When to Open Infrastructure Access

10 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2007 Last revised: 1 Sep 2014

See all articles by Gregory N. Mandel

Gregory N. Mandel

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law


This Essay comments on and develops Professor Brett Frischmann's concept of infrastructure commons, a theory which suggests that a variety of public and social resources (including information, transportation, environmental, and intellectual property resources) should be managed through open access regimes. Infrastructure theory remains underdeveloped, as it does not identify under which circumstances public and social infrastructure should be managed as commons or how the commons should operate for such resources. Differentiating the developmental stage of an infrastructure resource-whether it is yet to be conceived, yet to be produced, or needs to be managed-can help to fill this gap. Infrastructure at different stages of development poses different challenges for optimizing social value, and the nature and strength of rationales supporting open access vary significantly across the different infrastructure stages. This Essay is based on a presentation at a panel on infrastructure commons at the Law & Society Annual Conference in Berlin, Germany.

Keywords: Infrastructure, resource, intellectual property, information, environment

JEL Classification: H40, H41, H42, K23, K32, O31

Suggested Citation

Mandel, Gregory, When to Open Infrastructure Access. Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2008; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1034081

Gregory Mandel (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
(215) 204-2381 (Phone)

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