What is an OpenBusiness?


We started Openbusiness to share knowledge about business models that give a substantial portion of their main product away for free. By “free” we meant free as in “freedom” and also as in “free beer”, paraphrasing Richard Stallman’s famous illustration of the difference between “freed” from restrictions of intellectual property law and a product which literally costs nothing.

So far Openbusiness.cc has, however, also found a wide range of businesses who literally give something away for free. Free then can mean not only making a song, book, movie or service available for zero cost, but also that the product is “freed” by attaching a Creative Commons license.

In contrast to closed business models, which prefer to lock content away, on the internet business models that encourage and facilitate sharing thrive. For example, some record labels enable sharing of their recording, and only charge for high quality versions of songs. In other examples, so called web 2.0 services such as Flickr, offer free platforms for sharing of pictures, and by giving so much for free create vast networks, communities and platforms with an intrinsic value, offering numerous opportunities to create revenue.

Putting it into one sentence for an unusual business advice: The more you give, the more you get! Giving away lots makes sense, because only then people will use your content, see you, recognize you. This is why Creative Commons now looks like a rationale option for many artists, content creators, authors, photographers or even established media businesses.

In my opinion this is one of the most important insights of Openbusiness.cc so far. For more than a decade we have known that the Internet reduces substantially transaction costs and because of this services like ebay could emerge. They connect
thousands of sellers with potential buyers for even the most unlikely products (what has now become famous as the so-called “long tail theory), something that was logistically impossible in the physical-distribution environment.

Now we are beginning to understand how in the digitally networked world “attention” becomes not only a currency with which you can attract advertisement revenue, but a much more diverse and crucial feature of emerging open business models built around participatory architectures, where co-creation and collaboration are the norm and not the exception. Given this our working definition of ‘open’ includes mechanisms for opening up ways to create, produce, collaborate and share a wide variety of informational resources.

Yet, thinking practically, MySpace – one of the best known ‘open’ platforms for sharing content and information – recently changed its copyright policy following acquisition by Murdoch. Today everything which is uploaded to the site, your pictures, movies and recordings belongs, legally at least, to them. This position is clearly in opposition to some of the benefits sought by loosening intellectual property restrictions. The definition of ‘open’ also depends, in this regard, on encouraging communities which are sustainable.

There is also another aspect of how “Openess” changes the way business operates: Big industrial organisational models which were made for the era of mass-media and mass-production make no sense anymore. An online record label run by a staff of three can perform similar functions to a big record label run by hundreds of people. New organizational forms, new management styles and cultural norms are emerging, as well as new revenue models. But are these businesses more ethical, because they can re-distribute more, or radically reduce the costs of publishing making access to educational resources much cheaper?

OpenBusiness believes that this is a key debate… Where are the boundaries of these “open” practises and where do they need to be maintained and strengthened to be meaningful?

If you have a comment or discussion that you would like to contribute we would love to hear from you!

http://www.openbusiness.cc/2006/05/20/what-is-an-openbusiness/

46 Responses to “What is an OpenBusiness?”

Add yours.

  1. derek_ says:

    A business that is more concerned with generating value than just making money.
    A business that is open to new ideas and assumes that rapid change is the only constant.
    It does not separate ‘itself’ from the ‘customers’ but instead understands that they are inseparable. One cannot exist without the other.
    A business that creates tools that enable people to be creative, not a product that people are forced to use only one way.
    A business whose primary concern is honesty and trust.
    A business that everyone involved loves to be a part of.

  2. monserrat says:

    My first question is: who wrote this opinion? I would like to discuss and anwswer the person who wrote the above text.

    See you, Monserrat.

  3. monserrat says:

    Who wrote the text? I would like to answer and discuss with the person who wrote it.

  4. christian says:

    If you refer to the comment that was written by a visitor to openbusiness.cc…
    If you refer to the post this was written by me and if you want to discuss specific questions just pose them here – I will logon and reply asap

  5. zotz says:

    I can state what I am interested in…

    A business which makes a profit while still producing Free Works. particularly copyleft works or the best approximation we have to copyleft works for that particular field.

