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Considerations on the governance of open data - an institutional economic perspective

Published Online:pp 247-263

This paper lays theoretical foundations for the governance of Open Data as a specific form of intellectual property management. Based on a literature survey it develops a simple model for governing open data. Using commodity theory considerations, the authors devise a classification that highlights the special properties and economic effects of Open Data as club goods and non-depletable commons. Open Data has implications that facilitate market concentration, even though these mechanisms tend to be obscured by the ostensible non-commercial and public-good character of Open Data initiatives. Consequently, the authors argue that enhanced governance principles - which also take into account the widely neglected competition effects of Open Data - are required for the appropriate management of Open Data and intellectual common pool resources (or -non-depletable commons-). By referring to Ostrom-s governance considerations for commons, the authors show that -trust-, -transparency-, -communication- and -sanctions- are core concepts in the governance of open data.


open data, common pool resources, knowledge commons, permissive licensing, protective licensing, governance of open data, institutional economics, media policy, intellectual property management, commodity theory, market concentration, governance principles, governance model