The Gratis Economy

Privately Provided Public Goods
Author: 
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-22-0
cloth
$95.00 / €85.00 / £75.00
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-33-6
paperback
Publication date: 
2001
370 pages

A work in the relatively new field of economic sociology, this highly unconventional book deals with the logics of toll-free services and generalises the notion of voluntary work toward encompassing everything that can be obtained free of charge in the world. The author claims that the publicity-driven gratis economy - perhaps the greatest wealth creator in history - is integrating into the conventional non-profit sector.

Kelen's exploration of the gratis economy covers the three basic institutional sectors:  nonprofit / voluntary, business and government.

The 'New Economy' offers a wide range of services seemingly for free, but the costs are still supposed to be borne by some actors of the economy. The message of the book is very important: the motives of the gratis giving of goods or services can always be identified and could be explained either by 'motivated giving' or by 'hidden marketing'. These motives often lie outside of the scope of traditional economics and may have strong political, sociological and/or psychological connotations.

The Gratis Economy will be of interest to professors and students of applied economics and business schools, sociologists, to the e-business community, marketing practitioners, webspinners, infonauts, netizens, software developers and decision-makers of electronic media.

Preface
Theses to Announce the Concept of Gratis Economy
The Main Drivers of the Gratis Economy
Description of the Ensuing Chapters

Essay I: THE TRADITIONAL GRATIS ECONOMY—UNCHARTED FACES OF PRO BONO WORK

1. The Social Basis of Volunteering
Liturgies as the Generalisation of Volunteering
The Heritage of Volunteering in Antiquity
Condescending Medieval Charity
Enthusiastic Messianism: The Central–East European Socialist Experience in Volunteering
Modern Applications of the Generalised Notion of Volunteering
Loci Classici on Liturgic Associations
Military Service as Liturgic Duty
Involuntary Labour Service: Labour Battalions in W.W.II
Classical Fields of Volunteering—the Receding Gratis Economy
The Professionalisation of Sports
Laity in Office Holding
Granting of Commercial Exposure for Sponsors by Non-profits

Essay II: THE VIRTUAL FACES OF THE GRATIS ECONOMY—BUSINESS OPERATED SIZZLING GRATUITIES

2. Free of Charge, Except for Advertising
Technology Bringing Forth the Banner Model of Advertising
Banners at Wish
New Browser against Pop-up Advertising
Suppressors, Filters
Bandwidth-adaptive Adverstising
We-pay-you Advertising
Deep Linking
Ad Serving
Publishing Site using Side Model Ad Server
Third-party Ad Server Using Network Model Ad Serving Solutions
A Counting Methodology for Third-party Ad Servers in a Proxy Server Setting
Online Business’ Comparative Advantage as to Timing
Validation and Visibility of Business Communication in Cyberspace

3 Free of Charge, Except for Commodifying Privacy
Between the Right to Traceability and Anonimity
The Two Drivers Coinciding—Privacy Predicted Targeting Tools
Conclusion: Policy Deliberations
Predictive Profiling

4. Gratuities Embedded in Business Processes
The Setting of the Exposure Threshold
Between Profitability and Breaking Even—Content Provisions as a Non-profict Endeavour
Web Targeting at The New York Times
Grants Economics, Gift Economics
Gratis Models
Conclusions

Essay III: THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN THE GRATIS ECONOMY—GRATUITIES GENERATED PY POLITY

5. The State-run Gratis Economy
Collective Goods
Full Public Assistance to the Price of Pharmaceuticals
Cutting Edge Research: The Human Genome Project
Toward the Wireless Internet—Universal Mobile Telecommmunications Services (UMTS) in the European Union
Patterns of Time Release in the Economy

6. The Informational Commons
The Intellectual Property/Wide Access Trade-off
Alternatives to Intellectual Property—Non-proprietary Software Developers
Bites out of the Gratis Economy
Conclusions: Policy Deliberations

7. Typology of Business Intrusions That Cry for Political Remedy
Software Spying on Its User
The ”If it’s Legal, Someone Will Do It” Assault
Threatening Free Speech
The Intricacy of Data Commerce—Corporate Governance Standing up to Excesses
Possible Outcomes of Privacy Regulations
Casuistry
Grassroots Influencing Regulation

8. Toward the Demise of Mass Culture in Cyberspace
One-to-One Targeting
Space-shifting
Peer-to-Peer Sharing
Peer-to Peer in Terms of Sociology
”Gentle Money”: Community-level Clearinghouses and Marketplaces
The Design of Gentle Money
Scenario of Gentle Employment
Implications for Broad Public Policy

Literature
Surveys and Reports

References
Advertising-related Sites
Privacy-related Sites
Targeting-related Sites

Boxes
Box 1. Underwriting as Opposed to Advertising
Box 2. The Archetype of Distracting Advertisement: The Sponsored Version of Eudora
Box 3. The Internet as Source of Information
Box 4. ”Belgian Attitude Survey”
Box 5. ”Methods That Can Help a Business Get to the Top of the Search Listings”
Box 6. ”The Way Marketing Specialists Think about Clean Opt-in
Box 7. ”NCR Corporation’s Survey on Privacy Considerations in Europe”
Box 8. Site Tracking
Box 9. Profiling Technics
Box 10.”DirectHit”
Box 11. Gallup Poll Release on the Extent of Privacy Fears
Box 12. Human Resources Practices with Marks & Spencer
Box 13. Exceptions to the American Model of Free Public Sector Information
Box 14. The Hacking of the Digital Video Disk Encryption System
Box 15. Licensing Regimes
Box 16. Special Restrictions on Intellectual Property
Box 17. Excerpts from Ortegy y Gasset’s ”The Revolt of Masses”
Box 18. ”The Link between Advertising and Privacy”

Notes

Index

"The first book . which makes a serious attempt at integrating the concept of public goods with the currently emerging phenomenon of the 'New Economy'. The concept of public goods is approached here in a context much broader than usual, and I consider the interdisciplinary character of the book one of its important assets. .This book brings us much closer to understanding how the 'New Economy'and, as a major part of it, the 'e-business' work.. .It is a very rich, thought provoking, well-documented volume."
"This volume could make a contribution to contemporary social science far beyond its declared attempt to develop a theory of the gratis economy."