Law for the Commons

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Discussion

David Bollier introduces is "Law and the Commons Project":

"Historically, most commons have not needed nor sought formal protections of law. Their self-organized customs, socially negotiated rules and relative isolation from outside capital and markets, were enough to sustain them. This has changed dramatically over the past 30-40 years, however, as global commerce, technology and conventional law have relentlessly expanded, superimposing the logic and values of markets on nearly every corner of the nature and social life.

These trends have spurred commoners around the world to devise a wide variety of “hacks” around conventional law to protect their access and use of shared resources. These include adaptations of laws dealing with contracts, trusts, co-operatives, municipal government, copyright, patents, and other bodies of law, which in each instance aims to protect common assets and the social practices of commoning. One might say that this experimentation is producing a new, not-yet-recognized body of socio-legal-political innovation, Law for the Commons.

A longer treatment of this subject can be found in David Bollier’s memorandum, “Reinventing Law for the Commons.” Below are a select group of materials about commons-based legal innovation in nine distinct clusters: indigenous commons, subsistence commons in the global South, digital commons, stakeholder trusts, co-operative law, urban commons, localism, new organizational forms, and re-imagining state policy to empower commons."