A keener focus for the 2010 edition
This edition is the third to be published of the 2020 FLOSS Roadmap.
In previous years, contributors analysed the potential impact of FLOSS on the future in terms of technology, business and society. This year, three contributors – Philippe Aigrain, David Bollier and Michael Tiemann – decided to work in a more focused way to enrich the the findings of previous editions, concentrating on very specific aspects such as “Openness vs. Freedom in Cloud computing”, “Floss as Commons” and “The BRIC ( Brazil, Russia, India, and China ) FLOSS Roadmap ”. In actual fact, being more focused on specific themes allows us to demonstrate both the potential and the limitations of FLOSS. And even though the 2010 edition does not set out to be a kind of “State of the Union Address”, it covers most of the issues that FLOSS will encounter in 2010 and will need to address in the next few years.
2010 version can be downloaded here.
We invite you to join 3 brilliant authors and to share with them your thoughts, suggestions and insights in a true collaborative effort .
The result of this collaboration will be officially published for Open World Forum, October 1, 2010.
YOUR INPUTS AND COMMENTS ARE FUNDAMENTAL TO ENRICH OUR COMMON FLOSS VISION!
While previous editions analyzed potential impacts of FLOSS on the future in term of technology, business and society, 2010 edition will deepen these findings on very specific aspects.
If FLOSS is like forests then maybe should FLOSS developers and companies be considered as sustainable foresters? But actually what is FLOSS forestry? Where are the schools to teach foresters to cultivate properly? And where are the international bodies defining and defending sustainable forestry? This is where the comparison between FLOSS and forest stops. And this is where the introduction of the “Commons” paradigm starts. Thanks to David Bollier, these aspects of FLOSS are covered and effects that acknowledgment of FLOSS as Commons may have, are clearly envisioned.
Another important difference between FLOSS and finite resources such as forest, water, fishery, etc., is that this type of commons can not be geographically localized: FLOSS’ nature is global. And here it is necessary to have a close look to how economics will evolve and which nations will be dominating in the coming years and in parallel, what FLOSS may or may not change to this new economical map of the world. Here, Michael Tiemann helps us to understand potential scenarios for the future, one with the biggest potential being the BRIC scenario.
Finally in the blue sky of FLOSS and as we already mentioned in previous editions, there are some huge dark clouds appearing. In his contribution, Philippe Aigrain describes why the future may look a bit cloudy and if there is some hope to see a better horizon and to have freedom in the clouds. All these ideas are thoughts in progress.
All texts are available HERE.
We hope you will appreciate David’s vision about how FLOSS and Commons are closely related. And we count on your insights and comments to enrich it.
So please feel free contribute!
In the scope of 2010 edition and its 3 main topics and after the publication of Michael Tiemann’s paper about BRIC, here is the second major contribution by Philippe Aigrain about “Freedom in the Cloud”.
We hope you will appreciate Philippe’s insights. And we are also expecting your contributions.
So please contribute!
Following the call for contribution to the new edition of 2020 Floss Roadmap, we are very honored this call has been answered by key contributors who accepted to participate to our collaborative effort.
As you may know (see previous post), 2010 edition will focus on 3 predominant topics:”Floss as Commons”, “BRIC and FLOSS” and “Freedom in the Cloud”.
In order to analyze these 3 topics, 3 major specialists have accepted to share their knowledge and insights: David Bollier, Michael Tiemann and Philippe Aigrain . They will respectively lead the effort on each topics and will expect your comments and contributions.
Today we are announcing the publication of the first major contribution by Michael Tiemann about BRIC. Now Michael is expecting your contributions.
Time has come to re-open the debates which will feed the 3rd edition of 2020 FLOSS Roadmap.
Since 2009 edition (see http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/roadmap/synthesis/), it looks like FLOSS has been through the crisis but with various side effects. While we may confirm FLOSS is there to stay, the tensions between open and free are highly sensitive (again); cloud computing is perceived as an attempt to enclose FLOSS, global agreements are in progress to reinforce intellectual property rights, net neutrality is threatened by Internet providers and legal, etc. All this making 2009-2010 period sound a bit like “the empire strikes back”.
