Constructing commons in the cultural environment

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Constructing commons in the cultural environment
Authors: Michael J. Madison, Brett M. Frischmann, Katherine J. Strandburg [edit item]
Citation: CORNELL LAW REVIEW 95 (4): 657-709. 2010 May.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Yes
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Constructing commons in the cultural environment is a publication by Michael J. Madison, Brett M. Frischmann, Katherine J. Strandburg.


[edit] Abstract

This Article sets out a framework for investigating sharing and resource-pooling arrangements for information- and knowledge-based works. We argue that adapting the approach pioneered by Elmor Ostrom and her collaborators to commons arrangements in the natural environment provides a template for examining the construction of commons in the cultural environment. The approach promises to lead to a better understanding of how participants in commons and pooling arrangements structure their interactions in relation to the environments in which they are embedded, in relation to information and knowledge resources that they produce and use, and in relation to one another Some examples of the types of arrangements we have in. mind are patent pools (such as the Manufacturer's Aircraft Association), open source software development projects (such as Linux), Wikipedia, the Associated Press, certain jamband communities, medieval guilds, and modern research universities. These examples are illustrative and far from exhaustive. Each involves a constructed cultural commons worth of independent study, but independent studies get us only so far. A more systematic approach is needed. An improved understanding of cultural commons is critical for obtaining a more complete perspective on intellectual property doctrine and its interactions with other legal and social mechanisms for governing creativity and innovation, in particular, and information and knowledge production, conservation, and consumption, generally. We propose and initial framework for evaluating and comparing the contours of different commons arrangements. The framework will allow us to develop an inventory of structural similarities and differences among cultural commons in different industries, disciplines, and knowledge domains and shed light on the underlying contextual reasons for such differences. Structural inquiery into a series of case studies will provide a basis from developing theories to exploan the emergence, form, and stability of the observed variety of cultural commons and eventually, to design models to explicate and infrorm institutional desing. The proposed approach would draw upon case studies from a while range of disciplines Among other things, we argue that theoretical apporaches to constructed cultural and use of pooled resources, internal licensing conditions, management of external relationships, and institutional forms, along with the degree of collaboration among members, sharing of human capital, degrees of integration among participants, and any specified purposed to the arrangement.

[edit] Research questions

"This Article sets out a framework for investigating sharing and resource- pooling arrangements for information- and knowledge-based works. We argue that adapting the approach pioneered by Elinor Ostrom and her collaborators to commons arrangements in the natural environment provides a template for examining the construction of commons in the cultural environment. The approach promises to lead to a better understanding of how participants in commons and pooling arrangements structure their interactions in relation to the environments in which they are embedded, in relation to information and knowledge resources that they produce and use, and in relation to one another."

Research details

Topics: Culture and values of Wikipedia [edit item]
Domains: Law, Sociology [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Case [edit item]
Theories: "This Article confronts the theoretical challenge of understanding

the governance of what we refer to as constructed commons in the cultural environment, in which the resources to be produced, conserved, and consumed are not crustaceans but pieces of information: copyrighted works of authorship, patented inventions, and other forms of information and knowledge that may, but need not, be aligned with formal systems of intellectual property (IP) law. this Article develops and argues for the use of a theoretical framework to systematize case study-based research exploring the construction of the cultural commons. We begin with a discussion of IP law and the theoretical problems and solutions that typically characterize IP regimes.

Functionalist Intellectual Property Theory and Its Limits

The question for both public policy and legal theory becomes how best to use legal and other tools to encourage the growth and persistence of creative, sustainable, and equitable cultural environments.

The complexity of natural and cultural environments and the futility of analyzing them with one-size-fits-all theories or legal approaches create the challenge of developing appropriate conceptual understanding and policy prescriptions.

