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James Quilligan’s well-written chapter explains why common goods need to be distinguished from public good: “In theory, public still means people; in practice, public means government (as captured by elite interests who regularly impede the people’s political rights and capacity to control their common goods)” (p75). The lively discussion between Feasta’s Brian Davey, Roberto Verzola and Wolfgang Hoeschele on “the abundance of the commons” highlights some potential dangers to be aware of; it’s easy to be overly optimistic about what the knowledge commons – including the internet – can achieve.
 
James Quilligan’s well-written chapter explains why common goods need to be distinguished from public good: “In theory, public still means people; in practice, public means government (as captured by elite interests who regularly impede the people’s political rights and capacity to control their common goods)” (p75). The lively discussion between Feasta’s Brian Davey, Roberto Verzola and Wolfgang Hoeschele on “the abundance of the commons” highlights some potential dangers to be aware of; it’s easy to be overly optimistic about what the knowledge commons – including the internet – can achieve.
   
Peter Linebaugh’s description of the Oxmoor commons provides a powerful foil to the traditional arguments against commons made by commentators such as Garret Hardin, while Harmut Zückrt has contributed a brief but useful overview of the enclosures movement. As with many of the book’s authors they draw upon the seminal work of Elinor Olstrom. Liz Alden Wiley’s important chapter describes land-grabbing practices in the past and at present, particularly in Africa, where they are closely related to the lucrative biofuel market. A handful of states in Africa, and somewhat more in South America, are adopting a more commons-friendly property law in an attempt to counter this.
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Peter Linebaugh’s description of the Oxmoor commons provides a powerful foil to the traditional arguments against commons made by commentators such as Garrett Hardin, while Harmut Zückrt has contributed a brief but useful overview of the enclosures movement. As with many of the book’s authors they draw upon the seminal work of Elinor Olstrom. Liz Alden Wiley’s important chapter describes land-grabbing practices in the past and at present, particularly in Africa, where they are closely related to the lucrative biofuel market. A handful of states in Africa, and somewhat more in South America, are adopting a more commons-friendly property law in an attempt to counter this.
   
 
A chapter by Beatriz Busoniche argues that intellectual property rights should be treated as a commons issue rather than an issue to be handled by the WTO. As things stand, regulations are left in the hands of negotiators operating in secret to advance private commercial interests.
 
A chapter by Beatriz Busoniche argues that intellectual property rights should be treated as a commons issue rather than an issue to be handled by the WTO. As things stand, regulations are left in the hands of negotiators operating in secret to advance private commercial interests.

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