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Myth #40: The Internet democratizes innovation

Author: Wernick, A.
Published in: Kettemann, M. C.; Dreyer, S., Busted! The Truth about the 50 Most Common Internet Myths (pp. 180-183). Hamburg: Verlag Hans-Bredow-Institut.
Year: 2019
Type: Book contributions and chapters

Myth: Anyone, anywhere can become an innovator because the Internet provides us with an unprecedented amount of knowledge and tools to create innovations. The locus of innovation will shift from companies to people. Thanks to the Internet access to innovations becomes more equal on a global scale. Busted: The knowledge, information and data relevant for fueling innovative activity is not always available online due to a lack of incentives to share them, legal constraints or both. These resources may be behind a paywall, protected as personal data or as intellectual property. Not all innovators are willing to share their innovations online, as this may undermine their business model. Innovations that are risky and require high investments in research and development are unlikely to be executed online instead of corporate environment. IP rights such as patents encourage such innovative activity by protecting innovators from free-riding. However, they constrain the use and reuse of such innovations online.

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Alina Wernick

Former Associated Researcher: Data, actors, infrastructures

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