The Commodifcation Of Information And The Extension Of Property Rights Into The Public Domain

Tomas Lipinski


The development of the National Information Infrastructure opens new avenues for information products and services. As these information products and services are developed and marketed, the producers of those products and services seek to protect their proprietary interest in the underlying information. Attempts to extend legal protection to basic facts and other public domain information demonstrate that the public information space is slowly being reduced. Recent information controversies can form the basis for establishing several predictors for determining when future information ownership controversies may develop and result in the loss of public information space. One set of predictors assesses the nature of the public and private boundary into an open, closed or flux model. A second set of predictors characterizes the marketplace environment. Identifying instances where both models suggest an information change or ownership controversy are those instances most likely to result in the critical loss of access to public information.