For the 3rd edition of 2020 FLOSS Roadmap which will be published during Open World Forum (30 September and 1 October 2010 in Paris), we suggest to study and describe these different evolutions in the perspective of what has been done the previous years:
- In 2008, we established the foundations of our roadmap (see http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/roadmap/2008-roadmap/) and listed a number of recommendations
- In 2009, we challenged our vision and updated it with new paradigm such as “FLOSS is like Forests” and we added a new powerful recommendation i.e. FLOSS to be acknowledged as knowledge commons (see http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/2020-floss-roadmap-2009-version1.pdf)
For 2010 edition , we would like to concentrate on 3 predominant topics which will be largely exposed and debated during the 2 days of Open World Forum (the following list of topics and questions is open to any suggestion or modification):
FLOSS as Commons: what is the way, what are the actions for having FLOSS acknowledged globally as a strategic and crucial common for knowledge society? Is FLOSS paving the way for bigger initiatives and larger variety of commons? (see also http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/2010/01/19/a-path-from-information-to-action/)
BRIC countries: how BRIC are using IT in their growth and how could they build larger projects joining forces on a collaborative mode? Will BRIC be the emerging leaders of useful and wealthy technological innovations? How FLOSS may help? (see also http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/roadmap/theme-7-brazil/ and http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/roadmap/appendix-floss-in-india/)
Openness and freedom in Cloud Computing: will FLOSS ethics survive to privatization of key open source components by cloud suppliers? Will the nature of FLOSS stay unchanged or will evolve? (see also Open Cloud Tribune http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/roadmap/head-in-the-clouds/)
The basic idea is to give food for thoughts to these debates before and after OWF’10. And maybe to take the opportunity to have longer analysis than the one you may get during 1 hour panels or 20′ speeches. Of course on each topics, we are expecting contradictory debates enabling smart analysis of the situation and we are also expecting recommendations from experts in order for the initial 2020 FLOSS roadmap to become a reality.
We would really appreciate if you could devote a part of your time or at least a part of your thoughts to this collaborative effort. Our will is to be able to enrich altogether the average common knowledge about FLOSS not only as pieces of technology or competitive tactics but also as a mean to create sustainable wealth and to establish a fair and open knowledge society (one of the primary goal of Open World Forum is to create a space where to establish a common understanding of FLOSS and its related topics in order to build sustainable ecosystems on top of it).
If you are interested to participate to this effort for 2010 edition, please let us know by any mean you would judge appropriate. Feel free to forward this message to any contact who might be interested. Feel free also to contact me for additional details.
Look forward to collaborating with you
Note for those who are not familiar with this collaborative effort.
The way we work is quite “classic”:
The main rules are openness and consensus: 2020 FLOSS Roadmap is open to any contributor as far as his/her contributions are accepted by the others. Any contributor can propose and lead a specific theme.
Around 40 contributors have participated so far to 2008 and 2009 editions (see http://www.2020flossroadmap.org/about/contributors/).
All contributors are copyright holders.
All documents are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
A dedicated mailing is also available which relays all changes of the web site, you can subscribe to it using the form in the top right corner of the home page of the 2020Flossroadmap.org website.
On twitter and identi.ca, the ash tag #20frm is used to refer any info relating to topics treated in our documents. This may be highly useful to feed our publication with valuable references and articles.
We organize frequent conference calls and meetings in order to publish a common document based on our findings in October 2010. The announcement of these calls or meetings are done via the web site .
Finally a draft edition will be proposed for final comment mid-September in order to be able to edit it and publish 1 October 2010.
For more information about 2020 FLOSS Roadmap, see 2020flossroadmap.org
A workshop about “The Future of Cloud Computing” has been held in Brussels on the 26th of January. This workshop gathered 300 attendees from European Community and from other countries such as India, Japan and USA – this presence reminding the global nature of the topic and the necessity of international collaborations.
Organised by European Commission (EC), this event offered the opportunity for EC to expose the theme (see also agenda of the meeting) and to evaluate interest in the domain from European Academia and Industry. The first release of the report elaborated by an expert group, “The Future of Cloud Computing” was presented here (this report is available on http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/ssai/docs/cloud-report-final.pdf and is open to comments).
In this workshop, the message “Cloud is the next big thing” was repeated clearly by all participants. Hope Europeans will understand it to re-energize European IT Industry.
Introduction to 2010 Edition
While Open World Forum 2010 has been officially launched during last Steering Committee and Forum Committee’s meetings earlier in January, let’s have a look at what are the objectives of the 3rd edition of 2020 FLOSS Roadmap as it will be published end of September.
