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Editorial: Technology-dependent Commons: The Radio Spectrum

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Berge, Erling; Kranakis, Eda
Journal: International Journal of the Commons
Volume: 5
Page(s): 86-91
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7084
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): commons
radio spectrum
Abstract: "Things owned in common--or jointly--as the case may be, abound. They abound today as they did in earlier times, in urban as well as in rural settings, and in high tech artifacts like Wikipedia as well as in traditional symbols. Usually such commonly held goods do not create any noteworthy problems for those who share an interest in them. But in some cases they do represent an intrinsically difficult situation for stakeholders: their governance and the distribution of benefits begin to pose a social dilemma. Unless the stakeholders find ways of overcoming the problems, the resource will stop yielding benefits. Such dilemmas appear in cases where the resource is subtractable (one appropriator’s benefits diminish the benefits available for other appropriators), and where it is difficult or impossible to exclude any particular appropriator. Elinor Ostrom used traditional commons in irrigation water, pasture, and forestry to study how communities were able to overcome such dilemmas, in part through the creation of appropriate institutions for resource management. She suggested eight design principles that could assist in constructing such management institutions."

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