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Commons/Commodity: Peer Production Caught in the Web of the Commercial Market

Meng, B and Wu, F (2013) Commons/Commodity: Peer Production Caught in the Web of the Commercial Market Information, Communication and Society, 16 (1). 125 - 145. ISSN 1369-118X

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The development of digital technology and computer networks has enabled many kinds of online collaboration. This article examines Zimuzu, a Chinese case of online peer production that produces and distributes online Chinese subtitles of foreign media content. Zimuzu provides an opportunity to extend our understanding of how the tensions between the commodity and commons production models are being articulated in an online setting. Using empirical evidence collected from faceto- face interviews, online posts and online ethnographic observation, our analysis demonstrates that there is constant negotiation over which aspects of the two seemingly opposing models will be adopted by the community. We argue that it is important to conceptualize the peer production process as being influenced by power relations within and between the translation groups as well as between the groups and other commercial organizations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 2013
Identification Number : 10.1080/1369118X.2012.675347
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in Information, Communication and Society (forthcoming), 2012. Information, Communication and Society is available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 09 Jul 2012 13:44
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:18

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