Saturday, October 28, 2006

Creativity, innovation and sharing of ideas.

Excepts from an interesting article (Protecting the Golden Goose by Pamela Jones of groklaw) on the clash between the long-term objectives of freedom and the greed of short-term-oriented businesses:
  • Compatibility is a bedrock [Free and Open Source Software] value, but it goes against corporate thinking. Corporations want to differentiate and lock in customers [through incompatibility].
  • Corporations will naturally be reluctant to share knowledge. Whether it's for competitive reasons, for confidentiality, or most probably, due to time pressure, it appears to me that the flow of testing results and the promptness of getting fixes out to the rest of the world is slowing down a bit.
  • Regressions [to isolationism]: Creativity inevitably springs from large numbers of people experimenting, combined with a low barrier to entry to sharing and contributing. Those are essential ingredients in Linux's success.
  • In code, progress is incremental. [IP] laws that seek ... to keep knowledge out of the pool ... end up [creating] a barrier to learning, preventing the rapid progress you could have had from pooling ideas and skills.

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