Call for Papers: Cultures and Ethics of Sharing


International conference, 18/19 November, 2011, Innsbruck.
Call for Papers (pdf)

Submission deadline for abstracts: 8 July, 2011. Please mail your abstract to Wolfgang Sützl

Sharing has emerged as one of the core cultural values native to the networked environment where information has many properties of a classic public good, that is, it is non-rivalrous in use and non-excludable in access. As Manuel Castells (2009, p. 126) puts it: “In our society, the protocols of communication are not based on the sharing of culture but on the culture of sharing.”

IT-based innovation has increasingly impacted on the way individuals share information and recently forced society into a discourse about what can, should, must or even must not be shared. Yet, the sharing of information has been discussed primarily from the point of view of copyright (free licenses, law enforcement, law reforms) and from the economic perspective (new modes of production, business models, potential to turn around industries, financing the ‘first copy’). With this conference, we move beyond these aspects and shift the focus to the cultural and normative dimensions of sharing. What are the values embedded in this informational ‘culture of sharing’? How do they differ across various contexts, organizational and social practices? How do these relate to, transform, and possibly conflict with other value sets dominant in organizations and society? How does the widespread use of online sharing platforms affect organizations and society? With this international conference, and subsequent publications in suitable format (online and/or offline) we aim to contribute to a better understanding of the promises, benefits and challenges of the cultural paradigm of sharing in different contexts.

Conference editors: Theo Hug, Ronald Maier, Felix Stalder and Wolfgang Sützl