The Information Commons: A Public Policy Report

by Nancy Kranich

May 18, 2004
For democracy to flourish, citizens need free and open access to ideas. In today's digital age, this means access to information and ideas online. In the face of dramatic consolidation in the media industry and new laws that increase its control over intellectual products, the emerging concept of the information commons offers new ways for producing and sharing information, creative works, and democratic discussion. The fifth in FEPP's series of detailed policy reports, The Information Commons is the first comprehensive, easy-to-read summary of a new movement that offers exciting alternatives to today's increasing restrictions on access to information, scholarly research, and other resources so necessary for democracy. Authored by former American Library Association President Nancy Kranich, the report gives an overview of the problem of enclosure, explains how theories of the commons have been adapted to the information age, and describes dozens of flourishing information communities, ranging from Linux designers to the Open Video Project, from a knitting commons to the OYEZ Supreme Court Multimedia Archives.
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