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The Information Commons
A Public Policy Report

By Nancy Kranich
Senior Research Fellow, 2003-04
Free Expression Policy Project

© 2004. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
It may be reproduced in its entirety as long as the Free Expression Policy Project is credited, a link to the Project's Web site is provided, and no charge is imposed. The report may not be reproduced in part or in altered form, or if a fee is charged, without our permission. Please let us know if you reprint.

Contents and Executive Summary
I. Opportunities and Challenges of the Information Age


History and Theories of the Commons
Applying the Idea of the Commons to Information
Examples of Open Democratic Information Resources

Software Commons
Licensing Commons
Scholarly Communication - Open Access
Scholarly Communication - Digital Repositories
Institutional Commons
Subject Matter Information Commons

Principles and Characteristics of Information Commons

History and Theories of the Commons

Americans jointly own, share, and administer a wide range of common assets, including natural resources, public lands, schools, libraries, and scientific knowledge. It is often difficult for these essential resources to attract the funding necessary to sustain their future, especially when the marketplace dominates political priorities. Yet neglecting them impoverishes culture and endangers democracy. It is for this reason that, as the legal scholar Edwin Baker notes, "most democracies use a combination of market and nonmarket devices" to assure that citizens get the information they need. Among the important nonmarket devices have been government publications, public libraries, and public broadcasting.47

Historically, the "commons" meant the agricultural fields used freely by farmers in England to grow food and pasture animals. Between 1500 and 1800, however, many of these common fields were transformed into private property in order to boost agricultural production, accommodate population changes, improve soil, advance industrial development, and bring lands under the control of wealthy aristocrats. This "enclosure" movement transformed a traditional, communal method of agriculture into a system in which one person's farm became separated from his neighbors'. Enclosure occurred both piecemeal and by general legislative action. No single decision or act caused the enclosure of public fields - a story similar to today's enclosure of the commons of the mind.48

But throughout history, people have retained common property such as forests, fields, and fisheries, and have managed these resources effectively, without depleting them. The debate that has ensued for hundreds of years over ownership of property thus remains unresolved. Traditionally, lawyers and economists have considered ownership either within the realm of a marketplace for private property or a market failure requiring government management. Resources such as common property have fallen between this private-public ownership dichotomy.49

The 1861 publication of Ancient Law by Henry Sumner Maine fueled this debate about whether landed proprietors have a special role needing legal protection, and about the legitimacy of enclosing communally owned properties.50 More recently, economists have begun to recognize common property as a legitimate framework for managing certain categories of goods. In the mid-1950s, the social scientists H. Scott Gordon and Anthony Scott kicked off their own debate about the commons by introducing an economic analysis of fisheries in two articles that are now credited with outlining the conventional theory of the commons.51 Then, Garrett Hardin wrote his now-famous 1968 article, "The Tragedy of the Commons," which used the example of overgrazing to argue that unlimited access to resources results in excessive demand and, consequently, in overexploitation.52 Unwilling to concede to Hardin's argument, scholars from several disciplines began countering with their own studies of common property resources, where group control over the resource does not lead to overuse, but to the balancing of benefits and costs.53

Prominent among these scholars is Carol Rose, who has proposed the reverse of the tragedy of the commons for certain types of activities where individuals may "underinvest," as at a festival or on a dance floor. At least within the limits of the community, the more who join, the greater the enjoyment of each participant. "Activities of this sort may have value precisely because they reinforce the solidarity and fellow feeling of the community as a whole; thus, the more members of the community who participate, even only as observers, the better for all." Rose refers to this type of behavior as the "comedy of the commons," because indefinite numbers and expandability of participation enhance rather than diminish value. She elaborates on this idea using the phrase "the more the merrier" and analogizing to economies of scale, where the larger the investment, the higher the rate of return. Rose contends that people need encouragement to join such nonexclusive activities, where their participation produces beneficial "externalities" for others.54

Since Hardin, other scholars such as Siegfried Ciriacy-Wantrup and Richard Bishop have distinguished between two types of legal regimes that govern commons: open-access (or "no property") regimes and common property regimes. With open access regimes, nobody has the legal right to exclude anyone else from using the resource, but the tragedy of the commons may ensue because of overuse or destruction. In contrast, common property regimes, which regulate the use of so-called "common-pool resources," provide members of a clearly defined group with a bundle of legal rights, including the right to exclude nonmembers from using the resource; here, the comedy of the commons is more likely.55 Some of the examples of information commons described later in this report fit the open access model; others are closer to common property regimes.

The common-pool resources that are regulated by common property regimes resemble what economists call public goods, such as parks, public transportation, police and fire protection, and national defense. Neither common-pool resources nor public goods can exclude beneficiaries easily. But unlike public goods, common pool resources are managed based on intensity of use and delineation of eligible users.56

Since the late 1960s, economists have debated the emergence, efficiency, and stability of common property regimes. One leading economist, Carl Dahlman, concluded that economic theory does not imply that communal ownership and collective control are necessarily inefficient. On the contrary, he says, economic theory will predict that under certain conditions, such arrangements are superior to private ownership and individual control.57

A number of other social scientists and legal scholars have also examined how common property resources work. A leader in the field, Elinor Ostrom, has analyzed the characteristics of resources held in common, and concluded that the common property regimes that regulate these resources are distinguished by group, rather than individual, control; the group is then responsible for balancing benefits and costs, defining who may participate in resource use and to what degree, and designating who will make management decisions.58 Ostrom and her colleague Edella Schlager underscore that it is "the difference between exercising a right and participating in the definition of future rights to be exercised … [that] makes collective-choice rights so powerful."59

To counter Hardin's presumption that all common-pool resources are open access, Ostrom studied the behavior of these resources when they are regulated under common property regimes. In a study for the National Research Council in the mid-1980s, she outlined the components of governance necessary to sustain common property resources efficiently, focusing initially on natural resources in developing countries.60 Later, she helped found the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP), which hosted a 1995 conference entitled "Reinventing the Commons." The conference focused on new topics such as genetic resources, roads, the atmosphere, biodiversity, patents, and the Internet.61

Ostrom's seminal work, Governing the Commons, provided a systematic blueprint for understanding the economic and experimental foundations for common property regimes. By studying a variety of common-pool resources in order to respond to Hardin's "tragedy," Ostrom laid out a framework for assessing commons, plus eight design principles that enable people to use these resources over a long period of time. Included in the framework are conditions necessary for self-governance: clearly defined boundaries, the design and enforcement of rules, reciprocity (the equal exchange of goods and knowledge), building trust and social capital, and communication channels.62 Thanks to Ostrom and her colleagues, groups interested in developing and managing common property now have a useful framework for understanding how to do it.

More recently, Ostrom has applied her theories to understanding information as a common property resource. Together with Charlotte Hess, Ostrom has described the complex tangible and intangible attributes of information, particularly in digital form, with its fuzzy boundaries, diverse community of users on local, regional, national, and international levels, and multiple layers of rule-making.63

Applying the Idea of the Commons to Information

Just as common property scholars are presenting a framework for understanding and governing commons, scholars in other fields have recognized the importance of shared information spaces for promoting democracy and the free flow of ideas. Civil society researchers such as Harry Boyte, Peter Levine, and Lewis Friedland emphasize that shared public spaces are needed to rekindle civic participation.64 Others who document the impact of technology on society, like Lawrence Grossman, Anthony Wilhelm, and Douglas Schuler, accentuate how access to cyberspace presents both promises and challenges for wider participation in a 21st century democracy.65 Legal scholars have grasped the idea of the commons as a new approach to understanding the nature of information, and to countering restrictions imposed by copyright rules and DRM techniques.66 Joining these scholars are librarians and other public interest advocates who see the commons as a useful tool to reclaim public space and promote the public interest in the digital age.67

A leader in the field has been David Bollier, who considers the commons a critical contribution to a community of shared moral values and social purpose. The value of the information commons thus goes far beyond maximizing economic utility. Bollier and his colleague Tim Watts explain: "A commons analysis gives us a way to speak coherently about another matrix of concerns that are not given sufficient attention: democratic participation, openness, social equity, and diversity."68

The legal scholar Yochai Benkler also emphasizes the importance of the commons to promoting participation. Quoting the Supreme Court, Benkler argues that a fundamental commitment of American democracy is to ensure "the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources."69 Such a commitment requires policies that make access to and use of information resources equally and ubiquitously available to all users of a network. Benkler concludes:

An open, free, flat, peer-to-peer network best serves the ability of anyone - individual, small group, or large group - to come together to build our information environment. It is through such open and equal participation that we will best secure both robust democratic discourse and individual expressive freedom.70

Moving from theory to practice, library science professors Karen Fisher and Joan Durrance have examined how information communities unite people around a common interest through increased access to a diffused set of information resources. The Internet is often the hub of these communities, facilitating connections and collaborations among participants, the exchange of ideas, distribution of papers, and links with others who have similar interests and needs. They describe five characteristics that distinguish these Internet-based information communities:

° information-sharing with multiplier effects;
° collaboration;
° interaction based on needs of participants;
° low barriers to entry; and
° connectedness with the larger community.

