27 March 2007

A Small Comeuppance for Enclosing a Commons

The governing board of the Smithsonian Institution announced Monday that it had accepted the resignation of its top official, Lawrence M. Small, after an internal audit showing that the museum complex had paid for his routine use of lavish perks like chauffeured cars, private jets, top-rated hotels and catered meals.

But aside from claiming interesting expenses like “chandelier cleaning and pool heaters” at his home, Mr Small will be of most interest to readers of this blog for

a recent deal with Showtime, the cable channel. In that deal, the Smithsonian agreed to restrict access to its archives and scientists, which critics said violated its public status.

In other words, Mr Small was enclosing a commons. Nice to see that he's received his comeuppance, however, er, small it might be. (Via Boing Boing.)

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