Cc singularity u-panel_on_open_source
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Cc singularity u-panel_on_open_source



Linksvayer, M. (2009, July 28). Panel on Open Source, The Commons as a collective intelligence meta-innovation. Retrieved Retrieved May 7, 2010, from

Linksvayer, M. (2009, July 28). Panel on Open Source, The Commons as a collective intelligence meta-innovation. Retrieved Retrieved May 7, 2010, from



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  • Linksvayer, M. (2009, July 28). Panel on Open Source, The Commons as a collective intelligence meta-innovation. Retrieved Retrieved May 7, 2010, from

Cc singularity u-panel_on_open_source Cc singularity u-panel_on_open_source Presentation Transcript

  • Singularity University Panel on Open Source 2009-07-28 The Commons as a collective intelligence meta-innovation Mike Linksvayer Creative Commons Photo by asadal · Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 ·
  • Creative Commons .ORG
    • Nonprofit organization, launched to public December 2002
    • HQ and ccLearn in San Francisco
    • Science Commons division at MIT
    • ~70 international jurisdiction projects, coordinated from Berlin
    • Foundation, corporate, and individual funding
    • Born at Stanford, supported by Silicon Valley
  • Enabling Reasonable Copyright
    • Space between ignoring copyright and ignoring fair use & public good
    • Legal and technical tools enabling a “Some Rights Reserved” model
    • Like “free software” or “open source” for content/media
      • But with more restrictive options
      • Media is more diverse and at least a decade(?) behind software
  • Six Mainstream Licenses
  • Lawyer Readable
  • Human Readable
  • Machine Readable <rdf:RDF xmlns=&quot;; xmlns:rdf=&quot;;> <License rdf:about=&quot;;> <permits rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <permits rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <requires rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <requires rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <prohibits rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <permits rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <requires rdf:resource=&quot;;/> </License> </rdf:RDF>
  • Machine Readable (Work) <span xmlns:cc=&quot;; xmlns:dc=&quot;;> <span rel=&quot; dc:type &quot; href=&quot; &quot; property=&quot; dc:title &quot;> My Book </span> by <a rel=&quot; cc:attributionURL &quot; property=&quot; cc:attributionName &quot; href=&quot; &quot;> My Name </a> is licensed under a <a rel=&quot; license &quot; href=&quot; &quot;>Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License</a>. <span rel=&quot; dc:source &quot; href=&quot; &quot;/> Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at <a rel=&quot; cc:morePermissions &quot; href=&quot; &quot;></a>. </span>
  • DRMfree “ DRM Voodo” by psd licensed under CC BY 2.0
  • Software/Culture (i)
    • Utilitarian/obvious but narrow reuse vs non-utilitarian but universal reuse possible
    • Gecko in Firefox, Thunderbird, Songbird... = Obvious
    • Device driver code in web application = Huh?
    • Cat photos and heavy metal = music video
  • Software/Culture (ii)
    • Maintenance necessary vs rare
    • Non-maintained software = dead
    • “ Maintained” cultural work = pretty special
    • (Wikis are somewhat like software in this respect)
  • Software/Culture (iii)
    • Roughly all or nothing modifiable form vs varied and degradable forms
    • You have the source code or you don’t
    • Text w/markup > PDF > Bitmap scan
    • Multitracks > High bitrate > Low bitrate
  • Software/Culture (iv)
    • Construction is identical to creating modifiable form vs. iteratively leaving materials on the cutting room floor
  • Software/Culture (v)
    • Why NoDerivatives and NonCommercial?
    • Legal sharing of verbatim works made interesting by filesharing wars
    • Maybe less emphasis on maintenance means
      • Restrictions on field of use less impactful
      • Free commercial use more impactful on existing business models
  • Sofware/Culture (vi)
    • Commercial anticommons
    • When distributed maintenance is important, NC is unusable for business (one explanation of why free software ≅ open source)
    • Maybe some artists want a commercial anticommons: nobody can be “exploited” ... but most want to exploit commerce. NC maybe does both.
  • History (i)
    • Some evocative dates for software ...
    • 1983: Launch of GNU Project
    • 1989: GPLv1
    • 1991: Linux kernel, GPLv2
    • 1993: Debian
    • 1996: Apache
    • 1998: Mozilla, “open source”, IBM
  • History (ii)
    • ... evocative dates for software
    • 1999: crazine$$
    • 2004: Firefox 1.0
    • 2007: [AL]GPLv3
    • ????: World Domination
  • History (iii)
    • Open content licenses (some of them Free):
    • 1998: Open Content License
    • 1999: Open Publication License
    • 2000: GFDL, Free Art License
    • 2001: EFF Open Audio License
  • History (iv)
    • Other early 2000s open content licenses (some of them Free):
    • Design Science License, Ethymonics Free Music Public License, Open Music Green/Yellow/Red/Rainbow Licenses, Open Source Music License, No Type License, Public Library of Science Open Access License, Electrohippie Collective's Ethical Open Documentation License
  • History (v)
    • Versioning of Creative Commons licenses (some of them Free):