According to Fisher and Durrance, online communities that share the production and distribution of information are likely to experience increased access to and use of information, increased access to people and organizations, and increased dialogue, communication, and collaboration among information providers and constituents.71

Civil society scholars Lewis Friedland, Harry Boyte, and Peter Levine have tested the idea of the commons by establishing information communities in St. Paul, Minnesota and Prince Georges County, Maryland, in order to promote civic engagement, particularly among young people. Levine believes that such commons are appealing because they are not controlled by bureaucrats, experts, or profit-seeking companies, and they encourage more diverse uses and participation. Yet he also recognizes the vulnerability of such endeavors if they fail to adopt appropriate governance structures, rules, and management techniques so that they are equipped to survive in the face of rival alternatives, and avoid the anarchy that can result in the tragedy of the commons as described by Hardin.72

Friedland, Boyte, and Levine acknowledge the historic role of institutions such as newspapers, schools, libraries, and community festivals in providing opportunities for democratic participation and a collective deliberative voice. To promote and sustain newly emerging information commons, they urge continued sponsorship and collaboration with such institutions, along with careful attention to governance structures.73 These scholars believe that by applying the framework for governance and management developed by social scientists like Ostrom, organizers of commons are more likely to succeed in offering robust, democratic alternatives to the market.

St. Paul Community Information Corps,,74 was the first practical experiment in building a community commons. Launched by Lewis Friedland, Harry Boyte, and Nan Skelton, it uses technology tools to involve young people in work on community projects such as mapping, creating a learning directory, and computer training.75

The Prince Georges County Information Commons,, is a democratic, participatory, nonprofit association that produces Web sites, email discussions, databases, digital maps, streaming or broadcast videos, tutoring services, Internet access, free software, and local policy initiatives as a service to the community. Led by Peter Levine, it partners with similar groups in other communities to create a national movement to promote local information commons and encourage the involvement of youth in community activities.

Civic-minded organizations have also assumed a role in advancing the information commons. In 2000, Lewis Friedland's Center for Democracy and Communication at the University of Wisconsin and Harry Boyte's Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the University of Minnesota hosted a New Information Commons Conference where participants sketched out a plan for citizens, in partnership with community organizations, to build new information spaces.76 At about the same time, the New America Foundation launched its Information Commons Project, directed by David Bollier.77 Jeffrey Chester's new Center for Digital Democracy began a "Dot Commons" project to promote public access to noncommercial sources of information.78 On a more local level, students created the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons, a computing freedom group dedicated to preserving the free and open exchange of information both on campus and off.79

In the fall of 2001, the American Library Association sponsored a conference on the Information Commons, with commissioned papers on information equity, copyright and fair use, and public access.80 A similar meeting at Duke University, sponsored by the Center for the Public Domain, a philanthropic foundation, followed.81 Funding from the Rockefeller Foundation has helped ALA continue its work on the commons, and the Mellon Foundation has enabled the Indiana University Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis to study how scholars are using the concept of the commons to counteract the enclosure of academic research and publication.82

In 2002 and 2003, the journals Boston Review, Knowledge Quest, and Common Property Resource Digest devoted full issues to the concept of the information commons.83 The Friends of the Commons, started with help from David Bollier and funding from the Tides Foundation, published its first annual report, The State of the Commons, in 2003.84 At the World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003, the advocacy group issued a newspaper for delegates focusing on the topic, and posted other articles on its Web site.85

Meanwhile, public interest advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Public Knowledge, and IP Justice began pushing for more balanced information policies.86 Some legislators responded with bills to encourage greater access to scientific research results, enhancement of the public domain, and expanded rights for information consumers.87 The law professor and cyber-activist Lawrence Lessig initiated an online campaign to petition Congress to amend the Copyright Term Extension Act so that owners would have to pay a $1 renewal fee after 50 years. Since only about 2% of the works whose copyrights were extended by the CTEA have any commercial value, most owners would not bother with even this minimal exertion. The proposed legislation would thus allow much of the remainder into the public domain after 50 years rather than the longer terms dictated by the CTEA.88

Complementing these efforts is an initiative by Public Knowledge, Creative Commons, and the Center for the Study of the Public Domain to collect "public domain stories" in order to construct a new narrative that dramatizes the value of public domain property and the cost to society when it is lost. The organizers explain:

We are collecting stories of citizens who are hampered by restrictive intellectual property laws. If you have a personal story of copyright, trademark or patent laws needlessly hindering your work and ideas, we want to hear from you. Conversely, if your work has benefited from the availability of art and information in the public domain, we want to know about it.89

All of these activities are calling attention to the commons as a new, dynamic approach to serving the public interest in the digital age. At the same time, initiatives sponsored by scientists, librarians, nonprofit groups, and many others have demonstrated that the information commons can actually flourish. Many of these initiatives are highlighted in the next section.

Examples of Open Democratic Information Resources

New initiatives with characteristics of common property regimes are emerging. They share features such as open and free access for designated communities, self-governance, collaboration, free or low cost, and sustainability. Some of these projects use the Internet itself as a commons, employing open source software, peer-to-peer file sharing, and collaborative Web sites, while others are more focused on content creation and dissemination. While some consider the whole Internet or the public domain90 to be types of commons, these are essentially open access resources and lack the clearly defined group governance that is characteristic of common property regimes. Thus, while not every example below fully embodies all aspects of commons, they all represent exciting new alternatives to a purely private property-driven approach to information and ideas.

Software Commons

Computer software designers were among the first to recognize the importance of developing a commons-like structure to share computer code and collaborate on modifying and upgrading electronic products. Innovative programmers created hundreds of open source software applications that are available without the restrictive licensing provisions of commercial software.91 The best known example is Linux,92 an open source version of the UNIX operating system. Other examples include personal digital assistants (PDAs) that use Linux, and "Wiki," a collaborative authoring tool for Web pages.93 The Google search engine also runs its servers on the Linux open source system.94

Most open source software, while not in the public domain, is available for little or no cost and can be used and redistributed without restriction. End users are welcome to review, use, and modify the source code without payment of royalties, as long as their changes are shared with the open source community. Open source preserves the digital commons, while ensuring that breaches in licensing terms are subject to rules and an enforcement regime. The code is protected by a special license so that improvements cannot be redistributed without the source code.95 Open source harnesses the distributive powers of the Internet, parcels the work out to thousands, and uses their contributions to build and improve the software.

While colleges and universities have long collaborated on open source projects such as Linux, financial strains are now prompting them, along with a number of national, state, and city government entities, to mandate the use of open source. While some for-profit companies like Microsoft are nervous about the increasing popularity of open source, others, such as Sun Microsystems, are offering government entities the StarOffice program for free; it is based on the open source software called OpenOffice.96 In 2001, IBM committed to supporting Linux, and now has a growing pool of more than 6,000 customers.97 Perhaps most significant, the next generation of computer operating system, "Grid," is built on open source software.98

The open collaborative software model has spread to other fields. Biologists are using open source methods to build massive databases, such as genetic sequencing, that are essential to lab research.99 NASA uses open source principles for its Mars mission, with the help of volunteers who identify craters and map the planet.100 Prentice Hall is publishing a series of computer books that readers can modify and redistribute.101 There is even an Open Source Cookbook.102

Other examples of open source software commons include Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders, which contributes to a respected online archive of works that are in the public domain; the Open Digital Rights Language Initiative, an international effort aimed at developing an open standard for managing DRM for the publishing, education, entertainment, and software industries; and the Open Directory Project, "the largest and most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web."103 These and other software commons are described in the box below.


Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders,, is an initiative that enables many proofreaders to work on a book at the same time by breaking it into individual pages, thus significantly speeding up the e-book creation process. By late 2003, Project Gutenberg had more than 10,000 public domain books online. According to Wired magazine, "The method is proving to be as broadly effective - and, yes, as revolutionary - a means of production as the assembly line was a century ago," while embodying "the spirit of democratic solutions to daunting problems."104

The Open Digital Rights Language Initiative (ODRL),, provides free and open standards for describing content, permissions, conditions, and parties to agreements regarding access to and use of digital media. The aim is "to support transparent and innovative use of digital resources." All ODRL specifications are available for general use without obligations and licensing requirements.

The Open Directory Project (ODP),, provides a means for organizing portions of the Internet. It is also known as DMOZ, an acronym for Directory Mozilla, reflecting its loose association with Netscape's Mozilla project, an open source browser initiative. The ODP consists of volunteer editors who manage the Directory's growth and make it available as a free and open resource. The Project is hosted and administered as a noncommercial subsidiary of Netscape Communication Corporation, but it functions as a self-governing community.

SETI@home,, is "a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)." The project allows anyone to participate by downloading its free program that analyzes radio telescope data. In turn, SETI's computers borrow participants' idle computer resources to crunch massive amounts of data coming from the Arecibo telescope. The goal is to analyze more data than any single computer, no matter how powerful, is able to do, and ultimately to find out if there is other intelligent life in the universe.

The Open Video Project,, is a shared repository intended to help researchers study ways to catalog, retrieve, preserve, and interact with digitized video once widespread access is available. The collection is housed at the University of North Carolina and contains video and descriptive information for close to 2,000 digitized video segments. It comprises one of the first channels of the Distributed Storage Infrastructure Initiative, a project that supports distributed repository hosting for research and education in the high-speed Internet 2 community.

Still Water,, a project of the University of Maine's New Media Lab, is a collaborative online environment for creating and sharing images, music, videos, programming code, and texts. This experiment in open sourcing of creative work allows artists of all kinds to share their work more actively.

Licensing Commons

Licensing is the process that copyright owners use to control reproduction, distribution, or other use of creative works. Many licenses are highly specific, restrictive, and costly. To build the information commons, creators have begun to use the licensing model to relax the stringency of commercial licenses and grant permissions for many uses in advance, while still maintaining some control over their work. By using licensing arrangements quite different from those of media companies, they are able to contribute their work to open-access publications and digital repositories.

