• Post Office Press deposited Guerrilla Open Access on Humanities Commons 4 years, 7 months ago

    In the 1990s, the Internet offered a horizon from which to imagine what society could become, promising autonomy and self-organization next to redistribution of wealth and collectivized means of production. While the former was in line with the dominant ideology of freedom, the latter ran contrary to the expanding enclosures in capitalist globalization. This antagonism has led to epochal copyrights, where free software and piracy kept the promise of radical commoning alive.

    Free software, as Christopher Kelty writes in this pamphlet, provided a model ‘of a shared, collective, process of making software, hardware and infrastructures that cannot be appropriated by others’. Well into the 2000s, it served as an inspiration for global free culture and open access movements who were speculating that distributed infrastructures of knowledge production could be built, as the Internet was, on top of free software.

    For a moment, the hybrid world of advanced Internet giants—sharing code, advocating open standards and interoperability—and users empowered by these services, convinced almost everyone that a new reading/writing culture was possible. Not long after the crash of 2008, these disruptors, now wary monopolists, began to ingest smaller disruptors and close o their platforms. There was still free software somewhere underneath, but without the ‘original sense of shared, collective, process’. So, as Kelty suggests, it was hard to imagine that for-pro t academic publishers wouldn’t try the same with open access.