Feedback about the Tiranny of Openness? Here!


I did not realize it immediately, but I had already done that.

On April 2nd, 2020, I saw Nathan Schneider say on Twitter “Okay, new draft up: “The Tyranny of Openness: What Happened to Peer Production?” Feedback most welcome”. I made myself a note to do just that as soon as possible but, being under full Italy lockdown, that intention ended up in confused queue, together with many others. Two days ago I had completely forgotten that tweet but, following some other note, I commented to ANOTHER post by Nathan on… exactly the same topic.

This morning (*) I finally rediscovered on my hard drive that “note to comment on Nathan’s tweet”, went to read the full draft he submitted to Twitter and… was pleased to find that part of the conclusions is very close to what I had commented BEFORE reading his draft. In his full draft, in fact, Nathan writes among other things that:

  1. “Perhaps, to begin with, the focus on intellectual-property licensing is an inadequate frame, and peer producers should turn toward other techniques. That is, if peer production is to displace the firm as the dominant mode of organizing production, it should have the capacity to offer a parallel economy and a parallel ethics. Licenses alone are probably inadequate to the task.”
  2. …there is need for:
    • a. “more empirical investigations of the dynamics of participation—particularly in terms of under-valued labor—in peer production communities”
    • b. “research on legal structures and funding models for open cooperatives and the like, which seek to extend the territory of peer production from hacking intellectual property to reimagining the firm - a territory better suited to serve as a nexus of economics, ethics, and governance”
  3. “If peer production is to challenge broader norms of economy and culture, surely it will have to engage more directly with those realms”

Seeing this convergence, I only have to:

(This post was drafted in April 2020, but only put online in August, because… my coronavirus reports, of course)

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