“Public” law –

We are used to thinking of law as public in the sense of governmental.  “Public” can, of course, mean the opposite as when we refer to “public comment” on a proposed administrative decision, or public service.

This surfaces with confounding effect (to American ears) in the British vs American meanings of “public” schools.  In the US, they are run by governments, in the UK they are part of civil society.

Back to “public law.”  Shared texts provide a basis for collective decision-making that does not depend on governmental institutions.  The rules of marketplaces, trade associations and the like are examples.  The prior post to Eben Moglen’s discussion at the EU parliament of the revisions to the GNU public license is another.  The Cmacc data model extends those possibilities. 

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