Exclusion, Inclusion, and Enclosure: Historical Commons and Modern Intellectual Property

C. Ford Runge, Edi Defrancesco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The global debate over intellectual property rights (IPR) relating to genomics, software, and scientific information has divided developed and developing countries in international fora. Fundamental issues undergird these debates: who is to be excluded from various kinds of information, and who is to be included in the benefits of these ideas? An insight into these issues may be gained from the history and theory of property rights in land, especially the enclosure of lands held in common. After considering successful examples of common property, the paper considers the modern debate over common intellectual property.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1713-1727
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Europe
  • Great Britain
  • biotechnology
  • common property
  • enclosure
  • open software


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