A second and equally important way to address the limitations of functionalist theory in the cultural commons context is to examine a system of social ordering in expressive terms rather than purely functional terms, looking to the construction and evolution of meaning in the system, as reflected in symbol and narrative." [edit item]

Research design: Conceptual [edit item]
Data source: N/A [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: N/A [edit item]
Unit of analysis: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Not specified [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"This Article offers precisely such a framework. Applying the environmental metaphor that is increasingly common in studies of information and intellectual property policy, we analogize information and knowledge resources in the cultural environment to physical resources in the natural environment. We identify a set of constructed cultural commons, or pools of information resources, that serve functions in the cultural environment similar to the functions provided by common-pool resources in the natural environment. Those functions consist largely of serving as alternatives to purely private rights of exclusion and to government intervention in solving underproduction and overconsumption problems associated with an unmanaged or “natural” resource. Although constructed commons in the cultural environment exist for a variety of purposes, in general we hypothesize that they are often welfare-enhancing in regard to promoting valuable spillovers of information and knowledge distribution. Borrowing from Ostrom, we argue that understanding the origins and operation of beneficial cultural commons requires detailed assessments that recognize that they operate simultaneously at several levels, each nested in a level above, and that each level entails a variety of possible attributes that cannot, at this stage of the inquiry, be specified in detail in advance. We suggest a set of buckets or clusters of issues that should guide further inquiry, including the ways in which information resources and resource commons are structured by default rules of exclusion, and the ways in which members of these pools manage participation in the collection, production, preservation, and extraction of information resources. Case studies across disciplines and reviews of existing literature that addresses cultural commons will help specify relevant attributes within each cluster. These variables will help scholars and eventually policymakers assess the level of openness associated with a given commons and determine the extent to which “openness” is, as we hypothesize, associated with pools that are welfare-enhancing."

[edit] Comments

"we argue that understanding the origins and operation of beneficial cultural commons requires detailed assessments that recognize that they operate simultaneously at several levels, each nested in a level above, and that each level entails a variety of possible attributes that cannot, at this stage of the inquiry, be specified in detail in advance"


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "Constructing commons in the cultural environment"RDF feed
AbstractThis Article sets out a framework for inveThis Article sets out a framework for investigating sharing and resource-pooling arrangements for information- and knowledge-based works. We argue that adapting the approach pioneered by Elmor Ostrom and her collaborators to commons arrangements in the natural environment provides a template for examining the construction of commons in the cultural environment. The approach promises to lead to a better understanding of how participants in commons and pooling arrangements structure their interactions in relation to the environments in which they are embedded, in relation to information and knowledge resources that they produce and use, and in relation to one another Some examples of the types of arrangements we have in. mind are patent pools (such as the Manufacturer's Aircraft Association), open source software development projects (such as Linux), Wikipedia, the Associated Press, certain jamband communities, medieval guilds, and modern research universities. These examples are illustrative and far from exhaustive. Each involves a constructed cultural commons worth of independent study, but independent studies get us only so far. A more systematic approach is needed. An improved understanding of cultural commons is critical for obtaining a more complete perspective on intellectual property doctrine and its interactions with other legal and social mechanisms for governing creativity and innovation, in particular, and information and knowledge production, conservation, and consumption, generally. We propose and initial framework for evaluating and comparing the contours of different commons arrangements. The framework will allow us to develop an inventory of structural similarities and differences among cultural commons in different industries, disciplines, and knowledge domains and shed light on the underlying contextual reasons for such differences. Structural inquiery into a series of case studies will provide a basis from developing theories to exploan the emergence, form, and stability of the observed variety of cultural commons and eventually, to design models to explicate and infrorm institutional desing. The proposed approach would draw upon case studies from a while range of disciplines Among other things, we argue that theoretical apporaches to constructed cultural and use of pooled resources, internal licensing conditions, management of external relationships, and institutional forms, along with the degree of collaboration among members, sharing of human capital, degrees of integration among participants, and any specified purposed to the arrangement.any specified purposed to the arrangement.
Added by wikilit teamYes +
Collected data time dimensionN/A +
Commentswe argue that understanding the origins anwe argue that understanding the origins and operation of beneficial cultural commons requires detailed assessments

that recognize that they operate simultaneously at several levels, each nested in a level above, and that each level entails a variety

