Journal of Business Ethics 22 (1):63 - 80 (1999)

As the National Information Infra- structure develops new avenues for information products and services will open. Creating, identifying and protecting the information market space is a critical component to the success of information product and service developments. As a result, the producers of those products and service seek to protect their proprietary interest in the underlying information. However, these actions have broader consequences: Attempts to extend legal protection to basic facts and other public domain information demonstrate that the public information space is slowly being reduced. Reviewing several information controversies as case studies is fruitful. Not only for assessing current trends in information disputes (warfare) but can form the basis for establishing several predictors useful in determining when future information ownership controversies may develop and result in the loss of public information space. One set of predictors helps define the information controversy and is descriptive. The second set of predictors characterizes the marketplace environment. It provides further nuance to the economic factors that force information owners to seek legal remedy. Identifying instances where both models suggest a change in information rights or ownership is most likely to result in the critical loss of access to public information space.
Keywords commodification of information  contract or license  copyright  legislation  litigation  misappropriation  ownership of information  private and public information spaces
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006112321280
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