Marina Gorbis says the digital peasants are getting restless. Signs of unrest came in the stirrings of bloggers filing a suit against the Huffington Post and its parent AOL. “The same writers who were happy to contribute for free before the sale are now accusing the publication of turning them into ‘modern-day slaves.'” She sees disturbing parallels between the manorialism of medieval Europe’s feudal society (rights to use the commons but also big disparities of income) and social production today.
What’s the Big Idea?
“The suit against the Huffington Post is not just about an army of disgruntled bloggers. It is about how we build the economy of social production. It is our way of beginning to scrape together a new regulatory structure and a new set of norms for the new way we work and create wealth. Let’s hope that in the process we don’t repeat the past. We can do better than to re-construct the Middle Ages in the digital economy.”