Speaker Glyn Moody
Time 2010-01-21 09:10
Conference LCA2010

Tea towel, map of the world with NZ at the top. Open mind to closed ways of thinking.

Scientists get paid mostly by public funding. They write up new inventions, submit to publication. Publisher will get article peer reviewed by 3 reviewers and publish it for say $10,000 a year. Scientists get no money, reviewers get no money. Publisher earns money for doing nothing based on publicly funded work. Scientists starting to question if this is really fair.

Scientists encouraged by layers to keep data, patent it, not give it away for free. We discovered it, we should be able to profit from it.

Bermuda principles 1996 went against this and said discovered DNA sequences should be published to public database.

Year 2000 race with Craig Venter’s Celera. There were going to win and patent the entire human gene system. Instead it was won by Lone hacker, Jim Kent. Cluster of 100 Linux PCs with 800Mhz Pentium processors, 250 Mbyte RAM. Information was put in public domain, and meant Celera couldn’t patent.

Science not just about publishing black box results, but also publishing the “source code” of the data.

Sharing art. Project Gutenburg 1971. 1991 just 10 ebooks.

6 August 1991 WWW become publicly available.

Licensing of documentation. Early concern was that information would be used for commercial purposes. Licenses were very restrictive as a result. This has carried through to recent licenses too.

Creative commons. Some versions are more restrictive then GPL. Not possible to copy content from some licenses to other licenses.

GNU GFDL 1.3 had special clause that allowed wikipedia to upgrade and use latest GFDL license.

wikimania - probably the best single example of why sharing works - is easiest to understand for non-programmers.

sharing: web pages, blogs, delicious (bookmarks), Flickr, Youtube, scribd, SlideShare, MySpace, Facebook,

twitter, identica - release early release often type thinking.

“open governments” - good that it is happening, however governments aren’t releasing control, only releasing bits of data here and there.

Stock markets are gambling. Guess the future. I’ll bet you a trillion dollars that the price of the dollar will go up next week. No its not, I’ll bet you it isn’t. Can invent any sum of money they want to bet. Horse betting is safer, sums of money much smaller.

Gambling is a zero-sum game. For every winner there is always a loser. There is no overall benefit. Winners lose because they destroy the resource they are getting the money from.

Same with environment. I am going to get the fish that before you get the fish. Over fishing results in no fish being left. The earth can’t expand to meet the demands. We have to learn how to share the limited resources. Or create walls, which we have anyway.

resources: atmosphere, rainforests, oceans, fresh water, energy, minerals, etc.

You are the tea towel.


Need to build transparency into system from the very start or people will subvert it. Breaking pattern will be difficult.

Journalists and science. Sometimes journalists will publish non-peer reviewed articles. Journalists need to think about what they are trying to do. There isn’t anything you can do about it, it will happen anyway, you might as well as embrace it.

Idea of sharing is moving across to other domains.

Communities managing resources, eg. forests, that we traditionally have destroyed. Western societies need to learn from other societies that manage these resources better.

copyright law has been strengthened and strengthened always in the favour of the copyright owner. Was 14 years after data of publication. Now 70years after copyright owner dies. Now talking about property, not about monopolies. Propaganda is that you are destroying jobs by sharing. Makes the debate unfair. Need to push the idea sharing is good. Your mother said sharing is good, so why are people being arrested for sharing? Was your mother wrong?