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How Shall the Commons Be Governed? New Challenges Facing the Digital Commons Sector

David Bollier, Author of "Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own"

Tuesday, May 12, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor

RSVP required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET.

David Bollier will discuss the rise of the commons paradigm in the digital environment, the subject of his new book, Viral Spiral:  How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own (New Press).  The book traces the origins of free software, the Creative Commons licenses and the online “sharing economy” as well as the development of open business models, the open educational resources movement and open science innovations.  In this talk, Bollier will examine how, as the commons sector matures, commoners are asserting differing notions of freedom, community boundaries, social norms and reliance on law to protect the integrity of their shared resources.  The proliferation of new sorts of commons is raising new practical and philosophical questions about how best to structure and govern digital communities, and how we should begin to conceptualize the commons sector and its relationship to markets.

About David

David Bollier is an author, activist and editor of  He is also Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a Washington, D.C., organization that advocates for the public's stake in the Internet and copyright law.  Bollier is the author of Silent Theft, Brand Name Bullies, and five other books, and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Download media from this event here.

Past Event
May 12, 2009
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

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