Researching the Property Regimes of Digital Information


This case study examines the process of researching how digital information is transformed into market goods in the digital economy. Specifically, it outlines the approach taken by Luis F. Alvarez León in the article “Property Regimes and the Commodification of Geographic Information: An Examination of Google Street View”. In this article, the author uses the conceptual framework of property regimes to trace the creation, distribution, and appropriation of economic value in digital goods by identifying the actors involved in this process, the roles they undertake, the property rights assigned to them, and the rules that regulate their exchanges. This approach is illustrated through the case of Google Street View, Google’s street-level imagery navigation platform. The present case study shows how the property regimes approach can serve to analyze the commodification of various types of digital goods and identify analytical points of intervention regarding the economic value they create, its appropriation, or the privacy and regulatory implications of this process.

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