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)

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-35

20 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2016 Last revised: 15 Nov 2016

See all articles by Michael J. Madison

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: November 10, 2016

Abstract

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

Madison, Michael J., Information Abundance and Knowledge Commons (November 10, 2016). A chapter in User Generated Law: Re-Constructing Intellectual Property in a Knowledge Society, edited by Thomas Riis (Edward Elgar, 2016); U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2867578

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)

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