Friday, May 27, 2005

Forbes: mcvoy says open source cant sustain innovation

May 27th

an interesting critique from an insider. there may be some truth to it: the open source crowd needs to eat, too, and so they typically have a day job at some cathedral-type company and then do the bazaar-type work at night (refer 'the cathedral and the bazaar', the superb exposition of open source philosophy by eric raymond.)

there is another interesting question here on the nature of property rights. is the patent mechanism appropriate or absurd? how would it be if people put their innovations into the public domain? altruism vs. greed: would this reduce innovation. it's hard to say. ancient india saw tremendous innovation that was immediately put into the public domain, not controlled by proprietary rights, and did it make ancient india less innovative? i don't think so.

a prize-winning paper by MIT economist petra moser suggests that the existing european idea of a patent system isn't going to be helpful for a nation like india. see this link too.

so what is the right model to sustain innovation?


san said...

Here's another interesting science article:,1286,67472,00.html

It sounds like a cheap way for 3rd world countries to sanitize things and treat infections.

san said...

Also, Indian govt is promoting Linux, Firefox, OpenOffice to circumvent the Microsoft monopoly

They should also add PHP and MySQL to the list, for distribution to businesses.

Meanwhile, take a look at the idea of
Creative Commons

This may be a more flexible and practical compromise to avoid stifling innovation without totally bilking intellectual property holders.


san said...

Here, let me also add the link to the Science Commons

Read the FAQ and give it some thought.