Let me commend Michael Madison, Brett Frischmann, and Katherine Strandburg for writing such an interesting and useful article on the study of commons in cultural environments. We have tried to develop a useful framework for analyzing a wide variety of questions. Their adoption of a modified form of our Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework for this important set of questions reassures us that we met our goal. Charlotte Hess and I organized a conference and coedited a book that examined some aspects of the knowledge commons using the IAD framework. We have learned that aspects of cultural environments can be thought of as “cultural commons” because cultural products (e.g., new knowledge or software) are often available to many users who do not have to pay the producer in order to use those products. Many important questions related to the study of cultural commons await a careful institutional analysis.
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