The commons

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Description:
For Wikimedia Commons see Wikimedia Commons
The commons is terminology referring to resources that are collectively owned or shared between or among communities populations. These resources are said to be "held in common" and can include everything from natural resources and common land to software. The commons contains public property and private property, over which people have certain traditional rights. In some areas the process by which commonly held property is transformed into private property is termed enclosure.

Concepts

The commons were traditionally defined as the elements of the environment - forests, atmosphere, rivers, fisheries or grazing land - that are shared, used and enjoyed by all.

Today, the commons are also understood within a cultural sphere. These commons include literature, music, arts, design, film, video, television, radio, information, software and sites of heritage. The commons can also include public goods such as public space, public education, health and the infrastructure that allows our society to function (such as electricity or water delivery systems). There also exists the ‘life commons’, e.g. the human genome.

Peter Barnes describes commons as a set of assets that havetwo characteristics: they’re all gifts, and they’re all shared. A shared gift is one we receive as members of a community, as opposed to individually. Examples of such gifts include air, water, ecosystems,...
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