Information liberation

Challenging the corruptions of information power

by Brian Martin

London: Freedom Press, 1998
189 pages, ISBN 0 900384 93 X


Available for purchase from Freedom Press

Also, in the US from AK Press or Left Bank Distribution


Full e-text is available here.

Entire book in one html file

Entire book in one pdf file


Separate chapters (html)
Separate chapters in pdf

Pages i-v (title, contents, etc.)

1 Power tends to corrupt

1 Power tends to corrupt

2 Beyond mass media

2 Beyond mass media

3 Against intellectual property

3 Against intellectual property

4 Antisurveillance

4 Antisurveillance

5 Free speech versus bureaucracy

5 Free speech versus bureaucracy

6 Defamation law and free speech

6 Defamation law and free speech

7 The politics of research

7 The politics of research

8 On the value of simple ideas

8 On the value of simple ideas

9 Celebrity intellectuals

9 Celebrity intellectuals

10 Toward information liberation

10 Toward information liberation

(Note that the layout of the pdf version here is slightly different from the Freedom Press printed edition, hence the index is not available in electronic form.)


From the back cover

Power tends to corrupt, and information power is no exception. Information Liberation analyses the corruptions of power in a range of crucial current areas in the information society, including mass media, intellectual property, surveillance, bureaucracies, defamation and research.

Reform solutions seldom get to the root of information problems. Information Liberation examines radical alternatives that undermine the power of vested interests. Alternatives include replacing mass media with network media, abolishing intellectual property, and changing social institutions that create a demand for surveillance. The book canvasses various strategies for moving toward these alternatives, focussing on grassroots action.

Information Liberation is provocative. Most readers will find something to disagree with. That's all part of the process. Everyone needs to be involved in discussing information policies and practices, rather than leaving the issues to experts and vested interests.

Brian Martin lives in Wollongong, Australia. He trained and worked as an applied mathematician before switching to social science. He has been active for many years in the radical science, environmental and peace movements and is the author of numerous works in many fields.

Brian's website

 

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: I thank David Mercer for helpful discussions and Mary Cawte for obtaining reference material about Lord Acton.

Chapter 2 is adapted from "Beyond mass media," Metro Magazine, No. 101, 1995, pp. 17-23. For helpful comments on drafts, I thank Stan Aungles, Robert Burrowes, Mary Cawte, Edward Herman, Peter McGregor, Will Rifkin, Anna Salleh, Carl Watner and John Zube.

Chapter 3 is adapted from "Against intellectual property," Philosophy and Social Action, Vol. 21, No. 3, July-September 1995, pp. 7-22. For helpful discussion, comments and information, I thank Paul Carpenter, Mary Cawte, Peter Drahos, Don Eldridge, Steve Fuller, Keith Graham, Tony Lauck, Dave Ljung, Sandra Mercado, Brian Rappert, Jerry Ravetz, Vernon Richards, Neil Rickert, Dave Roberts, Wendy Varney, David Vaver, Ian Watson, John Zube and anonymous commentators.

Chapter 4 is adapted from "Antisurveillance," Anarchist Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1993, pp. 111-129. For helpful discussion and comments on drafts, I thank Stan Aungles, Richard Badham, Sharon Beder, Jim Falk, Oscar Gandy, Jr., Richard Joseph, Dave Keenan, Gary Marx, Jim Rule, Pam Scott and an anonymous referee.

The section in chapter 5 on Bauman's treatment of the Holocaust is adapted from my column in Whistleblowers Australia's newsletter The Whistle, January 1997.

Chapter 6 is adapted from the leaflet "Defamation law and free speech," first published by Whistleblowers Australia in September 1996. For extensive advice and comment on drafts, I thank Richard Blake, Sharon Callaghan, Michael Curtis, Don Eldridge, Chris Fox, Judith Gibson, Mary Heath and Mick Skrijel.

The boxed points in chapter 7 are adapted from "What should be done about higher education?" Social Anarchism, No. 14, 1989, pp. 30-39. Blanca Facundo made useful comments on chapter 9.

For helpful comments on the entire manuscript, I thank Lyn Carson, Richard Gosden, Wendy Varney and Danny Yee.