    I like the gratis parts well enough, but what I am actually concerned with is the libre part.

    So, I in no way consider something Free or Open if it has gratis but not libre as the underelying model.

    all the best,

    drew
    —–
    http://www.ourmedia.org/user/17145
    My Ourmedia page where you can find some of my stuff under a Creative Commons BY-SA license.

  6. derek_ says:

    monserrat: If you’re asking about the comment, it was me. ^_^

  7. Graham Douglas says:

    The questions asked are:- “Where are the boundaries of these “open” practises and where do they need to be maintained and strengthened to be meaningful?”

    Perhaps we do not need to seek definitive answers.

    Given the long-entrenched existing top-down governance models for business, government and civil society organisations and existing IP laws, perhaps a case-by-case approach within a bottom-up Integrative GovernanceTM model would be more practicable at this stage.

    Please see http://www.integrative-thinking.com and Google my trademark terms for free and open background material.

    Organisations which feel they cannot afford the low-cost tools and templates on offer are welcome to certify what is affordable for them.

    I think this sort of approach is preferable to providing so-called free and open services that depend on advertising or financial support from donors.

  8. jimmy says:

    hey monserrat?

    why so private?

  9. mbauwens says:

    I do think that your definition of open business is to broad, when you say, “who literally give something away for free”. That is an age old practice of business. Open models should be defined as giving the ‘code’ for free, so that it can be checked, changed, bettered, by the user communities.

    So, an open business model is a business that does not use copyright or patents to privatise intellectual contributions, but leaves it in the public domain, while building a service model around it. An open business model uses and enriches the Commons, focusing on the monetisation of the services.

    I have collated documentation on such more strictly defined open practices under the tags, Open Source Commercialization, at http://del.icio.us/mbauwens/Open-Source-Commercialization and P2P-Business at http://del.icio.us/mbauwens/P2P-Business

    Michel Bauwens, http://www.p2pfoundation.net/index.php/Main_Page

  10. Administrator says:

    Michel

    I think you have a point – yet I think we need to extend the definition of code! In a digital environment its also relevant to have the source code for music and films – we still think about creative products in a linear way. That in some sense everything is a new work just because I stood in front of the Empire State building and took a picture, or I went in to a pub to record the noise. Yet if put all these pieces together into one single work they loose their identity. So the philosophy behind Open Source, which says the code should be open for adaptation also should apply other forms of digital work, because only then the internet is a tremendous resource for creativity of all forms……

  11. zotz says:

    Administrator – re your point to Michel…

    I too think the “code” for art should be given where it exists. The CC BY-SA license does not contain this concept and I have thought and asked for input for a good while now on simple language that could be included to accomplish this. It seems to be a very difficult thing to do. I have not seen any good ideas.

    Perhaps it will take complicated language and examples. I don’t know.

    (On a practical level here… is there any way to get these discussions threaded?)

    all the best,

    drew
    —–

  12. monserrat says:

    Dear Open People,

    Thank you, Christian. I prefer to know to whom I’m talking with. I think your text is very good and provoking. Let me say something about. Granham is right, we don’t need a definetive answer. Answers may come, or may not, as an outcome of our cooperative discussion.

    If, as Michel says, “Open models should be defined as giving the ‘code’ for free, so that it can be checked, changed, bettered, by the user communities”, and if this open source code ends to benefit a community of developers and users, why no to extend the ‘code idea’ to other production sectors? (not only software production)

    Code is initially the code of programs, right. But why not codes of music, art, recording, book, photo, paper, etc. Well, in these areas there is nothing new actually. It’s already happening, in some way or another, though it’s not so clear the business models around them.

    A more provoking idea is to regard the “code” of a business. Could it be open? Would it be feasible? How to make a sustainable business with an “open source code of a business”, created cooperatively and owned collectively?

