Free Culture | The Language of the Commons | The Language of the Commons

After I commented that sharing did not involved any loss on the part of the sharer, Lessig pointed out that if I share atoms, then there is, in fact, a loss.

If Lessig has red atoms and I have blue atoms and we share them we each have access to twice as many atoms as we would otherwise. We can also make purple atoms (or molecules…), which we couldn’t before.

This isn’t a loss unless we very carefully look at sharing as a single act in a single moment undertaken by a single instance of homo economicus, in which case we can make it look like a loss if we really want to (any economic exchange can be presented as a loss in the same way).