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 Software Eats the (Commons/Public Licensing) World (It Should!)
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Software Eats the (Commons/Public Licensing) World (It Should!)


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  • 1. Software Eats the (Commons/Public Licensing) World (It Should!) Mike Linksvayer (@mlinksva) Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit San Francisco 2013-04-16 1i
  • 2. (a trope)“My theory is that we are in themiddle of a dramatic and broadtechnological and economic shift inwhich software companies are poisedto take over large swathes of theeconomy.” Marc Andreessen Why Software Is Eating The World 2011-08-20 2
  • 3. (software freedom is prettyimportant!) 3
  • 4. (and much more than “the economy”is at stake) 4
  • 5. (a conjecture)To the extent software is not eatingthe [knowledge] commons, they’redead and just don’t know it yet 5
  • 6. (rationale)relative growth matters a lotworld liberation or remnant defenseproprietary always innovatingpeak forms not predetermined, shift toones amenable to commons creation 6
  • 7. (...)computation will be central to all ofthe next peaks 7
  • 8. (floss required)“free/libre” AND “open source” in alltheir stereotypical meaningsethicspracticesoftware 8
  • 9. 9i
  • 10. (liberated via “product” competition)wikipedia blew up the encyclopediacategory; ridiculously better thananything previously by the namelots of examples in softwarelittle else 10
  • 11. (liberation in progress via “policy”competition)scientific publication[“product” competition also plays animportant role] 11
  • 12. (an oversight*)“The Internet has inspired multiplemovements toward greater openness— most prominently, open access,open data, open science, and openeducational resources.” Michael W. Carroll, J.D. Creative Commons and the Openness of Open Access 2013-02-28 * In an otherwise excellent article 12
  • 13. (silos)FLOSSopen accessopen contentopen dataopen educationopen hardware... 13
  • 14. (ignorance or apathy)concerning FLOSS runs deep in open *including ofcommunityethicspolicypracticessoftware! 14
  • 15. (eg software seen as tangential) 15
  • 16. My thoughts on Mendeley/Elsevier & why I left to start PeerJ 2013-04-09 16
  • 17. Mendeley users revolt against Elsevier takeover 2013-04-09 17
  • 18. The Empire acquires the rebel alliance: Mendeley users revolt agai 2013-04-09 18
  • 19. (eg copyleft = blank stares) 19
  • 20. 2013-03-28 20
  • 21. License Journals %CC-BY (Attribution) 1468 51%CC-BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike) 40 1%CC-BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives) 36 1%CC-BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial ) 572 20%CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) 205 7%CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives) 555 19% Directory of Open Access Journals[note majority are gratis, no license at all; OA started as “post-open source”] 2013-04-03 21
  • 22. (OA people really smart … situationworse elsewhere in many ways) 22
  • 23. (overall harm)lack of scalelack of network effectseach silo a dwarfish form 23
  • 24. (knowledge harm)too much reinventiontoo little copyingtoo much ignorance 24
  • 25. (ethics harm)[software] freedom not transmittednot critiqued and strengthenedtherefore rotting in obscurity 25
  • 26. (ruinous failure harm)DRMmonopoly abets monopoly 26
  • 27. (policy harm)no coordination except on rearguardactionno vision for potency of commonsbuildingconstrained to personal ethics anddomain-specific lobbying 27
  • 28. (license harm)incompatibility by rule and expectationacceptance of non-free[and all previously mentioned harms,applied specifically to licenses] 28
  • 29. (it’s FLOSS fault!*)* Admittedly ungenerous. FLOSS is visionary; I just wish itwere moreso. 29
  • 30. (abdication of other domains)licensesadvocacy 30
  • 31. (pollution of other domains)licensesadvocacy 31
  • 32. (communications failure) 32
  • 33. (lack of policy vision) 33
  • 34. (result)pre-creative commons license messcreative commons license suboptimalapparent orderand see previous harms 34
  • 35. Anti-Copyright License, Comic Book Public License, Design Science License, Distributed Encyclopedia General Public License, EFF Open Audio License, Electrohippie Collective’s Ethical Open Documentation License, Ethymonics Free Music License, Free Art License, Free MediaLicense, Free Music Public License, GNU Free Documentation License, No Type License, OpenBits License, Open Content License, Open Directory License, the Open Music licenses, Open Publication License, Open Source Music License, Public Library of Science Open Access License, QING PublicLicnese, Phy-d’eau — License of Intention for Liberty in Expression and Creativity 35
  • 36. (licenses) only small part of problem, but due to totemic status, a barrier and potential lever 36i i
  • 37. (long term)one interoperable commons[and world liberation] 37 i
  • 38. (short term)opportunities, trends... 38
  • 39. (CC-BY-SA-4.0)hopefully one-way GPLv3+ compatible[and other compatibilityimprovements] 39
  • 40. (improve public domain instruments) i 40
  • 41. (software-centric licenses,new/versioned) 41
  • 42. (simple more inclusive languagechanges (e.g., software > work)) i 42
  • 43. (allow referring to copy of license) i 43
  • 44. (address all default restrictions) i i 44
  • 45. (talk to other communities, eghardware design)[I’m fairly critical of this particular proposal, but contains some good pointers,see] 45
  • 46. (reformation) is here-coming: be crushed or leverage translate and justify forced sharing (copyleft) as policy knowledge commoners of all domains are needed 46i
  • 47. (imagine a world in which FLOSS andWikipedia are not unusual)where mass collaboration obtains...disruptive innovationsuperior “product”greater equalitygreater all of the most crucial humanenterprises 47
  • 48. links: convey yourself to @mlinksva Unless stated otherwise, everything by me, Mike Linksvayer, published anywhere, including these slides, is hereby placed in the public domain. 48i K✳0♡