Information Abundance and Knowledge Commons
A chapter in User Generated Law: Re-Constructing Intellectual Property in a Knowledge Society, edited by Thomas Riis (Edward Elgar, 2016)
20 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2016 Last revised: 15 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 10, 2016
Standard accounts of IP law describe systems of legal exclusion intended to prompt the production and distribution of intellectual resources, or information and knowledge, by making those things artificially scarce. The argument presented here frames IP law instead as one of several possible institutional responses to the need to coordinate the use of intellectual resources given their natural abundance, and not necessarily useful or effective responses at that. The chapter aims to shift analytic and empirical frameworks from those grounded in law to those grounded in governance, and from IP law in isolation to IP law as part of resource management. Knowledge commons is proposed as a framework for examining and understanding governance of shared knowledge resources. Examples and illustrations are drawn from several domains of information and knowledge governance.
Keywords: Intellectual property, property, resources, objects, things, works, commons, knowledge commons, governance, scarcity, abundance, exclusivity
JEL Classification: H41, H42, K11, O31, O33, O34, L82, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation