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Singularity University Open Source Panel


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  • 1. 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 ·
  • 2. Creative Commons .ORG
    • Nonprofit organization, launched to public December 2002
    • 3. HQ and ccLearn in San Francisco
    • 4. Science Commons division at MIT
    • 5. ~70 international jurisdiction projects, coordinated from Berlin
    • 6. Foundation, corporate, and individual funding
    • 7. Born at Stanford, supported by Silicon Valley
  • 8. Enabling Reasonable Copyright
    • Space between ignoring copyright and ignoring fair use & public good
    • 9. Legal and technical tools enabling a “Some Rights Reserved” model
    • 10. Like “free software” or “open source” for content/media
      • But with more restrictive options
      • 11. Media is more diverse and at least a decade(?) behind software
  • 12. Six Mainstream Licenses
  • 13. Lawyer Readable
  • 14. Human Readable
  • 15. 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>
  • 16. 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>
  • 17. DRMfree “ DRM Voodo” by psd licensed under CC BY 2.0
  • 18. Software/Culture (i) Utilitarian/obvious but narrow reuse vs non-utilitarian but universal reuse possible
    • Gecko in Firefox, Thunderbird, Songbird... = Obvious
    • 19. Device driver code in web application = Huh?
    • 20. Cat photos and heavy metal = music video
  • 21. Software/Culture (ii) Maintenance necessary vs rare
    • Non-maintained software = dead
    • 22. “Maintained” cultural work = pretty special
    • 23. (Wikis are somewhat like software in this respect)
  • 24. Software/Culture (iii) Roughly all or nothing modifiable form vs varied and degradable forms
    • You have the source code or you don’t
    • 25. Text w/markup > PDF > Bitmap scan
    • 26. Multitracks > High bitrate > Low bitrate
  • 27. Software/Culture (iv) Construction is identical to creating modifiable form vs. iteratively leaving materials on the cutting room floor
  • 28. Software/Culture (v) Why NoDerivatives and NonCommercial?
    • Legal sharing of verbatim works made interesting by filesharing wars
    • 29. Maybe less emphasis on maintenance means
      • Restrictions on field of use less impactful
      • 30. Free commercial use more impactful on existing business models
  • 31. Sofware/Culture (vi) Commercial anticommons
    • When distributed maintenance is important, NC is unusable for business (one explanation of why free software ≅ open source)
    • 32. Maybe some artists want a commercial anticommons: nobody can be “exploited” ... but most want to exploit commerce. NC maybe does both.
  • 33. History (i) Some evocative dates for software ...
    • 1983: Launch of GNU Project
    • 34. 1989: GPLv1
    • 35. 1991: Linux kernel, GPLv2
    • 36. 1993: Debian
    • 37. 1996: Apache
    • 38. 1998: Mozilla, “open source”, IBM
  • 39. History (ii) ... evocative dates for software
    • 1999: crazine$$
    • 40. 2004: Firefox 1.0
    • 41. 2007: [AL]GPLv3
    • 42. ????: World Domination
  • 43. History (iii) Open content licenses (some of them Free):
    • 1998: Open Content License
    • 44. 1999: Open Publication License
    • 45. 2000: GFDL, Free Art License
    • 46. 2001: EFF Open Audio License
  • 47. 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
  • 48. History (v) Versioning of Creative Commons licenses (some of them Free):
  • 52. 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
  • 53. Indicators (community) 1993: Debian :: 2001 : Wikipedia
    • 8 years
    • 54. Wikipedia’s success came faster and more visibly
    • 55. Does Wikipedia even need an Ubuntu (2004)?
    • 56. But how typical is Wikipedia of free culture?
  • 57. Indicators (business) 1989: Cygnus Solutions :: 2003 : Magnatune
    • 14 years
    • 58. Cygnus acquired by Red Hat (1999); Magnatune’s long term impact TBD
    • 59. Magnatune may not be Free enough for some, but it seems like the best analogy for now
  • 60. 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?
  • 61. Indicators (Wikitravel) Very cool round-trip story:
    • 2003: Launch, CC BY-SA
    • 62. 2006: Acquired by Internet Brands
    • 63. 2008: First Wikitravel Press paper titles
    Community is the new “IP”?
  • 64. Indicators (NIN) Ghosts I-IV released 2008 under CC BY-NC-SA:
    • $1.6m gross in first week
    • 65. $750k in two days from limited edition “ultra deluxe edition”
    • 66. This while available legally and easily, gratis.
    • 67. NC doesn’t seem important in this story ... yet
  • 68. 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
  • 69. 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)
  • 70. Collective Intelligence Meta innovation?
  • 71. Commons Meta innovation for Collective Intelligence?
  • 72. $2.2 trillion Value of fair use in the U.S. Economy also see
  • 73.  
  • 74.  
  • 75. Cyber terrorism (Cyber terror war on) Privacy breaches Loss of Generativity Lock-in Surveillance DRM Censorship Suppression of innovation Electoral fraud Luddism
  • 76. Threat categories
    • Legitimate security issues
    • 77. Protectionism
    • 78. Politics and power
    • 79. Security theater and fear-based responses (driven by all of above, not just legitimate security issues)
  • 80. What digital freedoms needed for beneficial collective intelligence?
    • Keep same rights online/digitally that we (should anyway) have offline/IRL
    • 81. Permit innovation and participation enabled by digital world even if not possible before (probably follows from above)
  • 82. How building the commons (free software, free culture, and friends) helps
  • 83. Security
    • Data shows FLOSS is more secure
    • 84. Security through obscurity doesn’t work
    • 85. FLOSS encourages a heterogeneous computing environment
    • 86. Free software and free culture both allergic to DRM and other mechanisms that sacrifice security to other goals
  • 87. Protectionism
    • Peer production undermines policy arguments for protecting knowledge industries
    • 88. Free software and free culture both allergic to DRM
  • 89. Politics and power
    • Free software and culture improve transparency
    • 90. ... and the ability of all to participate
    • 91. Peer production works against concentrated power — doesn’t require concentrated production structures and lowers barriers to entry
  • 92. Security theater and fear
    • Access to facts mitigates fear and allows rational evaluation of responses
    • 93. Commons work against three previous threats that drive security theater and fear
  • 94. Can the success of the (digital) commons alter how we view freedom and power generally?
  • 95. “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
  • 96. “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
  • 97. i.e., we can form collective intelligences instead of forced collectives ... and still “change the world”
  • 98.  
  • 99. 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
    • 100. A dominant commons makes many collective stupidity scenarios much less likely
    • 101. Beneficial collective intelligence needs universal access to culture, educational resources, research ... in machine-readable form
  • 102. License
    • Author: Mike Linksvayer
    • 103. Link:
    • [email_address]
    Detail of image by psd · Licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 ·