The Information Commons: Selected Bibliography

Prepared by
Nancy Kranich

Past President, American Library Association
Revised November 2002

Agre, Philip. “Commodity and Community: Institutional Design for the Networked University,” Planning for Higher Education 29, #2 (2000): 5-14.

American Library Association. Principles for the Networked World (Washington, DC: American Library Association, May 2002).

Andrews, William. “Nurturing the Global Information Commons: Public Access, Public Infrastructure,” Presentation at the 4th Annual B.C. Information Policy Conference Vancouver, B.C., October 28, 1995.

Benkler, Yochai.

  • “Free as the air to common use: first amendment constraints on enclosure of the public domain,” New York University Law Review 74:354, May 1999: 354-364.
  • “The Commons as a neglected factor of information policy,” 26th annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, Oct 3-5, 1998.
  • “Overcoming Agoraphobia: Building the Commons of the Digitally Networked Environment,” Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. Vol. 11, # 2, Winter 1998: 287-400.
  • “Property, Commons and the First Amendment: Toward a Core Common Infrastructure,” A White Paper for the First Amendment Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYC School of Law, 2001.

Bollier, David.

  • “Can the Information Commons Be Saved: How Intellectual Property Policies are Eroding Democratic Culture and Some Strategies for Asserting the Public Interest,” What’s New? Center for Arts and Culture, 2001.
  • “Commons Sense: Community Ownership and the Displacement of Corporate Control,” Multinational Monitor 23, # 7 & 8 (July/August 2002).
  • “The Enclosure of the Academic Commons: Academic research and innovation depend on cooperation, collaboration, and sharing. What happens to academic knowledge when ideas become intellectual property?” Academe 88, #5 (September-October 2002).
  • “The Grotesque, Smirking Gargoyle: The Commercializing Of America's Consciousness,” (August 8, 2002).
  • Public Assets, Private Profits: Reclaiming the American Commons in an Age of Market Enclosure, (Washington, DC: New America Foundation, 2001).
  • “Rediscovery Of The Commons: Managing For The Common Good, Not Just For The Corporate Good,” (July 25, 2002).
  • “Ruled by the Market: Reclaiming the Commons,” Boston Review 27, Nos. 3-4 (Summer 2002). Includes responses by Marcia Angell, “Public Health”; Robert W. McChesney “The Place of Politics”; Tom W. Palmer, “Common Property?”; Nicholas Johnson, “A Useful Framework?”; Jeff Chester and Gary O. Larson, “Digital Democracy”; Richard D. Parker, “Rhetoric of the Commons”; Richard Stallman, “Intellectual Enclosure”; and Margaret Kohn, “The Cost of Community.”
  • Bollier, David and Tim Watts. Saving the Information Commons: A New Public Interest Agenda in Digital Media. (Washington, DC: New American Foundation and Public Knowledge, 2002).Bollier, David. Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth (Routledge, 2002)Bollier, David. “Stopping The Privatization Of Public Knowledge: The Endangered Public Domain,” (August 1, 2002).
  • Why the Public Domain Matters: The Endangered Wellspring of Creativity, Commerce, and Democracy. (Washington, DC: New American Foundation and Public Knowledge, 2002).Boyle, James. “Fencing Off Ideas,” Daedalus 131, #2 (April 2002): 13-25.

Boyle, James.

  • “A Politics of Intellectual Property: Environmentalism for the Net?” Law in the Information Society.
  • “The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain,” paper presented at the Conference on the Public Domain, Duke University Law School, November 11, 2001.
  • Shamans, Software, and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 1996).

Boyte, Harry C.

  • Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics (New York: The Free Press, 1989)
  • Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America, with Sara M. Evans (New York: Harper and Row, 1986, rev. ed. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1992).

Brin, David. "The Internet as a Commons," in Milton T. Wolf, et. al., Information Imagineering: Meeting at the Interface, (Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1998): 240-245.

Center for Digital Democracy.

Cohen, Julie E. Lochner

  • “Lochner in Cyberspace: The New Economic Orthodoxy of ‘Rights Management’", 97 Michigan Law Review 462 (1998).
  • Copyright and the Jurisprudence of Self-Help, 13 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1089 (1998).Cohen, Julie E. Copyright and the Perfect Curve, 53 Vanderbilt Law Review 1799 (2000).
  • Lochner in Cyberspace: The New Economic Orthodoxy of "Rights Management", 97 Michigan Law Review 462 (1998).

David, Paul, “A Tragedy of the Public Knowledge ‘Commons’? Global Science, Intellectual Property and the Digital Technology Boomerang" Electronic Journal of Intellectual Property Rights, Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre - Working and Seminar Papers, September 2000.

