I finally got around to reading this after a wobbly and sometime libcom poster recommended it a couple of years ago. Has anyone else read it? I'm not too up on digital culture stuff, but I thought it was an interesting read.
The two key concepts are 'venture communism' and 'copyfarleft'. The former looks to expand self-managed production (peer-to-peer production) beyond immaterial production (i.e. free software) into material production (so that workers can produce things they need to live). The latter emerges from a critique of Creative Commons licences as a veiled mechanism of privatisation rather than creating a commons (which could be drawn on by commons-based self-managed production to earn a living - analogous to peasants grazing livestock on common land - while denying access to capitalist firms).
I guess I have several questions about it...
- (How) does the usual critique of self-management under capitalism apply to production not oriented to the market/oriented directly to the production of use values?
- (How) could copyfarleft licences allow workers to develop commons whilst earning a living?
- (How) would 'venture communes' differ from workers co-ops, and to what extent would the critiques of workers co-ops under capitalism apply?
- (How) could venture communes be applied to questions of material social reproduction? Housing? Urban agriculture?
- How does the consciously non-prefigurative strategy of turning capitalist legal forms (the firm, copyright) against their purposes relate to communism as class struggle?
- Does the argument that we need to build up wealth to challenge the political power of capital hold-up? While it's true that unions have been co-opted into capitalism, could venture communes avoid this fate?
- Does non-capitalist wealth, as commons, make sense in a capitalist society?
I don't know exactly where I stand on all these questions, but I'd like to hear others' thoughts. I found the emphasis on expanding freely associated production beyond the immaterial realm and the critique of copyright origin myths/creative commons pretty useful.