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Governing Knowledge Commons$
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Brett M. Frischmann, Michael J. Madison, and Katherine J. Strandburg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199972036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972036.001.0001

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Between Spanish Huertas and the Open Road:

Between Spanish Huertas and the Open Road:

A Tale of Two Commons?

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 Between Spanish Huertas and the Open Road
Source:
Governing Knowledge Commons
Author(s):

Yochai Benkler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972036.003.0003

The chapter distinguishes between two traditions of studying commons: the Ostrom School focuses on solutions that embody local knowledge to solve collective action problems without individual property or state regulation; the open commons school explains the ubiquity of open commons in complex modern economies. Like traditional economic theory, the Ostrom School sees open access commons as tragic. By contrast, literature arising from information economics and Internet studies shows that open commons, or, symmetrically privileged freedom to operate vis-à-vis core critical resources, play a central role in the institutional design of contemporary economies, in particular providing infrastructures and supporting innovation and information production. The rich institutional and contextual IAD method of the Ostrom School is a promising avenue in the design of sustainable open commons, but its application requires recognition of how the problems and opportunity space explored by the open commons school differ from those that gave rise to the IAD approach.

Keywords:   Information, commons, open access, Elinor Ostrom, IAD framework, institutions

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