One such licensing arrangement is the GNU General Public License (GPL), developed by Richard Stallman at MIT in the 1980s. The GPL guarantees that the material is free for all its users, and that it can be copied, shared, and modified. It applies to most of the software distributed by the Free Software Foundation, the organizational sponsor of the GPL Project, and to any other program whose authors commit to using it. When users distribute copies of such programs, the license requires that they give the recipients all the same rights and make sure that they receive or can get the source code.105

The GPL helps online communities of software developers maintain legal control over their collective output by ensuring that anyone can be a free-rider, which promotes use of the software code and improvements, and preventing anyone from privatizing the code and claiming proprietary control. According to David Bollier, the importance of the GPL is that it "assures that the fruits of the commons will stay in the commons. This gives the commons significant structural advantages over corporate-sponsored software development."106 Increasingly, the openness as well as the economics of supporting open source software makes it more desirable for business as well as governments and nonprofit institutions.

The Creative Commons was founded to offer a similar set of flexible copyright licenses for public use, with some rights reserved. It also offers a Web application that helps people dedicate their creative works to the public domain or license them as free for certain uses, under certain conditions. Established in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and other cyberlaw and computer experts with support from the Center for the Public Domain, Creative Commons aims to increase the amount of source material online, "develop a rich repository of high-quality works in a variety of media, and promote an ethos of sharing, public education, and creative interactivity."107 As of January 2004, at least one million Web pages have used a Creative Commons License.108

Scholarly Communication: Open Access

In the 1980s, many professional societies turned over their journal publishing to private firms as a way to contain membership fees and generate income. The short-term financial gains, however, were offset by serious losses in terms of access to research results once journal prices outpaced library budgets. Prices of scholarly journals soared, and publishing conglomerates restricted access through expensive licenses that often require bundled or aggregated purchase of titles.109

As a result, research libraries had no recourse but to cut many of their journal subscriptions. Faced with an increase in subscription prices of 220% since 1986 for journals like Nuclear Physics, Brain Research, and Tetrahedron Letters, which now cost close to $20,000 per year,110 the academic community has sought ways to reclaim control of its research and scholarship. Librarians have joined with scholars, academic administrators, computer and information scientists, nonprofit publishers, and professional societies to create more competition in, and alternative modes of, scholarly publishing. While they may not define their efforts as a unified movement, scholars have thus succeeded in launching well-managed, self-governed research commons that promise sustainability and alternatives to the restrictive private-sector market.

Librarians have led the movement to develop alternative publishing modes. For many years, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has collaborated with foundations and higher education colleagues to document the problem and identify solutions to the crisis faced by its members.111 The American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries added another voice to the movement to reclaim the fruits of scholarship in June 2003 by endorsing a statement of Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication.112

Following the librarians' example, the European and American academic communities have created new institutions to manage and disseminate scholarly information. Foremost among them is the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), founded in 1998 as an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations. SPARC now has 300 member institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC),, is a response to "market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication system," which "have reduced dissemination of scholarship and crippled libraries." SPARC helps "to create systems that expand information dissemination and use in a networked digital environment while responding to the needs of academe." It pursues three strategies: incubation of alternatives to high-priced journals and digital aggregated databases; advocacy "to promote fundamental changes in the system and culture of scholarly communication"; and education to raise awareness among scholars about new publishing possibilities.

Beyond projects undertaken by SPARC, many professional societies in the U.S. are adopting new paradigms for sharing research results. The American Anthropological Association offers its members free online access to a vast array of resources in anthropology. Similarly, the American Physical Society permits its authors to post articles to digital repositories.113 Because the crisis in scholarly publishing hit science early and hard, the scientific community has led the way in designing new modes to exchange research and data.

One significant initiative is open access publishing, which allows wide access to scholarly information online, without price and permission barriers. Committing to open access means dispensing with the financial, technical, and legal barriers that limit access to research articles to paying customers. Like thousands of other online publications, open access scholarly resources are available without charge. In addition, though, they are free of many copyright and licensing restrictions, and some of them have other attributes of common property regimes. Among the more than 700 open-access journals, as of 2004, were titles as diverse as Cell Biology Education, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, The New England Journal of Political Science, and Public Administration and Management.114

For scholars, being published in freely available online open-access journals has dramatically increased the frequency of citation, ensuring greater impact and faster scientific progress, particularly beyond the borders of North America and Europe.115 As Peter Suber, a former philosophy professor who now works for SPARC and Public Knowledge, writes, adopting these new standards and structures will not only reduce costs, but overcome barriers to access such as restrictive copyright laws, licenses, and DRM.116

In 2002, the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute developed the Budapest Open Access Initiative in order to provide leadership, software, technical standards, and funding for the development of new open-access commons of scholarly literature in all academic fields. By early 2004, the Initiative had been signed by 3,190 individuals and 247 organizations worldwide, representing researchers, unions, laboratories, libraries, foundations, journals, publishers, and learned societies. A number of new, online open access journals began publication, funded by foundations, academic societies, and other nonprofits, with assistance from SPARC and the Open Society Institute.117

The challenge, of course, is to find additional and continuing ways to finance these ventures. So far, the most common methods have been securing grants from foundations and charging authors (or indirectly, the funders of their research) for publication. In June 2003, a group of scientists, librarians, higher education institutions, publishers, and scientific societies issued a statement acknowledging that the cost of publishing results is an essential part of scientific research and should not be passed on to readers. This "Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing" commits the signatory organizations to the transition to open access publishing and sharing of scientific research results as widely as possible.118 In October 2003, German, French, Chinese, Italian, Hungarian, and Norwegian research organizations signed a similar statement, the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities."119

Another important foray into open access publishing for scholarly journals came from Oxford University Press in August 2003, when it announced an "open access experiment" with the annual Database Issue of its Nucleic Acids journal. Published online in January 2004, the test issue contained a record number of 142 freely available, peer-reviewed papers, with 90% of the authors agreeing to pay the £300 author charge.120 Martin Richardson, a managing editor of the Journals Division at the Press, observed: "The real test will come as we begin to increase the author charges to reflect the true publishing costs." He added that the Press would take a "staged approach" to explore issues surrounding transition to open access.121

In June 2003, Representative Martin Sabo of Minnesota introduced the Public Access to Science Act, a bill that would put the results of federally funded research in science and medicine into the public domain. The proposed legislation would eliminate copyright controls for any work produced as a result of substantial federal funding, and thus would offer the potential for open access to this research not only to scientists and physicians, but to anyone with access to the Internet.122


BioMed Central,, was the first scientific publisher to institute an alternative model that offers open access, fully peer-reviewed online journals. Begun in 1999, it recovers costs through author charges, some advertising, and institutional support from universities and foundations.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS),, conceived by Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus with his colleagues Michael Eisen and Pat Brown, began three years after the introduction of BioMed Central. Funded by a $9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, PLoS is a nonprofit scientific publishing initiative that believes "immediate unrestricted access to scientific ideas, methods, results, and conclusions will speed the progress of science and medicine." The tradeoff for free access to a vast store of scientific material is a $1,500 author charge. PLoS was introduced with great fanfare; its first open access journal, PLoS BIOLOGY, launched in October 2003, was so popular that it received more than 500,000 hits in a matter of hours, bringing down the server temporarily.123

BioOne,, is "an innovative collaboration among scientific societies, libraries, academe, and the commercial sector," which "brings to the Web a uniquely valuable aggregation of the full texts of high-interest bioscience research journals" that were previously available only in printed form. It is supported by SPARC, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the University of Kansas, among others.124

Assisting with each stage of open access publishing, from managing submission reviews through online publication and indexing, is a nonprofit advocacy organization, the Public Knowledge Project at the University of British Columbia. In the fall of 2003, this Project announced the availability of a prototype called Open Journal Systems - free open source software for journal management and publishing. Such standardized tools are likely to assist organizations in adopting open access models. The Public Knowledge Project is also applying open access tools in collaborations to develop public information sources and interactive environments, including Multiliteracies, a project to expand student literacy skills; Indigenation, a site focused on Canada's First Nations (native Americans); e-commons, a project that would enable students, journalists, and others to tap into the University's Faculty of Education resources; and Vancouver Sun newspaper links to articles on technology and education.125

While promising, many open access publishing experiments carry risks and costs. Some question whether peer review will be as respected and authoritative outside of commercial publications, and whether tenure committees will recognize open access contributions. But as Hess and Ostrom have pointed out, there is no question that the role of the scholar is changing. Scholars worldwide are not only sustaining the resource (the intellectual public domain) but building equity in information access and provision, and creating more efficient methods of dissemination through shared protocols, standards, and rules.126

Scholarly Communication: Digital Repositories

A breakthrough for alternative distribution of scholarship came in October 1999 with the development of the Open Archives Initiative (the "OAI"). Funded by the Digital Library Federation, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the National Science Foundation, this initiative works with various information communities to develop tools for disseminating scholarly papers efficiently. OAI develops and promotes interoperability standards along with standardized descriptive cataloging, in order to provide low-barrier, free access to archives of digital materials.127

