Openness and Licensing

Author : Melanie Dulong de Rosnay

This chapter traces the evolution of legal conditions meant to support the production and flourishing of “commons-based peer production” in a diversity of fields covered by copyright, mostly in the digital realm.

From software to creative works, including scientific articles, cultural heritage, public sector information, and open data, a wealth of digital, knowledge, intellectual or information commons can be peer produced.

The rules which guarantee that they can remain in the commons, under open conditions, have been the subject of heated debates about the politics of technology and heavy legal fine-tuning along the years, opposing different definitions and nuances in openness reflecting underlying philosophies within the peer production political economy, such as liberal and commons-based approaches.