Full text of 2010 working document is freely available here.
Until now, 2020 FLOSS Roadmap has been conceived and perceived as a highly valuable source of information about FLOSS. But it has been also highlighted that it was lacking of tangible proposals. While keeping this informative quality, we consider that it is time for more concrete results in order to achieve our initial goal which was to produce an influential instrument for decision makers from public agencies to private companies.
The first version has defined the framework of our work, the second edition has validated the accuracy of this framework – 94 recommendations published for this 1st version. But more than this validation, the 2nd version of 2020 FLOSS Roadmap in its synthesis and recommendation, has also focused on 2 important points:
- FLOSS is like forests
- Acknowledge the intrinsic value of FLOSS infrastructure for essential applications as a public knowledge asset (or ‘as knowledge commons’), and consider new means to ensure its sustainable development
These points have opened new types of questions:
If FLOSS is like forests, is there a “forestry” for FLOSS? Is acknowledgment of FLOSS as commons a necessity?
Then if we answer positively to these questions, it opens even more other questions such as:
What are precisely the issues?
Would it not be necessary to go from information / recommendation – what has been done on the 2 last years – to more concrete actions? Which actions could be taken? And could these actions be taken in commons?
Would these issues necessitate to establish a specific organization(s)? Or could a network of loosely coupled organizations succeed?
We also expect other new and challenging questions from contributors to enrich the debates.
Answers to all these questions are expected to make of 2010 edition a “call for action” – vs. purely prospective analysis. Full text of 2010 working document is freely available here.
Last but not least, if you are interested in challenging 2020 FLOSS Roadmap with uncovered issues or questions, you are welcome. Or if you would like to propose paper on new theme which you judge important for the future of FLOSS, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Full text of 2010 working document is freely available here.
A new column is now available on 2020flossroadmap.org: Related Links
This new column is a collection of all links gathered since last edition of the road map thanks to all tweets, blogs and news published during this period. All these links are related to the key topics of our study:
- Digital Economy, Copyrights, etc.
- Business Ecosystems
- Education, employment and careers
- Financial System
- IT, Governance
- Open Cloud, SaaS, Social Network, Micro Blogging, etc.
- Open World
- Open Science
- Predictions, Prospectives
- Public policies, Internet, Open Standards, Open Data
This column will be updated on a regular basis in order to identify the trends and the flows to be analysed in our 2010 edition. Please feel free to contact us for other links which you might consider as relevant.
We hope this will greatly enhance our results, and moreover that you will enjoy the diversity of collected articles.
We hope to see you somewhere on our road map for 2010, and wish you all the best for this coming year.
On the behalf of 2020 Floss Roadmap contributors, best wishes for the new year
How etymology of the word commons illuminates FLOSS
When we started discussing about next version of 2020 Floss Roadmap, we agreed to insist on the importance of FLOSS to be acknowledged as a commons. And this brought to the table three questions: “why FLOSS should be considered as a commons?”, “Who has to acknowledged FLOSS as a commons?” and “How to make this commons sustainable?”. Analyzing the specificity of a commons and how it relates to FLOSS, Cedric Thomas pointed us to Alain Lipietz ‘s remarkable paper titled “Questions about Commons”. In this paper Lipietz gives a lot of insightful reflections about the nature of commons and especially exposes the etymology of the word commons: it finds its origin from the Norman word “commun”(still in use in French) which derives from Latin “munus”, which means both “gift” and “duty.” Sharing this information with David Bollier , he was so intrigued that we decided to translate this article into English. All together we highly recommend you to read this edifying text — English version / French version.
In “Questions about Commons “, Lipietz explains that “munus”... means both gift and duty. To receive a gift — a munus — is to be obliged to respond with a counter-gift.” This dual meaning reflects properly the intrinsic nature of FLOSS. Let’s have a look to GNU Linux with its large “com mun ity”  of contributors and its wide adoption: Linus Torvalds as “ benevolent dictator”, is in charge of regulating the commons i.e. GNU Linux Kernel. With “mun ificence”, he shares his source code freely, works at integrating contributions of other developers and finally he offers to anyone, free access and usage to a highly complex and valuable piece of technology. These days, Torvalds also gets a “re num eration” for his activities and has the ability to make a living out of this commons. This dual meaning of “munus” explains also the mechanism by which FLOSS has the capability to transform software development into a virtuous circle, and at the end of the day, to deliver better and larger software for everyone. Reciprocity is at the heart of commons and FLOSS: developers give to you access and usage to software, and in return, you may (or may not) contribute under different forms such as adding code, providing bug reports or writing documentation. These basic principles are clearly exposed by Lipietz when he writes that “the commons are not [only] things, but social relations [to produce or create things]. “ And so is FLOSS: it is not yet another artifact but a process to develop software in a collaborative way, and this process can describe itself as a social relationship. Here we have our answer to our first question: actually Floss should be considered as a commons because both are of the same nature.