In 2002, several institutions began using the OAI tool to launch digital repositories. A combination of factors made this possible: rapidly dropping online storage costs; progress in establishing standards for archiving, describing, and preserving electronic publications; and successful demonstrations of servers that supply material in specific academic disciplines like physics. The result has been repositories that allow universities, disciplines, and individuals to share research results and take a more active, collaborative role in modernizing scholarly publishing. A 2002 publication by the Research Libraries Group and OCLC, Inc., Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities, articulated the characteristics and responsibilities for large-scale, heterogeneous collections, helping digital repositories provide the reliable, long-term access to resources required by their particular communities.128

Best known of the new institutional digital repositories is MIT's DSpace, launched in November 2002 with the goal of making MIT faculty members' scholarship widely available. DSpace has encouraged the development of other systems that provide access to the collective intellectual resources of the world's leading research institutions. According to Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, this development emerged "as a new strategy that allows universities to apply serious, systematic leverage to accelerate changes taking place in scholarship and scholarly communication." It moves universities "beyond their historic relatively passive role of supporting established publishers," and enables them to explore "more transformative new uses of the digital medium."129


DSpace,, is "a groundbreaking digital library system to capture, store, index, preserve, and redistribute the intellectual output of a university's research faculty." Developed by MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard, DSpace provides articles, data sets, images, and audio and video by MIT professors as well as an open source software platform that enables other institutions to share their faculty members' output. The DSpace Federation, consisting of all the institutions that implement DSpace, will be the governance body for this ambitious online commons.

eScholarship Repository,, sponsored by the University of California's Digital Library, aims at facilitating and supporting scholar-led innovations in digital access to academic research. Using the Berkeley Electronic Press,, eScholarship also helps faculty members who are seeking alternative publishing mechanisms.

The Connexions Project,, at Rice University, provides a cohesive body of free, high-quality educational content to anyone in the world through a Content Commons of collaboratively developed material that can be modified for any purpose. The Project also offers open source software to help students, instructors, and authors manage information in the Content Commons.

The Digital Academic Repository of the University of Amsterdam (UvA-DARE),, is a service that automatically creates personal publication lists for scholars as well as a profile of institutional research. It thus provides worldwide access to individual articles as well as the University's collective contributions to knowledge.

Érudit,, at the University of Montreal, is a French language institutional digital repository of professional-level scholarly journals, all freely available.

Net Academy Universe,, is a global network of research communities, each of which "accumulates, disseminates, and reviews academic content and activities according to its own organizational principles and quality standards." The fields of research include media management, electronic markets, and communications. "Its modular architecture enables any interested scientific organization to establish its own NetAcademy," using its own organizational principles, but following "the old academic ideal: Knowledge is a shared good, [which] is openly discussed."130

The Digital Library of the Commons ("DLC"),, housed at Indiana University, is a free gateway to the international literature on the commons itself. It contains a Working Paper Archive of author-submitted papers, as well as full-text conference papers, dissertations, pre-prints, and reports. DLC uses "EPrints," open source software that is compliant with OAI standards and that enables researchers to self-archive their articles efficiently.131

Like universities, academic disciplines have also created a rich array of repositories. The first, the Los Alamos,, was begun in 1991 by physicist Paul Ginsparg, in order to provide low-cost access to scientific research before it was peer-reviewed and published in journals. It is an open access, electronic archive and distribution server for research papers in physics and related disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, and quantitative biology. Originally hosted at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, this pioneering effort in free online exchange of scientific information is now maintained by the Cornell University Libraries, with advisors from several subject fields covered by the repository and partial funding from the National Science Foundation. Reciprocity is assured because scientists both depend on the ArXiv for access to others' work and use it to deposit their own writings. Participation is governed by norms that require authors to submit only those items that are "of refereeable quality."132 Authors maintain their papers on the ArXiv server, even if they are later published in peer-reviewed journals.133

By 2004, the e-print service was receiving as many as 120,000 queries per day, and included more than 250,000 papers. It had become such a mainstream component of physics publishing that one astrophysicist said he would not consider publishing in any journal without also posting a preprint on the server.134 His attitude is understandable, since astrophysics papers on deposit in ArXiv are cited about twice as often as astrophysics papers that are not, according to a report presented at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Publications Board in November 2003.135

Following the success of, numerous other digital repositories in specific academic disciplines have been created.

Examples of Digital Repositories in Specific Academic Fields

EconWPA,, is devoted to self-archiving and free distribution of working papers in economics.

The Oxford Text Archive,, makes available at no cost full-text, authorized versions of public domain, historical scholarly materials.

The PhilSci Archive,, housed at the University of Pittsburgh, is an electronic free archive for preprints in the philosophy of science.

The New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO) Legal Scholarship Repository,, provides a free point of access for working papers, reports, lecture series, workshop presentations, and other scholarship created by law school faculty at NELLCO member law schools, including Cornell, Fordham, and Yale.

Individual authors are also distributing their own scholarly information through personal Web sites or independent repositories. By retaining rights to archival copies of their publications, scholars become part of an international information community that increases access and benefits for everyone. According to Stevan Harnad and other researchers at the University of Loughborough in England, 55% of journals now officially authorize self-archiving, and many others will permit it upon request, demonstrating the dedication of many scholarly publications to promoting rather than blocking research impact.136 As with many forms of information, rewards are reaped from increased reading and use, rather than from royalties on commercial sales.

The international scholarly community is increasingly aware that its shared information assets are at risk. Recognizing that collaborative research necessitates open access and communication, groups of scholars and information specialists have begun coordinating strategies to obtain higher joint benefits and to reduce their joint harm from information enclosure. Although many of these collective-action initiatives are still experimental, their success and popularity give hope that scholarly information commons can thrive.

Institutional Commons

Over many centuries, information communities resided in institutions like universities, schools, and libraries. Today, university presidents such as NYU's John Sexton recognize the importance of moving their institutions toward an information commons model. Sexton believes that universities are now threatened by the tragedy of the commons, and must respond by building a "common enterprise community" as a sanctuary for knowledge creation. One way that universities can serve the broader public interest, Sexton says, is by requiring that publicly funded research discoveries be in the public domain.137

MIT has led the way in creating a university-level institutional commons. Its OpenCourseWare project,, makes a huge range of course materials freely available to anyone across the globe; this includes course outlines, lecture notes, readings, problems, and solutions. More than 600 of MIT's approximately 950 faculty members participate, with more than 700 courses available online as of spring, 2004.

K-12 public schools should provide a similar shared resource for younger people. Public schools offer youngsters equitable opportunities to achieve and advance, and the skills to participate in all aspects of society, representing a commons similar to the enterprise model of universities. One state that recognizes this is Washington, which has launched a Digital Learning Commons (DLC) that will harness technology to provide all the state's students access to high-quality online courses, digital resources, and learning tools. The project will create a shared infrastructure that will centralize and coordinate a multitude of learning initiatives, in partnership with the rich array of educational and cultural organizations in the state. It will be run by a nonprofit organization, working closely with schools and students to ensure a responsive, equitable resource available to rural and urban residents alike. Initial funding for a "proof of concept" phase of the project comes from private-public partnerships with seed money from the state. When the commons is fully implemented in 2005, school districts and the state will assume the cost of delivering online courses, while a combination of state, federal, and foundation sources will pay for learning resources, technology tools, and course development.138

Libraries are quintessential examples of institutional information commons. They embrace, embody, and practice the democratic values that characterize commons. Their mission is to provide communities with open, equitable, sustained access to ideas, and they offer individuals the tools, skills, and spaces necessary to participate in democratic discourse. Starting with free Internet services, libraries have taken a leading role in promoting alternative modes of access to information that transcend DRM, copyright term extension, and other forms of enclosure.

Over the past two decades, academic and research libraries have spearheaded the transition of scholarly communication. Efforts to digitize their own materials are evolving in the U.S. into a collaborative endeavor called the Distributed Open Digital Library (DODL), which will provide universal electronic access to public domain humanities and social science collections from multiple research institutions.139 A similar effort in the United Kingdom will extend beyond universities to include some 20 public sector and other organizations that will form a Common Information Environment Group to serve the information needs of a wider audience of learners.140

In addition to projects to expand access to collections, academic libraries at Indiana University, the University of Arizona, and elsewhere have remodeled their facilities to create physical commons that organize workspace and service delivery around an integrated digital environment, often in spaces adjacent to critical campus units such as the library, the university teaching center, and the computer center. Some of these spaces are called information commons, where disparate resources are brought together by librarians and information technology staff. Others are referred to as learning commons, where students share learning tasks.141

Collaborative, online libraries are also among the proliferating examples of information commons. See the box below for some prominent examples.

Examples of Institutional Commons: Online Libraries

The Internet Archive/International Children's Digital Library (ICDL),, developed by the Internet Archive and the University of Maryland, works with the publishing community to provide a free online collection of international literature for children. The library's primary purpose is to provide access to literature that can enable children to understand the global society in which they live. It has assembled an international community of representatives from national libraries to select and oversee access to materials from their respective countries. Publishers must abide by the terms of the project if they are providing books to the collection. Advising the effort are a group of librarians, authors, publishers, children's advocates, educators, philanthropists, and technologists.142

The Baen Free Library,, is a free online commons that makes available at no cost novels in electronic format to anyone who wishes to read them with no conditions attached. The purpose of the library is to showcase authors, make it easier for a broader audience to become familiar with their work, and demonstrate that open access to full-text stimulates a net gain in book sales.

The Distributed Library Project,, is an experiment in sharing information and building community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Library users are encouraged to create an account and then list the books and videos that they own, making them available to other participants in the project.

