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The Tyranny of Openness: What Happened to Peer Production?

Tyranny-2021-02-18T05 13 14.484Z.pdf

by Nathan Schneider

This paper examines a “culture war” underway among software peer-production communities through relevant blog posts, legal documents, forum discussions, and other sources. Software licensing has been a defining strategy for peer producers, and much of the conflict at hand revolves around whether licensing should more fully incorporate ethics and economics, respectively. Feminist analysis can aid in tracing the contours of discontent through its emphasis on social processes that enable and infuse productive activity—processes that peer producers have trained themselves to ignore. The emerging critiques, and the experiments they have inspired, gesture toward fuller understandings of what “free” and “open” might mean.

for more:

#opensource #peer-production #licensing #valueflows

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One knows this is not a CS article when the conclusion is multiple pages long ;-)

Some tidbits and comments:

To the extent peer production has thrived, it has continued to rely on the corporate firm to supply (and capture) its economics. Rather than diminishing the stature of the firm, ...

Maybe not so surprising given firms has had at least a hundred years to perfect that skill.

Rather than continually adding restrictions, peer production licensing regimes might be rethought from the ground up to cultivate a deeper reciprocity.

Not sure if licensing is the issue here, but rather reciprocity between people. Neoliberalism overall has been very good at stockpiling wealth at the top of the pyramid at the expense of everyone else.

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