These resources are said to be "held in common" and can include everything from natural resources and common land to software.The commons contains public property and private property, over which people have certain traditional rights. In some areas the process by which commonly held property is transformed into private property is termed "enclosure". A person who has a right in, or over, common land jointly with another or others is called a commoner.
Practical Plants is a type of Information Commons. Everything is editable by anybody, and licensed under a Creative Commons license to be used by anybody. The data we create belongs to all of us in common, not any one person or organisation. More and more of the internet is falling under proprietary control. Huge corporations like Facebook, Twitter and Google, lay claim to a lot of the data that we supply to them. Small companies follow suit; many of the new online plant databases rely on users to supply content, but then keep ownership of the full dataset.
Practical Plants is different. We build it and we own it; all together. This is an information commons to use freely, so long as the source is attributed and it's for non-commercial purposes.
- Berry, David "The Commons" Free Software Magazine (2005/02/21)
- Bollier, David "Reclaiming the Commons" Boston Review ()