Ibiblio,, is a heavily used conservancy of freely available information in the fields of music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. A collaboration between the Center for the Public Domain and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Ibiblio encourages users not only to view and utilize the collection and free software, but to critique and expand it, and to create and manage a new collection in their own area of interest.

Finally, the Digital Promise Project, co-chaired by Newton Minow and Lawrence Grossman, is promoting the creation of a Digital Opportunity Investment Trust ("DO IT"), a nonprofit, nongovernmental agency that would deploy the Internet and other new information technologies to ensure public access to knowledge and learning-across-a-lifetime in the sciences and humanities. DO IT would also stimulate public and private sector research into the development and use of new learning techniques and encourage digitization of cultural resources held by libraries, museums, and universities, with funding dedicated by Congress from the proceeds of spectrum auctions. Legislation was introduced in November 2003 to support this effort.143

Subject Matter Information Commons

Beyond the cross-disciplinary archiving and publishing efforts evolving among scholars and cultural institutions, information communities worldwide have developed a broad array of projects that focus on particular subjects. These efforts incorporate many of the characteristics of commons. Examples range from civic engagement to cultural exchange, and from collaborative publishing to dissemination of specialized resources. See the box below for a sampling of these projects.

In addition to the many ongoing projects, two initiatives that, as of spring 2004, were still in the design stage, demonstrate the range of possibilities for subject-matter commons. The BBC Creative Archive, a project under development by the British Broadcasting Corporation, plans to make the contents of its vast archive available to the public so long as any re-use is for noncommercial purposes. The BBC Creative Archive will enable not only the British but people across the globe to cultivate this national resource.144

The Galiwinku Knowledge Centre, established to preserve and revive Australia's indigenous cultures, is creating an elaborate digital database of words, music, and dance steps representing the entire intellectual system of the people of Galiwinku on Elcho Island, off the northeast coast of Australia. The project is probably the world's first software system being tested and perfected by indigenous people seeking to map their knowledge.145

Examples of Subject Matter Commons

The Allen Brain Atlas Project,, was created with a donation of $100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The open access, collaborative, public domain Allen Brain Atlas will illustrate the functional anatomy of the brain and overlay structural imagery of the brain with specific details about the locations and functions of active genes on an unprecedented scale.

The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES),, links together 15 sites to act as a single virtual earthquake engineering laboratory that enables experimentation, data analysis, simulations, theory formulation and testing, and education about earthquakes. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this scientific "collaboratory" uses the "Internet2 Commons," a super-fast network consisting of 205 member institutions.146

The Berkman Center Commons at Harvard University,, is a collection of creative works made available by people associated with the Center. The works are available on the Internet for use on open, generous terms through Creative Commons licenses.

The OYEZ Supreme Court Multimedia Archives,, converts recordings of Supreme Court hearings to MP3 format, permitting offline listening and sharing through the same peer-to-peer software that is used to swap music and movies. OYEZ has been based at Northwestern University since 1989; this new project is building a digital commons of hearings that are available at no charge, and can be shared as long as OYEZ is credited and use is limited to noncommercial purposes.

Project Vote Smart,, is a citizens' organization formed to provide unbiased, nonpartisan, accurate, and comprehensive information for voters. In addition to profiles of elected officials and candidates, PVS monitors the status of major federal legislation and posts calendars for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The Democracy Design Workshop,, is an interactive open-source software program that fosters the exchange of information about civic engagement and democratic governance worldwide. Developed by the Democracy Design Workshop at New York Law School and the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Council of Europe, and America Speaks, this project enables networking among communities interested in democratic governance structures and the documentation of best practices for civic participation.

Culture Online,, sponsored by the government of the United Kingdom, is an arts and education initiative aimed at enlivening the school curriculum and adult learning. Working collaboratively, Culture Online forges connections between new digital technology and a variety of cultural institutions, and thus opens up British cultural resources to the world.

E-Democracy Public Commons,, helps communities create active "online public commons" for their towns and regions, as well as national nonpartisan online discussion on public issues. Participants are encouraged to assess their communities, draw up a charter and rules for a forum they wish to create, and then set up a nonpartisan, nonprofit working group to host it, while assigning each member a specific management task. Organizers of this effort work collaboratively with academics on research about civic engagement.

3 Rivers Connect,, is creating an information commons for the Pittsburgh region to facilitate the flow of useful information among public, civic, educational, and economic development agencies throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. This nonprofit collaborative undertaken by a diverse group of community leaders is coordinating community technology efforts and presenting them as a laboratory for demonstrating how an information commons can empower grassroots participation in democracy.

Net Ring,, is a collaborative exchange for knitters, created on the Internet in 1998 to reflect the historical importance of knitting and contribute to the continued growth and vibrancy of the craft. The purpose of a net ring is to link Web sites with a similar theme, this one linking sites that offer free knitting patterns. The result is an active global knitting circle that forms a community of practice not restricted by time or geography.

Berklee Shares,, at the Berklee College of Music, offers online lessons for download and sharing. Topics include composing, producing, engineering, remixing, and performing. Musicians are encouraged to swap audio and video clips of course material over peer-to-peer networks. Content is covered by Creative Commons licenses.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind Digital Library,
, contains more than 10,000 audio, text, and Braille titles, and current editions of more than 40 national and community newspapers from across Canada, plus access to the full-text versions of thousands of magazines and databases. The library, designed to work with major adaptive technology products including screen-reading programs and Braille keyboards, offers a Children's Discovery Portal that provides visually impaired children access to online games, books, homework help, and chats with other visually impaired children.

Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture ("AGORA"),, offers students and academics in the world's poorest countries free or low-cost access to online scientific information on food and agriculture. Sponsored by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and a range of public and private sector partners including libraries, foundations, and publishers, this initiative responds to the unfilled demand for scientific literature in developing countries to improve health, nutrition, and education of the world's poor.

Principles and Characteristics of Information Commons

The examples of information commons described in this report have similar characteristics. They are collaborative. They offer shared spaces, real and virtual, where communities with common interests and concerns gather. They take advantage of the networked environment to build information communities, and they benefit from network externalities, meaning the greater the participation, the more valuable the resource. They are interactive, encouraging discourse and exchange among their members. Many are free or low cost. Their participants often contribute new creations after they gain and benefit from access. These commons enhance both human and social capital. Their governance is shared, with rules and norms that are defined and accepted by their constituents. They incorporate democratic values. Free expression and intellectual freedom prevail.

Many of these characteristics of information commons are consistent with the principles developed by public interest groups in the late 1980s and early 1990s as they tried to sort through the many disputes about information enclosure. To cope, these groups began developing principles that served as a baseline for evaluating potential policy changes. Among the first to draft such principles were the American Library Association and the Telecommunications Roundtable, an alliance of public interest groups in Washington that was active in the early 1990s.147

In 1993, the Aspen Institute hosted a working meeting of industry, academic, foundation, and public interest representatives to express some of these "first principles" in the areas of communication, privacy, and information policy. Aspen's Communication and Society Program published the outcome of these discussions as Toward An Information Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.148 Today, numerous organizations around the globe have drafted similar principles and statements. The Appendix lists many of them, along with Web links to their documents.

Among the most common factors highlighted in these statements are free expression and the right to communicate and gain access to information. Other commonly cited goals are diversity of content, preservation of culture, open access, protection of the public domain, bridging the digital divide, use of open source software, privacy protection, participation in democratic processes, and structural regulation of the mass media to prevent unchecked consolidation and power. While few of these statements refer specifically to commons, most support the values outlined in this report.

Of the organizations listed, technology and Internet groups have a strong focus on technical issues and the right to communicate. One example is the Association for Progressive Communications, which offers a comprehensive "Internet Rights Charter."149 Another is the UK-based Manifesto for Online Communities, which states that the Internet should "enhance rather than restrict democracy, [and] enable us to be active citizens."150

Groups that advocate stronger political participation, such as Greater Democracy and the Center for Digital Democracy, echo this concern for civic engagement.151 Media advocacy organizations stress free expression, accessibility, multiple competing channels of information, diversity of sources and voices, the public domain, and fair allocation of the broadcast spectrum. Although international organizations are more vague and generalizing in their public statements, they also proclaim the inherent communication rights of citizens. Excerpts from the statement passed by civil society groups at the World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003 are a good example:

Access to information and the means of communication as a public and global commons should be participatory, universal, inclusive and democratic. …. Universal access to information that is essential for human development must be ensured. … The regulatory and legal framework in all information and communication societies must be strengthened to support broad-based sharing of technologies, information, and knowledge, and to foster community control, respectful of human rights and freedoms.152

Finally, librarians and publishers focus extensively on free expression, open access, and affordability. Of this group, the American Library Association has updated its earlier document that now offers a comprehensive statement related to networking principles as well as another specifically addressing information commons.153 The ALA's 2001 roundtable, "The Information Commons, New Technology, and the Future of Libraries," established 12 principles or discussion points to be used in developing the information commons, among them that "information is a key resource that has a central role in our development as citizens and human beings"; that "some elements of the commons are embodied in ideas such as fair use and the public domain"; and that "we might understand the commons as a 'place' or 'space,' but we should also understand the commons as a collection of processes for meeting the information needs of our societies."

