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[ox-en] Re: hacking surplus value etc

On Wednesday 11 May 2005 07:46, martin hardie wrote:
re floss as a exchange commodity - there is some stuff written by
conservative economic  lawyer types in the US recently about how
copyright is no good because of the costs it places on cooridnationa
dn that TM's are the way to go. that is rather than capital worrying
so much about protecting copyright in each and every part that might
make up a product what they should  really focus upon (and do) is
branding as the revenue generator/surplus value extractor. This sort
of reflects what Virno says in the bit below about recacluating or
reformulating the way we understand surplus value. eg:

"one would have to say that in the post-Fordist era, surplus-value is
determined above all by the gap between production time which is not
calculated as labor time and labor time in the true sense of the term.
What matters is not only the disproportion, inherent in labor time,
between necessary labor and surplus-labor, but also, and perhaps even
more, the disproportion between production time (which includes
non-labor, its own distinctive productivity) and labor time."

Maybe I should read the whole book, when I get the time, but for now I'm not 
sure how this works.

Virno is saying that surplus value is determined by the gap in labour time and 
production time, i.e. the productivity in that period in which nobody is 
being paid because automated processes are creating value. Correct?

You are then saying that the surplus value of some copyrighted information is 
determined not by protecting the information itself (which, of course, will 
involve little or no automation in its creation) but by protecting and 
promoting the brand. So if Britney Spears releases a CD, her industry should 
generate revenue from the brand "Britney Spears" not the (physical) disc, nor 
the non-rivalrous information contained on the CD. Tell me if I'm getting 
your argument wrong here...

But how is your point related to Virno's? Are you saying that branding can be 
a process that creates a gap between labour and production time? Or are you 
just saying that we should shift our attention away from labour time? Even 
then, surely branding does involve labour time to create and sustain it 
successfully? And for many, the physical disc, high quality copies that you 
don't generally get through P2P and occasionally an urge to renumerate the 
artist are all that keep them from illegally copying Spears' CDs.


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