Law in the Internet Society
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Have we learned our lesson? - From Open Source to Open Data and Data Trusts

-- By BalajiVenkatakrishnan - 07 Oct 2019

Let us put this in perspective. For years Microsoft opposed the open source software movement, and even branded it as a "cancer". Just a few years later, Microsoft pivoted. It adapted its business model to be compatible with open source software, and even went on to acquire Github (an open source software platform) for 7.5 billion dollars. Perhaps this example helps signify at the outset two important aspects - (1) the initial, but long drawn struggle against open source software resulted in a centralized software industry with few dominant enterprises, which (could have) stagnated innovation; and (2) open source software is presently the norm, and not counterculture. Basis this, there is speculation about what could have been, if the benefits of open source software were embraced without the struggle. However, the world's next technological struggle is already afoot, and at its epicenter is data. Consequently, any speculation vis-a-vis the open source software struggle should have in mind the ongoing data struggle, as this will ensure that mistakes of the past are minimized. Accordingly, in this brief essay, I aim to examine whether the ongoing data struggle has learned from its predecessor, given that some solutions to combat the data struggle share similarities with open source software movement.

_The Data Struggle & its similarities with the Open Source Software Movement_


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r2 - 08 Oct 2019 - 04:28:08 - BalajiVenkatakrishnan
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