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New Commons Research

Note three new books on commons theory and practice, with special attention to the role of commons governance in knowledge production and distribution.

(Note also that “commons” in these contexts refers more to Ostrom-style commons as a governance framework, borrowed and extended by me, Kathy Strandburg, and Brett Frischmann in this 2010 paper, and less to Benkler-style “commons-based peer production” and still less to Boyle- or Hyde- or Lessig-style “commons as publicly-shared cultural heritage.”  Those three views of commons are cousins of each other, but they’re distinct.  More separately and shortly from me on that, in a paper.  First, these books:)

The Wealth of the Commons: A world beyond market & state (Levellers Press, 2012), edited by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich. A German edition of the book was published last Spring by transcript verlag. The book has a large number of relatively brief essays about both prescriptive and descriptive features of commons. Madison, Frischmann & Strandburg contributed one of those.

Cultural Commons: A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures (Edward Elgar, 2012), edited by Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Universita  di Torino, Massimo Marrelli, Universita di Napoli and Walter Santagata, Universita  di Torino, Italy. These are papers presented at the First International Workshop on the Cultural Commons in Torino in 2010.

Internet Success: A Study of Open Source Software Commons (MIT Press, 2012), by Charles Schweik and Robert English. This is a large-scale empirical study of Open Source Software development projects, trying to understand why some of those projects succeed, and some fail, using a framework derived from Ostrom’s IAD model.