Open Source, Commercial Value and Intellectual Property

When you share broadly, you make an investment that can develop long-term in the reciprocal expansion of that knowledge into further insights and capabilities. Great foundations and organizations, profit and non-profit alike have been founded on the idea of open source. Open source is not contrary to commercial interest when addressed properly. There is such a thing as property. Not all property is created or exists equally. Physical property is real and is a concept that is natural. No matter what society you are in, culture, or time, physical property is a naturally understood concept. Physical property derives from limited resource in which the stake of loss without remuneration can be devastating.

Knowledge itself is not property. No one naturally owns understanding. Limiting someone else’s use of knowledge due to the perception of having originated that knowledge is contrary to the use of unrestricted knowledge that served as input into that creation.


Sharing a secret others disclosed to you is addressed in first world legal policy. Unique information you create for others with no close duplicate in publicly known form for which you were specifically compensated is ethically at their disposal to determine disclosure. Naturally, that is the genuine extent of intellectual property.

Media and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property as a concept exists in relation to the means and avenues to enforce it in a civil context. The cost to society to enforce intellectual property is often highly disproportionate to its transient nature. Unlike physical property with a naturally understood entitlement to protection, one has to stretch definitions to assign worth to intellectual property for it to merit strenuous enforcement.

Do songwriters and artists deserve compensation for their work? Do writers of books? The answer to all of the above is yes. When a publisher distributes work and is compensated on that work, the author of that work should be compensated. The author makes the publisher’s business possible. The publisher’s business is in operating the hardware, facilities, and physical conditions necessary for distribution. That is why the publisher gets a share.

The Core of My View Point is As Follows:

The dividing line is in making works of the same kind. Especially in software and data. People who make similar works should be free to make them. The market place or other discerning acquirers of the work should decide who to reward. Some viewpoints on intellectual property destroy natural competition in favor of the exclusive ability to make a thing. Unsolicited license fees are then a penalty for having made works of a similar kind. That runs counter to economic growth.

Limited Value

Commercial value is a matter of knowing where the true value lies. In many cases it may not be in intellectual constituents that are subject to straightforward recall and recreation by those who observe it. Especially where efficient distribution networks are involved. Usually, it in the full end result.

Non-physical, mental contrivances of a narrow kind can often be clean room recreated with greater ease than physical items. They are often easily transient yet the knowledge of algorithms, data, and principles of creation are necessary for collaboration, hiring, solution compatibility, and interchangeability.

Value is often best moderated through diligent process; investment in hard infrastructure; and reliable execution are more relevant to commercial solvency. Value originates from actions and the ability to repeat those actions effectively. A way exists to profit from knowledge that involves supporting processes around knowledge predicated on the operation of physical media that distributes knowledge based constituents.

Slow Progress

A perspective of exclusivity in the wrong areas can create procedural and contractual conflict that can stall progress and innovation. You can greatly slow down hiring, spontaneous idea pursuit, and discussion. The negative effects of exclusivity can be obscure in the short-term.

Process, Execution, and Trust

Long-term, broader information access accelerates moving from question to answer and enables you to have broader agility through difficult questions. In an environment of change, the real value is in people process, execution ability, and trust.

Ability to Adapt

Assets are important. More importantly, the ability to get or create new assets when the old falls away that is far more valuable. The great power to create assets from a wealth of public information is a huge advantage where not being limited by those assets creates true freedom. The freedom to expand and a greater ability to adapt to change. Much of that will be predicated on the freedom to build and let the marketplace for free and paid services decide.


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