Finally, says the ALA:

Among the other institutions we might see as part of the commons are: museums, archives, and other resource centers; cultural heritage centers; religious organizations; nonprofit and social service organizations; unions; public interest broadcasters; even commercial organizations may play a role in the information commons to the extent that they benefit from and promote access to information outside strict market limits.154

III. The Future of the Information Commons

NOTES [all URLs checked in March 2004]

47. Baker, supra n. 21, p. 73.

48. See J. A. Yelling, Common Field and Enclosure in England 1450-1850, Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1977; Michael Turner, Enclosures in Britain 1750-1830, London: Macmillan, 1984.

49. Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, "Ideas, Artifacts, and Facilities: Information as a Common-Pool Resource," Law & Contemporary Problems, vol. 66, #1 & 2 (Winter/Spring 2003), pp.114-18,

50. Henry Sumner Maine, Ancient Law: its Connection with the Early History of Society and its Relation to Modern Ideas, Tucson: U. of Arizona Press, 1986.

51. H. Scott Gordon, "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, vol. 62, #2 (Apr. 1954): 124-142; Anthony D. Scott, "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, vol. 63, # 2 (Apr. 1955): 116-124.

52. Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons," Science, vol. 162, (Dec. 1968): 1243-48.

53. See, e.g., National Research Council, Proceedings of the Conference on Common Property Resource Management, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1986; Elinor Ostrom, et. al., The Drama of the Commons, prepared for the National Research Council, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002,; Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, NY: Cambridge U. Press, 1990; Elinor Ostrom, Roy Gardner, and James Walker, Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resource, Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 1994; David Bromley, Making the Commons Work: Theory, Practice, and Policy, San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1992; Adrienne Heritier, ed., Common Goods: Reinventing European and International Governance, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littefield, 2002; Susan Buck, The Global Commons: An Introduction, Washington, DC: Island Press, 1998.

54. Rose, supra n. 46, p. 141.

55. Siegfried V. Ciriacy-Wantrup and Richard C. Bishop, "'Common Property' as a Concept in Natural Resource Policy," Natural Resources Journal, vol. 15 (1975): 713-27.

56. See Glenn G. Stevenson, Common Property Economics: A General Theory and Land Use Applications, NY: Cambridge U. Press, 1991, pp. 54-57.

57. Carl Dahlman, The Open Field System and Beyond: A Property Rights Analysis of an Economic Institution, NY: Cambridge U. Press, 1980, p. 6. See also Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom, "Public Goods and Public Choices," in Alternatives for Delivering Public Services: Toward Improved Performance, Emanuel S. Savas, ed., Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1977, pp. 7, 9-14. Another economist, Glenn Stevenson, has identified seven useful characteristics that distinguish common goods from public and private goods: (1) well defined boundaries; (2) well-delineated group of users; (3) multiple users of the resource; (4) well-understood rules; (5) shared rights to use the resource; (6) competition for the resource; and, (7) well-delineated group of rights holders. His examples include communal forests in Europe that are group-managed for a limited, well-defined community, and grazing lands available to residents of a particular village during certain pre-determined dates for a limited number of animals. Stevenson, supra n.56, p. 47.

58. Ostrom, 1990, supra n. 53; see also Edella Schlager and Elinor Ostrom, "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, vol. 68, #3 (1992): 249-62; Elinor Ostrom, "Property-Right Regimes and Common Goods: A Complex Link," in Common Goods, supra n. 53.

59. Schlager and Ostrom, supra n. 58, pp. 250-51.

60. See National Research Council, supra n. 53; Elinor Ostrom, "A Method of Institutional Analysis," in F.X. Kaufmann, G. Majone, and V. Ostrom, Guidance, Control, and Evaluation in the Public Sector, NY: Walter de Gruyter, 1986: 459-75; Oakerson, 1992, supra n. 1; Buck, supra n. 53, pp. 21-44.

61. IASCP, "Reinventing the Commons," The Fifth Annual IASCP Conference, Bodoe, Norway: Agricultural U. of Norway, U. of Trondheim and Partners, May 24-28, 1995,; see also; Charlotte Hess, "Is There Anything New Under the Sun?: A Discussion and Survey of Studies on New Commons and the Internet," Paper presented at "Constituting the Commons," 8th biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, May 31-June 4, 2000, Bloomington, IN,

62. Ostrom, 1990, supra n. 53; see also Elinor Ostrom, Roy Gardner and James Walker, Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources, Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 1994: 23-50; Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom, supra n. 57, pp. 7, 9-14; Thomas Dietz, Elinor Ostrom, and Paul C. Stern, "The Struggle to Govern the Commons," Science, vol. 302, # 5652, (Dec. 12 2003): 1907-12; Jules Pretty, "Social Capital and the Collective Management of Resources," Science, vol. 302, # 5652, (Dec. 12 2003): 1912-13.

63. Hess and Ostrom, supra n. 49, p. 132.

64. See, e.g., Benjamin Barber, Strong Democracy, Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1984; Benjamin Barber, A Place for Us: How to Make Society Civil and Strong, NY: Hill & Wang, 1998; Harry C. Boyte, The Backyard Revolution: Understanding the New Citizen Movement, Philadelphia: Temple U. Press, 1980; Harry C. Boyte, Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics, NY: The Free Press, 1989; Harry C. Boyte and Sara M. Evans, Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America, NY: Harper & Row, 1986, rev. ed. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1992; Friedland and Boyte, supra n. 2; Peter Levine, "Building the Electronic Commons," The Good Society, vol. 11, #3, 2002: 4-9,; Peter Levine, "Civic Renewal and the Commons of Cyberspace," National Civic Review, vol. 90, # 3, (Fall 2001): 205-12,; Ronald Hayuk and Kevin Mattson. eds., Democracy's Moment: Reforming the American Political System for the 21st Century, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002; Carmen Sirianni and Lewis Friedland, Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy, and the Movement for Civic Renewal, Berkeley: U. of California Press, 2001.

65. See, e.g., Lawrence Grossman, The Electronic Republic: The Transformation of American Democracy, NY: Viking, 1995; Roza Tsagarousianou, Damian Tambini, and Cathy Bryan, eds., Cyberdemocracy: Technology, Cities and Civic Networks, NY, Routledge, 1998; Anthony G. Wilhelm, Democracy in the Digital Age: Challenges to Political Life in Cyberspace, NY: Routledge, 2000; Douglas Schuler, New Community Networks: Wired for Change, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996; Douglas Schuler and Peter Day, eds., Shaping the Network Society, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004; Rheingold, supra n. 26; Bruce Bimber, Information and American Democracy: Technology in the Evolution of Political Power, NY: Cambridge U. Press, 2003.

66. See, e.g., Yochai Benkler, "Overcoming Agoraphobia: Building the Commons of the Digitally Networked Environment," Harvard J. of Law and Technology, vol. 11, # 2 (Winter 1998): 287-400,; Yochai Benkler, "The Battle Over the Institutional Ecosystem in the Digital Environment," Communications of the ACM, vol. 44, #2, Feb. 2001: 84-90,; James Boyle, "Fencing Off Ideas," Daedalus, vol. 131, no. 2 (Apr. 2002): 13-25,; James Boyle, "The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain," Law & Contemporary Problems, supra n. 49, pp. 33-74; James Boyle, "A Politics of Intellectual Property: Environmentalism for the Net?" Law in the Information Society, 1997,; Lessig, supra n. 45; Carol Rose, "The Comedy of the Commons: Commerce, Custom, and Inherently Public Property," U. of Chicago L. Rev., vol. 53 (1986): 711-81; Carol Rose, "Romans, Roads, and Romantic Creators: Traditions of Public Property in the Information Age, Law & Contemporary Problems, supra, pp. 89-110.

67. See, e.g., Nancy Kranich, "Libraries: The Information Commons of Civil Society," in Douglas Schuler and Peter Day, Shaping the Network Society, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, June 2004; Hess, supra n. 61; Daniel Lee, "Constructing the Commons: Practical Projects to Build the Information Commons," Knowledge Quest, vol. 31, #4, (Mar./Apr. 2003): 13-15; Bollier, Public Assets, supra n. 3; Bollier and Watts, supra n. 3; Bollier, Silent Theft, supra n. 3; Jeffrey Chester, "The Dot-Commons Concept: Making the Internet Safe for Democracy." Washington, DC: Center for Digital Democracy,

68. Bollier and Watts, supra n. 3, p. 3; see also David Bollier, "The Rediscovery of the Commons," Upgrade, vol. 4, # 3, (June 2003): 10-12,

69. Associated Press v. United States, 326 U.S. 1, 20 (1945), quoted in Benkler, 2000, supra n. 30, p. 561.

70. Benkler, 2000, supra n. 30, p. 568.

71. Karen Fisher and Joan Durrance, "Information Communities," in Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World, Karen Christensen and David Levinson, eds., vol. 4, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2003: 657-60; Joan Durrance, "The Vital Role of Librarians in Creating Information Communities: Strategies for Success," Library Administration and Management, vol. 15, #3 (Summer 2001): 161-68; Joan Durrance, "Information Communities,"
infocomm.htm. Other scholars who have studied how the Internet supports online communication include Barry Wellman, Networks in the Global Village, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999; Barry Wellman, Jeffrey Boase, and Wenhong Chen, "The Networked Nature of Community: Online and Offline," IT & Society, vol. 1, #1, 151-65; Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite, eds., The Internet in Everyday Life, Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2002; Mary Chayko, Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Digital Age, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2002; Mark Smith and Peter Kollock, Communities in Cyberspace, NY: Routledge, 1998; Leslie Shade, Gender and Community in the Social Construction of the Internet, NY, Peter Lang, 2002; and Amy Jo Kim and Katie Frank, "Building Virtual Communities," in Encyclopedia of Community, supra, pp. 1460-63.

