Category Archives: intelectual commons

Talk at TransparencyCamp 2010

The Sunlight Foundation recently brought all of its grantees together so that each organization could learn more about what the others were working on. Since they funded the work on the CorpWatch API, I got to attend. They also invited folks to stay over the weekend and attend the TransparencyCamp, a 2-day “un-conference” in DC for folks interested in getting the government to be more open an responsive with its data.

I gave a presentation on the work we did on the CorpWatch API, and why I think it would be a good idea to develop a common standard id system for company and organization names. The talk was streamed live, and archived as well. I sound a bit jet-lagged ;-)

The slides from the talk are here (pdf).

I really enjoyed the un-conference format: participants basically shout out what they want to present or discuss and convince folks to come to their sessions. Got to finally meet face to face with the people who have been doing all the amazing work to provide the data we use in so many projects. Had some great discussions about trying to build some kind of larger project to create a common id system that various organizations could link to so that companies can be correctly matched and aggregated across datasets. Learned a lot. Was especially interested in some of the work being done internationally, seemed at time more pragmatic, less obsessed with the latest shinny new tech toys.

A Call for Collaboration (0.1)

I’m looking for people to team up with to build a non-profit commons based R&D organization. Here’s the current state of my evolving pitch:

Commons Business Model (long term)

CommonsBassedResearchLogoI see this as a project running on a couple of different time scales with various goals. The broader and longer term of which is to test and demonstrate the feasibility of an R&D business model based around intellectual commons. So organizations, academic institutions, and companies would pay for expertise and specific tool delivery, but intellectual property is drawn from and returned to the public domain. Clients would be buying the innovation, the implementation (that final 20% it takes to hook up all those great free libraries into something useful) and saving big bucks by not re-writing everything from scratch. This kind of model is especially appropriate for academics and NGOs which are (nominally at lest) working for a common good rather than directly competing for monopoly.
Continue reading A Call for Collaboration (0.1)