Digital Commons are digital assets that are built by pushing collaboration beyond mere open-source to sharing decision-making, ensuring reusability and preventing “enclosures” (the extraction of value to the benefit of a single actor). They are a powerful way to deliver the sort of services that only digital platforms usually enable, without the power concentration of big tech companies. However, they can be tricky to achieve as a single flaw in the processes can enable reappropriation.
In this Breakout session, Matti will introduce a framework to decompose digital commons across several components, describing the minimal legal and technical constraints that should be applied on each of them to maximise reusability and minimise reappropriation. We will walk through it by analysing a well-known digital common, and participants will be encouraged to consider applying that same sort of analysis to assets they control and that could benefit from transitioning to a common governance.
The associated Lightning Keynote will demonstrate the costs and benefits of digital commons over other types of governance.