Talk:Peer Production License

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Various Comments


RE: Why I still don't believe in the p2p license

  • I copied this to the main page content, but I want to keep this version here, in case my thoughts are altered or removed from the main page. thanx

I just wanted to respond to a line of thought in this critique, best exemplified by this passage:

" The argument for the p2p license is to insure that value flows predominantly towards the new economy, which is based on commons and open innovation. It is in fact a defensive or protective mechanism, that implies a weakness of the new economy. Value flows in all directions, but it generally flows predominantly from the economically weak to the economically strong. It is the economically weak who needs protective measures. The economically strong is generally interested in not adding barriers to value flows. This is why the USA goes around and signs free trade agreements, which are very disruptive for smaller economies, because the deal ends up displacing local economic agents, disturbing the local ecosystem. "

Essentially I agree with this characterization, but I disagree that "protective" measures are ineffectual in supporting a delicate economy (a term I find more appropriate than "weak", which is full of obvious biases, most significantly the failure to note the this "weak" economy has a much higher creative intellectual potential than the "strong" economy).

The very actor used here as an example of a strong economic party, the US, was once a delicate market, and one on the margins of a much more developed and robust market, England. In that time tariffs or taxes on imported products were used by the US to strengthen it's domestic productivity. We can see that these protective measures were very successful, when implemented properly and over a significant time period. As I said, in principle I agree that CopyFarLeft approaches are essentially protectionism for a developing open market and I would further argue: that's a good thing!

However, all of the above is presented under a false premise: that there are two intellectual markets, a traditional proprietary market and a new open source market. Actually, all IPs make use of public domain and open source knowledge. All proprietary products benefit from the great store of commons data, new and old, raw and developing. There is no proprietary market apart from the commons. It's a subset of the commons. What p2p does is essentially say, "You cannot put a fence around this piece of information, this part of the collective knowledge pool." This license does not move a project from one market to another. It protects that project from becoming inaccessible to the greater market in which it was developed. All projects begin in the commons because all projects are a synthesizing of prior knowledge into new applications. Fundamentally this is about protecting knowledge from the kind of distortion, obscurity and exploitation that is based on secrets and hidden agendas.

Further more, I would like to put out a neighborly reminder to anyone reading this discussion:

Whether it be in form of face-to-face communication, analogue media or digital data, KNOWLEDGE is primary wealth. All other products our secondary wealth because all other products are the result of the application of knowledge. Even the use of previously produced wealth is only possible through the application of knowledge. If we ever want to find ourselves living in a fair and open society, we need to continue to innovate open forms of participation in the preservation of knowledge, the distribution of knowledge and the application of knowledge in the creation of new wealth. I believe that the license posted above is one such innovation.


It seems to me that the licence might tend more towards post-capitalism than anti-capitalism.

I would even argue that it might be closer to a Georgist approach ? ( including this kind of blend ? )