
> >> are can even afford to make these cultural products in our spare time,
> and
> >> not worry too much about giving away the fruits of our labors to
> companies
> >> who have found ways to exploit them in newly emerging information
> markets.
> >> Knowledge is a product of human labor and it needs human labor to make
> it
> >> available. There can never be zero costs of production and distribution
> of
> >> knowledge and culture, theoretical or empirical. At most, there are
> productivity improvements. Far from ushering in a new mode of
> >> production,
> >> the driving force is more of the same engine that over the past few
> centuries has made capitalism what it is.”
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >
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