Nonprofit Organizations and the Intellectual Commons
Show Less

Nonprofit Organizations and the Intellectual Commons

Jyh-An Lee

Over the past twenty years, a number of nonprofit organizations (NPOs), such as Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation have laid essential building blocks for intellectual-commons as a social movement. Through a detailed description of these NPOs and a series of in-depth interviews with their officials, this book demonstrates that NPOs have provided the social structures that are necessary to support the production of intellectual commons.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 6: Conclusion

Jyh-An Lee


Privatization of the commons may prevent an overuse in resources, but it may also inadvertently spark an underuse of resources, or the tragedy of the anticommons. The intellectual-commons environment is an evolving system of production, storage, distribution, and use of information, knowledge, and other types of intellectual commons. This environment operates according to some specified degree of openness, which distinguishes commons from proprietary rights. NPOs studied in this book have formed an unprecedented ecosystem that makes various commons-related activities possible. Without NPOs, the commons environment might be much less vigorous than it now is. Currently-prevailing NPO theories aid our understanding of NPOs’ role and behavior in the commons environment. Nevertheless, neither contract failure theory nor government and market failure theory provides a complete picture of NPOs’ role in the commons realm. Given the diversity of various NPOs, a theory about one type of NPOs does not translate easily to other types. Therefore, these theories may be regarded, to a large extent, as complementary rather than mutually exclusive, efforts to understand a heterogeneous sector operating in diverse economies.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.