Knowledge Commons (2016)

Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law (Vol. II – Analytical Methods), Peter Menell & David Schwartz, eds. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016)

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-28

28 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2016 Last revised: 14 Jan 2019

See all articles by Michael J. Madison

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Katherine J. Strandburg

New York University School of Law

Brett M. Frischmann

Villanova University - School of Law

Date Written: September 20, 2016

Abstract

This chapter describes methods for systematically studying knowledge commons as an institutional mode of governance of knowledge and information resources, including references to adjacent but distinct approaches to research that looks primarily to the role(s) of intellectual property systems in institutional contexts concerning innovation and creativity.

Knowledge commons refers to an institutional approach (commons) to governing the production, use, management, and/or preservation of a particular type of resource (knowledge or information, including resources linked to innovative and creative practice). Commons refers to a form of community management or governance. It applies to a resource, and it involves a group or community of people who share access to and/or use of the resource. Commons does not denote the resource, the community, a place, or a thing. Commons is the institutional arrangement of these elements and their coordination via combinations of law and other formal rules; social norms, customs, and informal discipline; and technological and other material constraints. Community or collective self-governance of the resource, by individuals who collaborate or coordinate among themselves effectively, is a key feature of commons as an institution, but self-governance may be and often is linked to other formal and informal governance mechanisms.

For purposes of this chapter, knowledge refers to a broad set of intellectual and cultural resources. There are important differences between various resources captured by such a broad definition. For example, knowledge, information, and data may be different from each other in meaningful ways. But an inclusive term is necessary in order to permit knowledge commons researchers to capture and study a broad and inclusive range of commons institutions and to highlight the importance of examining knowledge commons governance as part of dynamic, ecological contexts.

Keywords: Knowledge commons, commons in the cultural environment, information commons, cultural commons, science commons, data commons, knowledge pools, Intellectual property, property, governance

JEL Classification: D23, H41, K11, L22, L23, O31, O32, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Madison, Michael J. and Strandburg, Katherine J. and Frischmann, Brett M., Knowledge Commons (2016) (September 20, 2016). Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law (Vol. II – Analytical Methods), Peter Menell & David Schwartz, eds. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016); U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2841456

Michael J. Madison (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7855 (Phone)
412-648-2648 (Fax)

Katherine J. Strandburg

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Brett M. Frischmann

Villanova University - School of Law ( email )

299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
200
rank
148,505
Abstract Views
875
PlumX Metrics