    In our traditional capitalist model of business, the *secret of business* is the heart of a successfull business, isn’t it? In this secret what is traditionally owned, and kept hidden in several cases, is the knowledge of an specific “production”, be them in the material goods areas or in services in general.

    There are two bad things in this traditional model. Firts, it estimulates inherintely the formation of oligopolies and monopolies, as anyone can see nowadays. Second, it allows these giant companies to earn money from the *property* of any code, be it of programs, of musics, of arts, of books, of shoes, of computers, of any knowledge to produce goods and services. It’s very much like to own a flat or a house: the owner earn money from the property of them.

    So, an *open business* could be that one which a community of developers, producers and consumers would develop cooperatively and own collectively; no secret of business, no hidden knowledge of production, and no patents.

    But how could people earn money to sustain themselves in a fair way? Perhaps the anwer is simple: through the work of producing something, the work of developing a specific program, the work to doing services. In any case, a fair money could be earned through *the work*, the amount of time and complexity of this work. In any case, the money would not be earned through the property (sometimes as hidden secret) of codes (any of them).

    I hope I don’t shock you, it’s just opinions and ideas. But let me go a bit further. In order to make this sort of open business feasible, I think there should be a fulfilment of some conditions:

    1) A protection to the free and open knowledge (any “codes”) that avoids its private appropriation and any restrictions to its public access.
    2) A critical mass of a community of developers, producers and consumers to turn self-sustaining open businesses in any specific areas.
    (3) A rupture in the individualistic culture of constructing knowledge and making business.

    Just to finish, a suitable license to this sort of open business would be the “Attribution Share Alike (by-sa)”, that is the GPL version of Creative Commons. Why? Because it allows an open business to be cooperatively developed and collectively owned, very much like the open source projects of free software.

    Well, many ideas… See you, Monserrat.

  13. panlibus says:

    What is an open business?…

    Christian Ahlert introduces a thought-provoking piece by writing, “We started Openbusiness to share knowledge about business models that give a substantial portion of their main product away for free.” Have a read, peruse the interesting s…

  14. colinmutchler says:

    Happy to be reading so many interesting thoughts. My personal opinion is the following:

    “Open Businesses” create value for people and companies without slowing down economic or cultural flow with unnecessary fences. Rather than locking customers into a gated world, Open Businesses put the customer at the center of their value proposition, collaborating with competitors to use standards to improve customer’s actual experience.

  15. Administrator says:

    Hey Panlibus
    Somehow your comment did not get in full uploaded????

  16. panlibus says:

    Hi Administrator. I didn’t leave it as a comment. It was a trackback sent from http://blogs.talis.com/panlibus/archives/2006/05/what_is_an_open.html.

    WordPress must be set at your end to truncate the text behind a trackback?

  17. zotz says:

    “Second, it allows these giant companies to earn money from the *property* of any code, be it of programs, of musics, of arts, of books, of shoes, of computers, of any knowledge to produce goods and services. It’s very much like to own a flat or a house: the owner earn money from the property of them.”

    monserrat,

    one of the problems with not wanting people to earn money from their property but only from their work is that it may greatly reduce the incentive to save and invest.

    Now, if we give up on the notion of intellectual property, and only deal with physical property, a large number of the problems go away AFAICT.

    Solving the problems inherent in capital earning rents is a much more difficult issue. Would you have a person travelling abroad for a year be unable to rent his house while he is gone?

    I am all for exploring ways to organise a business around copyleft works though. (BY-SA, GPL, etc. I am not sure how you require the “code” for non-code though.)

    all the best,

    drew

  18. cgranade says:

    I think an important aspect of an “open” business is that such a business cannot depend on trade secrets, or any kind of secrets at all. Obviousally, private is not the same as secret, but my point is that the success of the business must come from services offered and not on secrets which by definition may at some point be revealed.

