Information as a Private or a Social Good: Debates

Topics: Goods, Property, Public good Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Information as a private or a social good: debates.
Nowadays we live in the world where due to distribution of ICT and easy (more or less) access to the Internet some part of Information can be easily used. In this connection there is always a question, if information a social good, engendered by a concept of everybody’s property on everything, or a private one. On the one hand, information really can be as a social good, as an air. Here we can say that as nobody can’t live without air, anybody can’t live without information. But on the other hand, the world of copyright and trade secrets, brands and so on has transformed the information into a private good. Nowadays almost everything that is a result of creative labor is being bought. And that engendered a question if the information has turned into private good. Private good is something that can be evaluated and we can establish the price for it and sell on the market. Private good is used only by one man or one firm with the forbidden access for other people or firms. Social good is a good that has two characteristics: the unlimited access for a lot of people and uncompetitiveness in its consumption. First of all, let’s see the characteristics of information. Information has the following features: * fullness;

* authenticity;
* adequacy;
* availability;
* currency.
Now we can tell that we can refer information to a private or a social good depending on the extent of these characteristics. For example, if we take information as a private property, the level of fullness, authenticity, adequacy and currency is high, and the price depends on this level. But we observe in the real life that if any information turns into a social good (it doesn’t concern the official government publications) it’s quality, expressed in these characteristics, is often much more lower. Some researchers always write that information as a social good engenders the economic growth. But on the other hand we can tell...
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