    • 2002: 1.0
    • 2004: 2.0
    • 2005: 2.5
    • 2007: 3.0
  • History (vi)
    • Anti-proliferation?
    • 2003: author of Open Content/Publication licenses recommends CC instead and PLoS adopts CC BY
    • 2004: EFF OAL 2.0 declares CC BY-SA 2.0 its next version
    • No significant new culture licenses since 2002
    • 2008+: Possible Wikipedia migration to CC BY-SA
  • Indicators (community)
    • 1993: Debian :: 2001 : Wikipedia
    • 8 years
    • Wikipedia’s success came faster and more visibly
    • Does Wikipedia even need an Ubuntu (2004)?
    • But how typical is Wikipedia of free culture?
  • Indicators (business)
    • 1989: Cygnus Solutions :: 2003 : Magnatune
    • 14 years
    • Cygnus acquired by Red Hat (1999); Magnatune’s long term impact TBD
    • Magnatune may not be Free enough for some, but it seems like the best analogy for now
  • Indicators (big business)
    • 1998: IBM :: ???? : ?
    • No analogous investments have been made in free culture. Most large computer companies have now made large investments in free/open source software
    • 1998: Microsoft :: 2008 : Big Media
    • Could Microsoft’s attitude toward openness a decade ago be analogous to big media’s today?
  • Indicators (Wikitravel)
    • Very cool round-trip story:
    • 2003: Launch, CC BY-SA
    • 2006: Acquired by Internet Brands
    • 2008: First Wikitravel Press paper titles
    • Community is the new “IP”?
  • Indicators (NIN)
    • Ghosts I-IV released 2008 under CC BY-NC-SA:
    • $1.6m gross in first week
    • $750k in two days from limited edition “ultra deluxe edition”
    • This while available legally and easily, gratis.
    • NC doesn’t seem important in this story ... yet
  • Indicators (Summary Guesses)
    • Free culture is at least a decade behind free software
    • Except where it has mass collaboration/maintenance aspects of software, where it may rocket ahead (Wikipedia)
    • Generally culture is much more varied than software; success will be spikey
  • In Innovation, Meta is Max
    • “ The max net-impact innovations, by far, have been meta-innovations, i.e., innovations that changed how fast other innovations accumulated.”
    • Robin Hanson (Economist)
  • Collective Intelligence
    • Meta innovation?
  • Commons
    • Meta innovation for Collective Intelligence?
  • $2.2 trillion
    • Value of fair use in the U.S. Economy
    • also see
  • Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance DRM Censorship Suppression of innovation Electoral fraud Luddism
  • Threat categories
    • Legitimate security issues
    • Protectionism
    • Politics and power
    • Security theater and fear-based responses (driven by all of above, not just legitimate security issues)
  • What digital freedoms needed for beneficial collective intelligence?
    • Keep same rights online/digitally that we (should anyway) have offline/IRL
    • Permit innovation and participation enabled by digital world even if not possible before (probably follows from above)
  • How building the commons (free software, free culture, and friends) helps
  • Security
    • Data shows FLOSS is more secure
    • Security through obscurity doesn’t work
    • FLOSS encourages a heterogeneous computing environment
    • Free software and free culture both allergic to DRM and other mechanisms that sacrifice security to other goals
  • Protectionism
    • Peer production undermines policy arguments for protecting knowledge industries
    • Free software and free culture both allergic to DRM
  • Politics and power
    • Free software and culture improve transparency
    • ... and the ability of all to participate
    • Peer production works against concentrated power — doesn’t require concentrated production structures and lowers barriers to entry
  • Security theater and fear
    • Access to facts mitigates fear and allows rational evaluation of responses
    • Commons work against three previous threats that drive security theater and fear
  • Can the success of the (digital) commons alter how we view freedom and power generally?
    • “ The gate that has held the movements for equalization of human beings strictly in a dilemma between ineffectiveness and violence has now been opened. The reason is that we have shifted to a zero marginal cost world. As steel is replaced by software, more and more of the value in society becomes non-rivalrous: it can be held by many without costing anybody more than if it is held by a few.”
    • Eben Moglen
    • “ If we don’t want to live in a jungle, we must change our attitudes. We must start sending the message that a good citizen is one who cooperates when appropriate, not one who is successful at taking from others.”
    • Richard Stallman
  • i.e., we can form collective intelligences instead of forced collectives ... and still “change the world”
  • Building the commons is key to achieving a good future
    • Politicians and corporations are unimaginative ... they need to see solutions, or they react in fear
    • A dominant commons makes many collective stupidity scenarios much less likely
    • Beneficial collective intelligence needs universal access to culture, educational resources, research ... in machine-readable form
    • License
    • Attribution
    • Author: Mike Linksvayer
    • Link:
    • Questions?
    • [email_address]
    Detail of image by psd · Licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 ·