    In this regard, I consider a company which depends on secrets to be less open than one which relys on patents, which is in turn less open than one that relies on neither.

  19. Administrator says:

    Dimensions of Openess

    Quickly summarizing the above comments I would say there is a need for an analytic framework or grid, which details different dimensions of Openess.
    It could break down workflow processes as for example the way from composing a song, to recording it and distibuting it via the net. This process can be closed at one end and very open at the other. I would argue that not only the distribution through the internet using a CC license is a form of openess, but that also new collaborative production processes become more common. Some times you know the person you are working with, some times you don’t. Take this discussion as an example: we collaborate through our comments to arrive at a clearer definition of what an Open Business is and how to analyze it.

    The isssues range from production to overall organizational questions such as how is a company governed, how open is it for input from the outside world, how does this change processes such as product development?

    Are there also new organizational governance structures evolving which are more suitable for the rather individualistic and eclectic style of work evolving for so called knowledge workers armed with laptops, who seem to have ten jobs at a time?

    Or look at Amazons Mechnical Turk – what a cool way to connect suppliers of very small jobs to those who want to work on it. Of course there is no Creative Commons license involved, but the lower transaction costs the Internet provides makes these new forms of disintermediated collaboration possible.

    Would anybody count this, or are we ending up with an absolutely useless attempt to define the boundaries of what an Open Business is in contrast to a traditional business model, which seems to thrive because of much more closed treatment of IP and innovation.

  20. [...] The Open Business Project needs help defining exactly what an open business is. That’s a tough one. To way too many people Open means the same as Free. But there is very little that can be truly free since we all need to eat and clothe ourselves. Somebody, somewhere has to pay. But I’m willing to engage in the discussion. From OBP: [...]

  21. [...] Everyone is free to edit the OpenBusiness Wiki. For more information, What is an OpenBusiness? is a good place to start. [...]

  22. garthiloid says:

    [...]Yet, thinking practically, MySpace – one of the best known ‘open’ platforms for sharing content and information – recently changed its copyright policy following acquisition by Murdoch. Today everything which is uploaded to the site, your pictures, movies and recordings belongs, legally at least, to them[...]

    Please refrain from printing hyperbole such as the above. Alternatively, at least supply a written reference to something somewhere that could somehow appear to affirm your assertions.

    Anyone who’s read a “Legalese for Dummies” book can read the Terms of Service at MySpace and see that they say nothing even close to what you represent here.

    What they *do* say is that by posting anything on their servers, you give them free license to display that information and use it in promotions on their site. This license is revoked simply by removing the aforementioned content. They are not asserting ownership of your videos, pictures, blogs…etc and spreading the misinformation above borders on defamation.

    Anyone can read the TOS here: http://www1.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=misc.terms

  23. [...] Vide: O que é um OpenBusiness? [...]

  24. Alan Jeffrey says:

    I don’t understand the comment about myspace’s terms and conditions. According to http://collect.myspace.com/misc/terms.html (version of May 1 2006):

    “By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content, messages, text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, profiles, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) on or through the Services, you hereby grant to MySpace.com, a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services. This license will terminate at the time you remove such Content from the Services.”

    Looks like a fairly sensible non-exclusive licensing agreement to me, no assignment of copyright in sight. Am I missing something? (Usual IANAL…)

  25. Alan Jeffrey says:

    I don’t understand the comment about myspace “Today everything which is uploaded to the site, your pictures, movies and recordings belongs, legally at least, to them.” Their terms and conditions say…

    “By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content, messages, text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, profiles, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) on or through the Services, you hereby grant to MySpace.com, a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services. This license will terminate at the time you remove such Content from the Services.”

    which looks like a sensible non-exclusive license to me, not a transfer of copyright. This is from the May 1 2006 version at http://collect.myspace.com/misc/terms.html

    [This is a repost, my original reply seems to have disappeared...]