Felsenstein, Lee. “The Commons of Information,“ Dr. Dobbs Journal, May 1993: 18-24.Friedland, Lew and Harry C. Boyte. “The New Information Commons: Community Information Partnerships and Civic Change,” (University of Minnesota Hubert Humphrey Institute, Center for Democracy and Citizenship, January 2000).

Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science v. 162, December 1968: 1243-48.

Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. Empire, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 2000): 297-303.

Heller, Michael A. and Rebecca S. Eisenberg. “Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anti-Commons in Biomedical Research,” Science, May 1, 1998.

Hess, Charlotte

  • and Elinor Ostrom. “Artifacts, Facilities and Content: Information as a Common-Pool Resource,” paper presented at the Conference on the Public Domain, Duke University Law School, November 9-11, 2001.
  • "Capturing the Campus Commons: Response to Iain Boal's Article 'The Campus and the Commons.'" Common Property Resource Digest. v. 46, July/October 1998: 9-11.

Kaul, Inge, Isabelle Grunberg, and Marc A. Stern. Global Public Goods: International Cooperation in the 21st Century. (New York: Oxford University Press for The United Nations Development Program, 1999).

Kennedy, Donald. “Enclosing the Research Commons,” Science Dec 14, 2001: 2249.

Lange, David. “Recognizing the Public Domain,” 44 Law & Contemporary Problems 147 (1981).

Lessig, Lawrence.

  • Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York: Basic Books, 1999).
  • The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World (Random House, 2001).
  • Reclaiming a Commons, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Berkman Center Conference on Building a Digital Commons, May 20, 1999).

Levine, Peter.

Litman, Jessica.

  • Digital Copyright (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Press 2001).
  • “The Public Domain,” 39 Emory Law Journal 965 (1990).

National Research Council. The Drama of the Commons, edited by Elinor Ostrom, (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002).

Ostrom, Elinor.

  • Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.)
  • "Private and Common Property Rights" in the Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Boudewijn Bouckaert and Gerrit De Geest, eds., 1999. [

Priest, W. Curtis. "The Character of Information: Characteristics and Properties of Information Related to Issues Concerning Intellectual Property." (Washington: U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment Project on Intellectual Property, 1985).

Reynolds, Dennis J., ed. Citizen rights and Access to Electronic Information: The 1991 LITA President's Program Presentations and Background Papers, (Chicago, IL: American Library Association/Library and Information Technology Association, 1992).

Robbins, Bruce, ed. The Phantom Public Sphere (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1993).

Rose, Carol. “The Comedy of the Commons: Commerce, Custom, and Inherently Public Property,” 53 University of Chicago Law Review 711 (1986).

Shapiro, Michael S. Copyright at Cultural Policy (Washington, DC: Center for Arts and Culture, 2001).

Shulman, Seth.

  • Owning the Future (Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin, 1999).
  • Trouble on “The Endless Frontier”: Science, Invention and the Erosion of the Technological Commons. (Washington, DC: New America Foundation and Public Knowledge, 2002).

Starr, Paul. “The Electronic Commons,” American Prospect, Vol. 11, #10, (March 27, 2000).

Stiglitz, Joseph E. “Knowledge as a Global Public Good,” in Inge Kaul, et. al. Global Public Goods: International Cooperation in the 21st Century. (New York: Oxford University Press for The United Nations Development Program, 1999): 308-325.

Vaidhyanathan, Siva.

  • Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity (New York: NYU Press, 2001).
  • “The Content-Provider Paradox: Universities in the Information Ecosystem,” Academe 88, #5 (September-October 2002).

Venturelli, Shalini. From the Information Economy to the Creative Economy: Moving Culture to the Center of Intternational Public Policy (Washington, DC: Center for Arts and Culture, 2001).

Web Sites

Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Copyright’s Commons

Besser, Howard.
Information Commons Links

Bollier, David.
Reclaiming the American Commons

Budapest Open Access Initiative, Open Society Institute.

Center for the Public Domain

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, Public Sphere Project, “Building Communication Spaces for Civic Intelligence,”

Conference on the Public Domain. Duke Law School.

Free Online Scholarship, edited by Peter Suber.

International Association for the Study of Common Property.

Information and Knowledge Commons Bibliography:

The Knowledge Conservancy.

New America Foundation.
Public Assets Program

Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy.

“Reclaiming the Commons,” Yes! Magazine 18 (Summer 2001).

Tomales Bay Institute. The Commons, the Market, and the State.

The Tragedy of the Commons.(last updated, 1998)

View the Creative Commons Deed

Contact information, and Web links contained in these pages were correct at the time of publication, but are, of course, subject to change or deletion by their owners or publishers.