This chapter explores how infrastructure theory applies to cultural-intellectual resources. It begins with a summary of infrastructure theory and then discusses how the theory applies to intellectual-cultural resources. Applying the theory reveals a series of demand-side complications for conventional law and economic theories of intellectual property and related governance institutions. These complications arise vividly in modern debates about intellectual property rules that exclude certain subject matter or otherwise limit the scope of intellectual property rights and sustain commons (public access). The entry is an adaptation of ‘Intellectual Infrastructure,’ chapter 12 of Frischmann (2012).
Michael J. Madison, Katherine J. Strandburg and Brett M. Frischmann
This chapter describes a systematic approach to studying knowledge commons as an institutional mode of governance of knowledge and information resources. “Knowledge commons” refers to an institution (commons) for governing production, use, and/or preservation of a particular resource (knowledge or information, including resources linked to innovative and creative practice). “Commons” refers to a form of community management or governance. It applies to a resource, and it involves a group or community of people who share access to and/or use of the resource. “Commons” is the institutional arrangement of these elements and their coordination via combinations of law and other formal rules; social norms, customs, and informal discipline; and technological and other material constraints. “Knowledge” has broad scope, in order to permit knowledge commons researchers to capture and study a wide range of commons institutions and to highlight the importance of examining knowledge commons governance as part of dynamic, ecological contexts.