Friday, December 08, 2006

Individual readings and thoughts about open source

As two of my individual readings mainly concentrated on open-source, I'll try to reflect on my own ideas of it after reading some of these books. The Creative Economy by John Howkins takes a very traditional view on the creative content business with explaining different viewpoints. On open source Howkins mainly explains the basic licenses behind them and just touches the brilliant business and social models behind the whole thing.

The most interesting book of these three was Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture. It consists of many case reports about free culture, copyrights, open source and public domain. Interesting cases, some of them were already familiar to me, some of them were interesting smaller cases. All in all, the practical view and cases was just what I could think people would need to see the benefits of open source and creative commons. Also seeing that even open-source or public domain can make income to you. I must agree on Lessig on the potential of open source, but the time it takes for open source to grow will take long. As Lessig states in his conclusion:

"I’ve told a dark story. The truth is more mixed. A technology has given us a new freedom. Slowly, some begin to understand that this freedom need not mean anarchy.We can carry a free culture into the twenty-first century, without artists losing and without the potential of digital technology being destroyed. It will take some thought, and more importantly, it will take some will to transform the RCAs of our
day into the Causbys.
Common sense must revolt. It must act to free culture. Soon, if this potential is ever to be realized."

Creative commons seemed to be a license of choice for individual writings and open-source for small trivial software. Should I write something down every time I'm learning something? Should I publish software written for my own aid or just as an aid for learning? I can't think a reason why not. So I guess I'll license this blog under creative commons.

Back to the readings: The open life by Henrik Ingo was mainly chosen because I haven't had time to read this through before and this would force me to read it. :) The main point in this book is that it also concentrates on the social aspects of open source. It describes the actions of open source community and tells how the open source software projects are carried. Everything has a person centric start point and the results seem to be promising. The different business models in different cases are also a nice way to tell the reader that this "free open source thing" doesn't mean that you don't ever get paid for your job. The little practices for every day jobs from open source projects could benefit almost any academic worker.

Interesting readings and more thoughts on mind. Open source and creative commons feel natural choices right now. I'll guess I'll change this to Creative Commons right away.

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