Medialab Prado


Project for Spanish translation of The Wealth of Networks, by Yochai Benkler

Project proposed and coordinated by Florencio Cabello as part of the Commons Lab.

As the closing activity for this group, a seminar will be held with Yochai Benkler coordinated by Floren Cabello, professor of Audiovisual Communications Technology at the Universidad de Málaga (UMA), in collaboration with UMA students, from 29 June to 1 July 2010, co-organized by La Casa Invisible de Málaga.

> Translation seminar by Yochai Benkler (June 29 and 30, and July 1, 2010) [+info]

> Final presentation of the project on July 1, 2010 / 7 pm [+info]

[The Wealth of Networks] is by far the most important and powerful book written in the fields that matter most to me in the last ten years. If there is one book you must read this year, it should be The Wealth of Networks. [...] Read it. Understand it. You are not serious about these issues on either side of these debates unless you have read this book.

Lawrence Lessig  

In 2006 Harvard professor Yochai Benkler published The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. It is an extensive, ambitious work that includes most of Benkler’s brilliant contributions to the concept and range of the commons (we owe the lucid proposal of the three levels of the commons to him, for example) and develops the theses linking the commons, the economy and social production (specifically set forth in the article "Coase's Penguin, or, Linux and the Nature of the Firm", published in the Yale Law Journal in 2003).
This proposal to translate The Wealth of Networks into Spanish is based on the possibilities of making a non-commercial remix offered by the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike licence under which Benkler published it, in addition to prior contact with Benkler, who is enthusiastic about the project. The proposal also aims to further a research line that arose in 2008 in relation to a class in Audiovisual Communications Technology that I teach at the Universidad de Málaga (UMA) which seeks to add to the discussion about the commons and cyberspace through a careful publication in Spanish of some of the major works in this field.
This project is a continuation of the study and translation experiences I have been coordinating since 2008 and 2009 with students at the UMA. Those experiences, based on decentralized cooperation through a combination of work via wikis and onsite review meetings, have led to the preparation of Spanish versions of Lawrence Lessig’s two most recent works with the Traficantes de Sueños publishing house: Code: Version 2.0 (El Código 2.0) (published in June 2009) and Remix (soon to be released). This call aims to accomplish a translation for non-commercial purposes and a subsequent commercial publication available on paper and in electronic format as a way to enhance widespread distribution and dissemination. This proposal also means to continue organizing discussion seminars like the one organized by Ulex in Málaga in the first half of 2009 about Code: Version 2.0 (El Código 2.0).
This call is a response to Medialab-Prado’s invitation to enrich these past experiences by opening the collaboration up to interested persons from other cities who may not necessarily be linked to the university. We aspire to constitute a study/translation group that complements the existing one in Málaga, coordinating efforts in the frame of the Laboratorio del Procomún (Commons Laboratory) to carry out the Spanish translation of The Wealth of Networks.  

This call is for:

Curious people in general, with a good knowledge of English and the time to devote to a publishing task requiring meticulous attention, which we aim to complete in six months.
This proposal may be especially appealing for persons involved or interested in free software, free culture and commons movements, who explore and (re)discover non-reductionist forms of economic production linked to the commons and P2P processes (whether taking place in cyberspace or not, past and present, traditional and unpublished), as well as students of what is known as “cyber law” and public policies on communication and culture along the lines of “digital environmentalism”.


Methodology and work phases:

The project for translating The Wealth of Networks into Spanish will use the cooperative, decentralized translation methodology used in the experiences described above. In January, we plan to start dividing up the chapters of the work among mixed teams (made up of people from Málaga and the Laboratorio del Procomún), who will make their work accessible to the others via a wiki platform. At the same time, as of February, a series of biweekly discussion seminars will commence in Málaga about what has been translated to date.

In order to review this work and share opinions and handle comments on the wiki and debates arising in the seminars held in Málaga and Madrid, three joint coordination meetings will be held at Medialab-Prado on 14 January, 3 March and 6 May. In late June, we aim to have a complete translation of The Wealth of Networks to serve as the basis (in addition to a subsequent publication on paper and the Internet) for the organization of a final intensive session as part of the Laboratorio del Procomún with the presence of the work’s author, Yochai Benkler.

To learn more about the proposed work methodology, visit (click on “Enter as a guest”) the wiki de El Código 2.0

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