72. Levine, 2002, supra n. 64, pp. 5-7. A report released in 2004 documents the world of online youth civic culture and the ways in which these Web communities are advancing young people's participation in politics and local affairs. Kathryn Montgomery, Barbara Gottlieb-Robles, and Gary O. Larson, "Youth as E-Citizens: Engaging the Digital Generation," Washington, DC: Center for Social Media, American University, Mar. 2004,

73. Levine, 2002, supra n. 64, pp. 7-8; Friedland and Boyte, supra n. 2.

74. All URLs noted in the report were accessed in May 2004.

75. E-mail from Lewis Friedland to Nancy Kranich and Marjorie Heins, Mar. 13, 2004.

76. The Democracy Collaborative, New Information Commons Conference, Jan. 14-16, 2000,

77. New American Foundation, Along with lawyer and activist Gigi Sohn, Bollier also co-founded Public Knowledge, a nonprofit organization that represents the public interest in intellectual property law and Internet policies; see.

78. Center for Digital Democracy, The "Dot-Commons" Concept,

79. Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons, This Web site hosted documents exposing problems with Diebold voting machines; Diebold sued for allegedly violating the DMCA, but dropped the case in December 2003. See Why War?,; Electronic Frontier Foundation press release, "Diebold Backs Down," Dec. 1, 2003,

80. American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy, "The Information Commons, New Technology, and the Future of Libraries Roundtable," Nov. 2001,, including papers by Howard Besser, "Commodification of Culture Harms Creators"; David Bollier, "Why We Must Talk About the Information Commons"; Jorge Reina Schement, "Imagining Fairness: Equality and Equity of Access in Search of Democracy"; and Jonathan Tasini, "Creators and the Information Commons." See also American Library Association, Information Commons Project Working Group, "To Support the Information Commons: Principles for an Effective Information Commons," 2002,

81. Duke Conference on the Public Domain, Nov. 9-10, 2001, The conference papers, by James Boyle, Carol Rose, Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, and others such as the music group Negativland, were published in Law & Contemporary Problems, supra n. 49.

82. See American Library Association, Office of Information Technology Policy, Libraries and the Information Commons, Mar. 12-14, 2004,; Indiana University Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis,

83. Boston Review, vol. 27, # 3-4 (Summer 2002),, includes a lead article by David Bollier, "Reclaiming the Commons"; and responses by Marcia Angell, "Public Health"; Robert McChesney, "The Place of Politics"; and Tom W. Palmer, "Common Property?",among others. American Association of School Librarians, Knowledge Quest, supra n. 67, includes articles by Bollier, "Saving the Information Commons," pp. 9-12; Daniel R. Lee, "Constructing the Commons: Practical Projects to Build the Information Commons," pp. 13-15; and others. International Association for the Study of Common Property, The Common Property Resource Digest, # 65 (June 2003), includes a lead article by Bollier, "The Missing Language of the Digital Age: The Commons," pp. 1-4; and responses by Hess, "The Information Commons and the IASCP," pp. 4-5; Nancy Kranich, "The Information Commons: From Metaphor to Reality," pp. 5-6; Markku Oksanen, "Response to Dr. Bollier: Towards a Copyleft?" pp. 6-7; Joseph Bahati, "Knowledge Banks for the Commons from the African Perspective," pp. 7-8; and Jennifer Jenkins, "Innovation in the Information Commons," p. 8.

84. The URL of the original website for Friends of the Commons,, later became a porn site; the correct URL is now; see Peter Barnes, Jonathan Rowe, and David Bollier, The State of the Commons: A Report to America's Stakeholders on their Commonly Held, Government Managed Assets, San Francisco: Friends of the Commons, Oct. 2003, (Footnote updated July 10, 2007.)

85. World-Information.Org Infopaper distributed at the World Summit on the Information Society, (Dec. 2003),, includes articles by David Bollier, "Preserving the Commons in the New Information Order;" Yochai Benkler, "The Political Economy of the Commons"; Peter Suber, "Open Access to Science and Scholarship"; and Eben Moglen, "Free Software, Free Hardware, Free Bandwidth."

86. See;;; ; The Rockefeller Foundation funded a forum hosted by the American Library Association,; the MacArthur Foundation has supported advocacy at Public Knowledge, the ALA,, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society,, and other organizations, and has provided start-up assistance for the Creative Commons (see July 26, 2002 press release at ttp://
id=10200061; Oct. 2003 press release at
announce/press_releases/11_24_2003_2.htm). The Ford Foundation has helped advance copyright efforts at NYU Law School and the ALA.

87. E.g., "The Consumers, Schools and Libraries Digital Rights Management Awareness Act of 2003" (S. 1621), a bill sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, Sept. 16, 2003, to prohibit the FCC from mandating that digital media products include DRM; "Public Access to Science Act" (H.R. 2613), introduced by Rep. Martin Sabo, June 26, 2003; "Public Domain Enhancement Act of 2003" (HR 2601), introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren and John Doolittle, June 25, 2003; "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003" (H.R. 107), introduced by Reps. Rick Boucher and John Doolittle, Jan. 7, 2003; "Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations Act of 2003" (H.R. 1066), introduced by Rep. Lofgren, Mar. 4, 2003; "Digital Consumer Right to Know Act" (S. 692), introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden, Mar. 26, 2003.

88. Lauren Gelman, "Reclaim the Public Domain Petition," By the end of 2003, the petition was endorsed by close to 20,000 signatories, and the proposed legislation was introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren as the "Public Domain Enhancement Act of 2003 (H.R. 2601); see

89. See

90. The legal scholar David Lange asserts that the public domain is most usefully seen as a commons, which has been restricted by copyright term extension, privatization, licensing, DRM, and proprietary databases such as Lexis/Nexis. See David Lange, "Reimagining the Public Domain," Law & Contemporary Problems, supra n. 49; Yochai Benkler, "Free as the Air to Common Use: First Amendment Constraints on Enclosure of the Public Domain," N.Y.U. L. Rev., vol. 74 (May 1999): 354-64,; and the articles published in Law & Contemporary Problems, supra; and Knowledge Quest, supra n. 83.

91. See, e.g, Edward Sargent, "What is Open Source Software?" Seattle: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mar. 24, 2003,; Yochai Benkler, "Coase's Penguin, or, Linux and the Nature of the Firm," Yale L. J., vol. 112, #3, (Dec. 2002): 369-438,; Ward Cunningham, "Wiki Design Principles,"

92. See Linux Online,

93. See Linux on PDAs Web Site,; Wiki Welcome Visitors Web site,; What is Wiki?,

94. See John Markoff, "The Coming Search Wars," New York Times, Feb. 1, 2004, §3, p. 1; "Google History,"

95. See Red Hat, Open Source: NOW, intro.html; Sargent, supra n. 91; Samuelson, supra n. 32 ; Boyle, Law & Contemporary Problems, supra n. 66, p. 45.

96. "Sharing the Code: More Colleges and Universities See Open-Source Software as an Alternative to Commercial Products, Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 1, 2003, Governments from Israel to the State of Massachusetts to the city of Munich are also mandating open source to save money; see Chris O'Brien, "Israel to Suspend Microsoft Buys: Government to Seek Open-Source Options," San Jose Mercury News, Dec. 31, 2003,

97. See Todd R. Weiss, "LinuxWorld: A Defiant IBM Says Linux Indemnification Is Unnecessary," Computerworld, Jan. 21, 2004,
/story/0,10801,89269,00.html?f=x06; "Linux,"

98. See

99. John Quackenbush, "Open-source Software Accelerates Bioinformatics," Genome Biology, vol. 4, #9, (Sept. 2003): 336;,; Rob Carlson, "On the Parallels and Contrasts (Anti-parallels?) Between the Open-source Software Movement and Open-source Biology," Intentional Biology/Open Source Biology, Dec. 10, 2000,

100. NASA/Ames Research Center, Clickworkers Project,; NASA, Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Athena Student Interns program,; Michael Szpir, "Clickworkers on Mars," American Scientist Online, vol. 90, #3 (May-June 2002),; Thomas Goetz, "Open Source Everywhere: Software is Just the Beginning …" Wired, vol. 11, #11 (Nov. 2003),

101. Stephen Shankland, "Book Publisher Adopts Open-Source Idea,", Jan. 16, 2003,; Nancy Cohen, "Open Content: The Revolution in Publishing - Will Open-Source Evangelist Upset the Way Books Are Sold?"

102. Matthew Balmer, The Open Source Cookbook: Fuel for Geeks, Preview 5.0, 2003,

103. "About the Open Directory Project," Netscape Communication Corporation,

104. Goetz, supra n. 100; Project Gutenberg News and Events,

105. See GNU General Public License, Version 2, June 1991, (describing the GPL and other licenses available from the project); Goetz, supra n. 100.

106. Bollier, June 2003, supra n. 68.

107.; see also Glenn Otis Brown, "Academic Digital Rights: A Walk on the Creative Commons," Syllabus, Apr. 1, 2003,; Richard Poynder, "Reclaiming the Digital Commons: Investigative Report," Information Today, vol. 20, #6, June, 2003: 33-35.

108. E-mail to Nancy Kranich from Neeru Paharia, staff member at Creative Commons, Jan. 26, 2004 ("we do know there are ~1,000,000 linkbacks to the licenses, so a million webpages have licenses on them. No one really knows how many people that represents, or how many discrete objects").

