This Land is Our Land
The Fight to Reclaim the Commons
For more than three decades, transnational corporations have been busy buying up what used to be known as the commons — everything from our forests and our oceans to our broadcast airwaves and our most important intellectual and cultural works. In This Land is Our Land, acclaimed author David Bollier, a leading figure in the global movement to reclaim the commons, bucks the rising tide of anti-government extremism and free market ideology to show how commercial interests are undermining our collective interests. Placing the commons squarely within the American tradition of community engagement and the free exchange of ideas and information, Bollier shows how a bold new international movement steeped in democratic principles is trying to reclaim our common wealth by modeling practical alternatives to the restrictive monopoly powers of corporate elites.
This film was previously titled Silent Theft.
Sections: Intro | The Commons | Enclosing the Commons | The Enclosure of Nature | Enclosing Culture & Knowledge | Reclaiming the Commons
David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger and consultant who has spent the past ten years exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. He has pursued this work in collaboration with a variety of international and domestic partners. He speaks widely about the commons, and recently co-founded a new international organization, Commons Strategies, dedicated to developing and promoting commons-based public policies and initiatives. In 2010, Bollier taught a course on the topic as the Croxton Lecturer at Amherst College.
Bollier’s latest book, Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own (2009), describes the rise of free software, free culture, and the commons-based movements seeking to advance open business models, open science and open educational resources. His first book on the commons, Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth (2002), is now widely used in colleges around the world. It surveys the many market enclosures of people’s shared resources, from public lands and the airwaves to public spaces, plant and animal genes, and knowledge. Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture (2005) documents the vast expansion of copyright and trademark law over the past generation.
Bollier has worked with American television writer/producer Norman Lear since 1984, and is Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. He is also Co-founder and board member of Public Knowledge, a Washington policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the information commons. Bollier lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Visit David Bollier’s site at www.bollier.org.