Overview of the Knowledge Commons

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Book Chapter: Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, Introduction: An Overview of the Knowledge Commons

In: Understanding Knowledge as a Commons

Introductory Passage

An excerpt from the introduction:

"First, open access to information is a horse of a much different color than open access to land or water. In the latter case, open access can mean a free-for-all, as in Hardin’s grazing lands, leading to overconsumption and depletion. With distributed knowledge and information the resource is usually nonrivalrous…. In this instance, instead of having negative effects, open access of information provides a universal public good: the more quality information, the greater the public good."



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