Creating Commons by Friendly Appropriation
(2007) 4:1 SCRIPT-ed
19 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2013
Date Written: March 1, 2007
The relationships of the world-wide-web and its search engines to the ways in which ‘intellectual commons’ are created, has received little consideration. I argue that the operation of Internet-wide search engines constitutes the creation of an intellectual commons. The history and features of the Google search engine are the principal example.
They illustrate what is probably a very unusual method by which commons are created, which I call ‘friendly appropriation’. I identify eight conditions which are conducive to the creation of commons by friendly appropriation.
Some examples are given of other situations which may constitute friendly appropriation, and of some which do not. Instances of commons arising by this means may be rare, but a fully-developed theory of intellectual commons, and the copyright public domain, needs to recognise when they occur.
Keywords: copyright, public domain, commons, Google, Australia
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