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Brett M. Frischmann, Michael J. Madison, and Katherine J. Strandburg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199972036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972036.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2022

An Inventive Commons:

An Inventive Commons:

Shared Sources of the Airplane and Its Industry

(p.341) 10 An Inventive Commons
Governing Knowledge Commons

Peter B. Meyer

Oxford University Press

From 1810 to 1910 a growing number of experimenters worked out how to make fixed-wing aircraft that could be controlled in the air. Experimenters, hobbyists, and authors in this field set up clubs and publications and connected to one another through an open literature. The open institutions functionally supported the eventual invention of the airplane and the creation of new industries. The experimenters did not have a common-pool resource, but rather were cultivating a common opportunity space to explore their visions of the possibility of controlled flight. In this “inventive commons,” the boundaries of the resources were ambiguous, norms were set by participants, and copying was routine and generally did not require permission.

Keywords:   Invention, commons, airplane, experimenters, hobbyists, literature, clubs

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