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On July 20, 2006, Bill & MelindaGates Foundation made
for all researchers
grant forHV/ADS research to share their scientific findings.
Herewas a man whose company had reaped rich dividends from proprietaryIPs, and his foundation was now applying the ‘commons’ philosophy toanother area.It indeed had come full circle!The Foundation’s frustration stemmed from the fact that decades of professional secrecy among researchers had impeded development of anAIDS vaccine.Apparently, the Foundation considered that if researchers piggy-backedon each other’s works, it would speed up the development process.That exactly is what ‘open’ is all about: making technologies andresearches accessible to the larger community towards larger goals andbenefits. Examples include the 1960s’ collaborative telecommunicationproject (ARPANET) that led to the birth of the Internet in 1969, and themore recent human genome sequencing project.To quote Open Source Initiative president Michael Tiemann: “…free andopen source… has opened innovation, and helped the world transcend thelimits of conventional industrialisation.”In fact, the modern day growth of automobile sector also owes it to the‘open’ initiative led by Henry Ford, who challenged the two-cycle gasolineengine patent owned by George B Selden and won it in 1911.That led to the setting up of a new association (now Motor VehicleManufacturers Association), which instituted a cross-licensing agreementamong all US auto manufacturers. While companies filed patents forthe technologies developed by them, these would be shared without anyfinancial consideration among all manufacturers.Closer home, India’s White Revolution is yet another amazing story of how a ‘community’ led work shaped a massive success story called GujaratCo-operative Milk Marketing Federation or better still, the brand calledAmul.What could be more telling of the shift to ‘open’ than the fact that the worldis already talking about ‘open source politics’ and ‘open source governance,’in what amounts to having direct citizen inputs into the governance.Gates all over are swinging inwards for ‘open.’
“Making individualwork accessible to thelarger community is ininterest of larger goalsand benefits”
Blogs To Watch!
Economic impact of FOSS in Indiawww.iimb.ernet.in/~rahulde/RD_FOSSRep2009.pdfOpen source software web sitewww.sourceforge.net
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