109. Suzanne Thorin, "Global Changes in Scholarly Communication," paper presented at e-Workshops on Scholarly Communication in the Digital Era, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, Aug. 11-24, 2003,; Richard E. Abel and Lyman W. Newlin, eds., Scholarly Publishing: Books, Journals, Publishers, and Libraries in the Twentieth Century, Indianapolis: Wiley, 2002.

110. See Association of College and Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, and SPARC, "Create Change: New Systems of Scholarly Communication," Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, Oct. 2003,; Scott J. Turner, "Library Sees Red Over Rising Journal Prices: Dangling Red Tags Are Marking Periodicals that Have One-Year Subscription Rates of $1,000 or Higher," George Street Journal, vol. 24 (Mar. 10-16, 2000),
Journal/vol24/24GSJ19c.html; Lee Van Orsdel & Kathleen Born, "Big Chill on the Big Deal?" Library Journal, vol. 128. #7, (Apr. 15, 2003): 51-56,

111. See Association of Research Libraries, Issues in Scholarly Communication,

112. Association of College and Research Libraries, "Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication," Chicago: American Library Association, June 2003,

113. American Anthropological Association, AnthroSource: Enriching Scholarship and Building Global Communities,; American Physical Society, "Transfer of Copyright Agreement,"; see also "Open-Access Policy Statements by Learned Societies and Professional Associations,"; Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers,; SPARC Open Access Newsletter,

114. Lund University Libraries, Directory of Open Access Journals, Lund, Sweden: Lund University Libraries,

115. Steve Lawrence, "Online or Invisible?" Nature, vol. 411, # 6837 (2001), p. 521,

116. Peter Suber, "Removing the Barriers to Research: An Introduction to Open Access for Librarians," College & Research Libraries News, vol. 64, #2 (Feb. 2003) pp. 92-94, 113,; see also Gerry McKiernan, "Open Access and Retrieval: Liberating the Scholarly Literature," in David Fowler, ed., E-Serials Collection Management: Transitions, Trends, and Technicalities, NY: Haworth Information Press, 2004: 197-220,; Association of Research Libraries, "What is Open Access," Washington, DC,; David Prosser, "On the Transition of Journals to Open Access," ARL Bimonthly Report, # 227 (Apr. 2003): 1-3;; Walt Crawford, "A Scholarly Access Perspective," Cites & Insights: vol. 3, # 13, (Nov. 2003),; Paula Hane, "The Latest Developments in Open Access, E-Books and More," Information Today, vol. 21, #1 (Jan. 2, 2004),

117. For more information including open access journal business guides," see Budapest Open Access Initiative,

118. Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing," June 20, 2003,

119. "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities," Oct. 20-22, 2003,
openaccess-berlindeclaration.html. In January 2004, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also adopted a declaration committing members to work towards publishing that encourages openness, interoperability, and accountability. OECD, ""Declaration on Access to Research Data From Public Funding," Paris, Jan. 30, 2004,,2340,en_2649_34487_

120. "Oxford U. Press to Experiment with Open Access," and "For OUP's Open Access Initiative, Success Comes One Step at a Time," Library Journal Academic Newswire,
Aug. 12, 2003; Press Release, "OUP 'Open Access' Journal Experiment - First Results Encouraging, Next Phase Announced," NY: Oxford U. Press, Feb. 18, 2004,

121. "One Small Step for Open Access, as OUP Experiment Yields Positive Results," Library Journal Academic Newswire: The Publishing Report (Feb. 19, 2004).

122. "Public Access to Science Act" (H.R. 2613), introduced by Rep. Sabo, June 26, 2003; see also Miriam Drake, "Free Public Access to Science - Will It Happen?" Information Today, July 7, 2003,

123. See Kurt Kleiner, "Free online journal gives sneak preview," New, vol. 18. #18 (Aug. 19, 2003),
jsp?id=ns99994071; Marydee Ojala, "Intro to Open Access: The Public Library of Science," EContent: Digital Content Strategies and Resources, (Oct. 2003),; Laura Lynch, "Interview: Public Library of Science," Creative Commons, Oct. 2003,; "PLOS Servers Overwhelmed Upon Launch," Library Journal Academic Newswire, Oct. 16, 2003.

124. For more information about BioOne, see

125. See;
collabdev.html. A working demonstration of the Public Knowledge Project Open Journal Systems is available at PKP Web prototypes are described at

126. Hess and Ostrom, supra n. 49, pp. 144-45.

127. See A registry of the more than 500 OAI-compliant repositories is available at

128. Research Libraries Group and OCLC, "Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities," Mountain View, CA: Research Libraries Group, May 2002,; see also Hess and Ostrom, supra n. 49, pp. 139-41.

129. Clifford A. Lynch, "Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age," Portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol. 3, # 2 (Apr. 2003), p. 327,
v003/3.2lynch.html; see also Ann Wolpert, "The Role of the Research University in Strengthening the Intellectual Commons: the OpenCourseWare and DSpace Initiatives at MIT," in The Role of Scientific and Technical Data, supra n. 33, pp. 187-90,
187.html#pagetop; Mark Ware Consulting Ltd., Pathfinder Research on Web-based Repositories Final Report, Westbury-on-Trym, UK: Publisher and Library/Learning Solutions (PALS), Jan. 2004,
a6cb880256ae 0004a0e34/8c43ce800a9c67cd80256e370051e88a/
Vivien Marx, "In DSpace, Ideas Are Forever," New York Times, Aug. 3, 2003, pp. 4A, 8.

130. Paul Ginsparg, "Can Peer Review be Better Focused?"

131. Los Alamos e-Print Archive,; Ginsparg, supra n. 130.


133. For more about EPrints, see

134. Interview by Nancy Kranich with Pennsylvania State University astrophysicist Samuel Finn, Nov. 27, 2003.

135. Sarah Stevens-Rayburn, "Summary of Presentation by Greg Schwarz at the Nov. 3-4 meeting of the AAS Publications Board," PAMnet posting, Nov. 13, 2003,

136. Stevan Harnad, "Maximizing University Research Impact through Self-Archiving," Montreal: U. of Quebec at Montreal,; see also Stevan Harnad, "Self-Archive Unto Others," University Affairs, Dec. 2003,
december/opinion_e_p.html; Hess and Ostrom, supra n. 49, p. 143; Project RoMEO (Rights MEtadata for Open archiving) at the University of Loughborough,

137. John Sexton, "The Role of Faculty in the Common Enterprise University," Presentation on the Occasion of the First Meeting of the Trustees Council on the Future of New York University, NY: NYU, June 12, 2003,

138. See; "Announcing the Washington Digital Learning Commons,"

139. "New Digital Initiatives Have Import For All Higher Education,"
CLIRinghouse, # 19, Nov./Dec. 2003,

140. Philip Pothen, "Building a common information environment," CILIP Library/Information Update, Jan. 18, 2004,

141. See Scott Bennett, Libraries Designed for Learning, Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, Nov. 2003, pp. 43-44,; Donald Beagle, "Extending the Information Commons: From Instructional Testbed to Internet2," The Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 28, # 5 (Sept. 2002); 287-96; Donald Beagle, "Conceptualizing an Information Commons: New Service Model in Academic Libraries," The Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 25, # 2 (Mar. 1999): 82-89; "At Indiana U., Information Commons Stats Show Library's Importance," Library Journal Academic Newswire, Dec. 9, 2003. For a list and links to academic library commons, see: Laurie A. MacWhinnie, "The Information Commons: The Academic Library of The Future," Portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol. 3, # 2 (2003): 241-57.

142. See Allison Druin, Benjamin B. Bederson, Ann Weeks, et. al., "The International Children's Digital Library: Description and Analysis of First Use," First Monday, vol. 8, # 5 (May 2003),; Allison Druin, Glenda Revelle, Benjamin Bederson, et. al., "A Collaborative Digital Library for Children," Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, vol. 19, # 2, (2003): 239-48, Supporters include the Library of Congress, National Science Foundation, Institute for Museum and Library Services, Kahle/Austin Foundation, Adobe Systems Inc., the Markle Foundation, and Octavo.

143. See;
legislation_hearings/index.asp; Thomas Kalil, Designing a Digital Opportunity Investment Trust: An Information Commons for e-Learning, Washington, DC: New America Foundation, June 2002,

144. See BBC Press Release, "The on-demand world is finally coming," Mar. 2, 2003,

145. See

146. See Thomas A. Finholt, Jerome F. Hajjar, Erik C. Hofer, and Andrei M. Reinhorn, "The Internet2 Commons: Supporting Distributed Engineering Collaboration," Syllabus Magazine, Jan. 1, 2004,

147. Nancy Kranich, "Staking a Claim in Cyberspace: Ensuring a Public Place on the Info Highway," in The New American Crisis: Radical Analyses of the Problems Facing America Today, Greg Ruggiero and Stuart Sahulka, eds., NY: The New Press, 1995, pp. 195-200.

148. Charles M. Firestone and Jorge Reina Schement, Toward an Information Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute, 1995, pp. 7-37.

149. The Association for Progressive Communications, APC Internet Rights Charter,

150. A Manifesto for Online Communities,

151. See;

152. World Summit on the Information Society, Civil Society Declaration, Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs,

153. American Library Association, "Principles for the Networked World," updated 2001,
principles.pdf; American Library Association, Principles for an Effective Information Commons, 2002,

154. American Library Association, 2002, supra n. 153.

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