of possible attributes that cannot, at this stage of the inquiry, be specified in detail in advance
inquiry, be specified in detail in advance
ConclusionThis Article offers precisely such a frameThis Article offers precisely such a framework. Applying the environmental

metaphor that is increasingly common in studies of information and intellectual property policy, we analogize information and knowledge resources in the cultural environment to physical resources in the natural environment. We identify a set of constructed cultural commons, or pools of information resources, that serve functions in the cultural environment similar to the functions provided by common-pool resources in the natural environment. Those functions consist largely of serving as alternatives to purely private rights of exclusion and to government intervention in solving underproduction and overconsumption problems associated with an unmanaged or “natural” resource. Although constructed commons in the cultural environment exist for a variety of purposes, in general we hypothesize that they are often welfare-enhancing in regard to promoting valuable spillovers of information and knowledge distribution. Borrowing from Ostrom, we argue that understanding the origins and operation of beneficial cultural commons requires detailed assessments that recognize that they operate simultaneously at several levels, each nested in a level above, and that each level entails a variety of possible attributes that cannot, at this stage of the inquiry, be specified in detail in advance. We suggest a set of buckets or clusters of issues that should guide further inquiry, including the ways in which information resources and resource commons are structured by default rules of exclusion, and the ways in which members of these pools manage participation in the collection, production, preservation, and extraction of information resources. Case studies across disciplines and reviews of existing literature that addresses cultural commons will help specify relevant attributes within each cluster. These variables will help scholars and eventually policymakers assess the level of openness associated with a given commons and determine the extent to which “openness” is, as we hypothesize, associated with pools that are welfare-enhancing.ted with pools that are

welfare-enhancing.
Data sourceN/A +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Constructing%2Bcommons%2Bin%2Bthe%2Bcultural%2Benvironment%22 +
Has authorMichael J. Madison +, Brett M. Frischmann + and Katherine J. Strandburg +
Has domainLaw + and Sociology +
Has topicCulture and values of Wikipedia +
Issue4 +
MonthMay +
Pages657-709 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inCORNELL LAW REVIEW +
Research designConceptual +
Research questionsThis Article sets out a framework for inveThis Article sets out a framework for investigating sharing and resource-

pooling arrangements for information- and knowledge-based works. We argue that adapting the approach pioneered by Elinor Ostrom and her collaborators to commons arrangements in the natural environment provides a template for examining the construction of commons in the cultural environment. The approach promises to lead to a better understanding of how participants in commons and pooling arrangements structure their interactions in relation to the environments in which they are embedded, in relation to information and knowledge resources that they produce and use, and in relation to one another.e and use, and in

relation to one another.
Revid11,616 +
TheoriesThis Article confronts the theoretical chaThis Article confronts the theoretical challenge of understanding

the governance of what we refer to as constructed commons in the cultural environment, in which the resources to be produced, conserved, and consumed are not crustaceans but pieces of information: copyrighted works of authorship, patented inventions, and other forms of information and knowledge that may, but need not, be aligned with formal systems of intellectual property (IP) law. this Article develops and argues for the use of a theoretical framework to systematize case study-based research exploring the construction of the cultural commons. We begin with a discussion of IP law and the theoretical problems and solutions that typically characterize IP regimes.

Functionalist Intellectual Property Theory and Its Limits

The question for both public policy and legal theory becomes how best to use legal and other tools to encourage the growth and persistence of creative, sustainable, and equitable cultural environments.

The complexity of natural and cultural environments and the futility of analyzing them with one-size-fits-all theories or legal approaches create the challenge of developing appropriate conceptual understanding and policy prescriptions.

A second and equally important way to address the limitations of functionalist theory in the cultural commons context is to examine a system of social ordering in expressive terms rather than purely functional terms, looking to the construction and evolution of meaning in

the system, as reflected in symbol and narrative.
tem, as reflected in symbol and narrative.
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleConstructing commons in the cultural environment
Unit of analysisN/A +
Urlhttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1265793 +
Volume95 +
Wikipedia coverageCase +
Wikipedia data extractionN/A +
Wikipedia languageNot specified +
Wikipedia page typeN/A +
Year2010 +