Criminalization of Commoning

This is a link collection that enumerates cases in which sharing and commoning are hindered and even criminalized.

Farmers face prison for traditional seed sharing in Tanzania html , and the European Commission in 2013 was considering a new seed law, "Plant Reproductive Material Law," that would consolidate corporate and regulatory control over the types of plant species that may be grown, shared and sold. David Bollier, STIR magazine (UK), Summer 2013, p. 13.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the US, whose terms have been incorporated into trade treaties, criminalizes user attempts to bypass encryption on legally purchased and owned products, or to share underlying code and information. Major copyright industries often claim that it is illegal to share works under the terms of the fair use doctrine.

In The Magna Carta Manifesto, historian Peter Linebaugh describes the criminalizing of women's use of commons: "The expulsion from the commons lands had huge and manifold consequences to the silencing and negation of subsequent [women's] experiences. The 'many sisters' who were put from their living and left at large suffered a double loss -- of subsistence and of independence. It prepared the way for the terrorizing of the female body through the witch hunts." (p. 52)

The use of words and phrases that have been granted trademark status can be illegal in certain circumstances, or the trademark alone is often used by the trademark holder to bully others into recognizing such rights even if they don't legally exist. Examples: McDonald's claims over the prefix "Mc"; Mattel's bullying uses of the word "Barbie," even in book titles about the doll; the Village Voice's legal threats against the Cape Cod Voice newspaper; and social criticism using corporate logos. David Bollier chronicles dozens of such examples in his book Brand Name Bullies (John Wiley, 2005).

The book Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership (Yale University Press, 2010), by Eduardo Moises Penalver and Sonia K. Katyal, provides an extensive review of how deliberate violations of property law serve to point out its injustices and anti-social effects. The authors focus on trespassers, squatters, pirates and file-shares to show how civil disobedience has sparked legal innovations. html and April 2007 law review article on the topic html .