Lipietz provides also guidance to the two other issues i.e. acknowledgment and sustainability of FLOSS. Describing the historical relations which have always articulated the commons with political power and market, he describes what should be the rules of the game and who are the players.
Concerning political power, Lipietz develops the ideas of regulation of commons by the state and he adds that the state has a role to play in the redistribution of wealth generated by the commons. This implies also the responsibility of the state “for maintaining a local commons of global interest.” He precises that when “the state is the gatekeeper and custodian,” it “ is obliged to obtain the prior informed consent of the local community, if granted access, while sharing the profits with this community. “ Here we have good hope that under the influence of some pioneers such as Brazil or Canada, and in regards to recent positive signs in the Netherlands , in the UK  and in the USA , this key notion of reciprocity governing FLOSS, its usage and its sustainability, is starting to be understood and integrated by governments — the positions of powerful institutions such as DOD  or NATO  concerning FLOSS exemplifies this trend. May we expect that nations, European Union, United Nations, Unesco, etc. would officially acknowledge FLOSS as commons before 2020? Let’s work it out!
On the market side, if we consider that the market can serve the commons positively, then we can admit that this service should also be compensated by a fair “re mun eration.” The recent communication of Red Hat’s CEO to Obama’s administration about creation of jobs , is an example of good understanding on how FLOSS can benefit at the same time to private business and public good while preserving the integrity of commons. Actually we need companies to keep on contributing to commons, to get a remuneration and to facilitate the creation of healthy business ecosystems. But we also need to prevent this commons from any form of privatization. How is this feasible?
In fact the answer to this question belongs to multiple stakeholders i.e. to vibrant and various Floss communities, to renown activists such as R. Stallman or L. Lessig, to historical FLOSS “establishment” such as Free Software Foundation, Apache Foundation, Software Freedom Law Center,… and to members of civil society who are cautious for their freedom as citizens of a digital world, and join forces in organizations such as Electronic Frontier Foundation, Knowledge Ecology International, Quadrature du Net, April, … All of them are essential to assure that reciprocity is maintained in a sustainable manner, to make sure that the articulation of commons with political power and market is balanced at its best, and to sound the alarm when there is a risk of enclosure of the commons. All these individuals and organizations should be considered as key levers for making 2020 FLOSS Roadmap’s recommendation a reality i.e. “Acknowledge the intrinsic value of FLOSS infrastructure for essential applications as a public knowledge asset (or as ‘knowledge commons’), and consider new means to ensure its sustainable development.” So let’s count on them, support them and work with them.
Finally the key root of the word “Communication” being also “munus” (com mun icare i.e. to impart, share, or make common), we would like to thank Alain Lipietz for his insights which are nurturing our thoughts and are paving the way of our future communication.
2020 FLOSS Roadmap Team
Notes & References
2. Alain Liptiez is a French engineer, economist and politician, and a member of the French Green Party.
3. David Bollier is a journalist, activist, and public policy analyst as well as Editor of Onthecommons.org and co-founder of Public Knowledge. A Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center, Bollier is the author of numerous highly praised books, including Brand Name Bullies and Silent Theft. He lives in Amherst, MA. You can find his blog about Lipietz’ speech here.
4. About etymology of community, see also P2PFoundation
5. Linus Torvalds works under Linux Foundation ‘s auspices. Other examples about
Torvalds: “Red Hat and VA Linux, both leading developers of Linux-based software, presented Torvalds with stock options in gratitude for his creation. In 1999, both companies went public and Torvalds’ net worth shot up to roughly $20 million.”. More or less alike other key contributors to Linux kernel have also been hired by companies such as Red Hat, IBM, Novell, etc. (see “Linux Foundation Updates Study on Linux Development Statistics: Who Writes Linux and Who Supports It”)
9. USA DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (CIO): CLARIFYING GUIDANCE REGARDING OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE (OSS)