  26. rasafrasit says:

    Speaking as a strict adherent to the notion that State-enforced protection of so-called “intellectual property” is corrosive to both indivual liberty and smooth Market function, I must agree with Alan Jeffrey. There is nothing in this particular piece of the TOS that strikes me as a problem. In fact, it is very much in keeping with the basic notion of creative commons, “you hereby grant to MySpace.com…license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services.” That said, I have not looked through the hole TOS yet and being that MySpace seems to have the presence of mind of AOL, I do not hold much hope either for their TOS or their future in general.

  27. [...] p.s.: Guess I’m not the only one becoming sad of this. Mark of Vanilla Fame wrote a similar post about the horrible look and feel of Myspace and Openbusiness also mentioned the less than ideal terms. [...]

  28. duke says:

    what is “open business”? for a WEB 3.0 maybe this:

    an open business best serves its purpose by
    organizing with clearly defined principles and
    operating by simple, strong, shared practices:

    * OWNERSHIP BY MEMBERS
    * MANAGMENT BY STAKEHOLDERS
    * DEMOCRACY via PREFERENTIAL VOTING
    * OPEN BOOK ACCOUNTS

    – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~

    * OWNERSHIP BY MEMBERS

    note that a member-ownership model organizes
    one of most successful buinesses on earth, with
    nearly $4 trillion USD in sales in 2005.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/online/05/deehock.html

    also note this example form of business organization
    coordinates participation by members worldwide,
    integrating far-flung cultural and legal traditons.

    VISA Founder Dee Hock says if VISA had the vision
    to extend ownership to merchants and cardholders,
    it would be *four times* more successful today..

    * MANAGEMENT BY “STAKEHOLDERS”

    the primary client in most business today is the
    owner; investor, shareholder or stockholder.. the
    end-user is used, in the end, to serve the owner.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stakeholder
    http://www.chaordic.org/cd_process_activities.html

    if ownership is distributed to “stakeholders”,
    meaning “all who participate in the business,
    even the end user”, the business will grow to better
    create, share, serve and gain competitive edge.

    stakeholders can clearly define their purpose,
    principles and practices, then vote to evolve,
    empower (or depose) management leadership..

    * DEMOCRACY via PREFERENTIAL VOTING

    “preferential” voting offers more accurate measurement
    of public opinion, and thus enables groups to
    better identify managerial representation.

    http://www.discover.com/issues/nov-00/features/featbestman/
    http://beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=2935#more

    preferential voting is practiced today in ireland,
    austrailia and san francisco.. practiced more
    widely, preferential voting could reduce risks of
    misrepresentative leadership so active these days.

    * “OPEN BOOK” ACCOUNTS

    trust encourages transactions in business and
    can be vitally enhanced with commitment to
    the practice of “open book” accounting.

    http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/1999/0399/features/f360399.htm

    open book accounting earns trust by enabling
    members to verify; to “open the books”, follow the
    money, see who gets paid what, etc.. participation
    with no games, cooking of books.. no secrets..

    “a secret often means someone’s getting screwed,
    and if you don’t know who, it’s usually you..”

    * OPEN SPAM

    so how might we define a truly “open” business?

    BEST SERVE CLIENTS WITH FULLY OPEN SYSTEMS, INCLUDING
    OPEN OWNERSHIP, OPEN MANAGEMENT, AND OPEN ACCOUNTING.

    http://twext.cc/member/owner.html hints at serving
    language learners with such an open system now, so
    we can test a real open business in actual practice.

    [please forgive http://twext.cc/patent sin with open
    http://twext.cc/license redemption, and know that
    TwEXT(tm) ownership is envisioned for members.]

    today twext is still just an idea looking for backing,
    but a *scalable* idea able to serve a large user base
    distributed across multiple jurisdictions worldwide..

    with support from an strong visionary organization, ie
    Brazil’s CTS, we can test this proposed definition
    of “open business” in real life and with minimal delay.

  29. raygun says:

    Interesting but lets get down to business….

    First, “open” in the sense of “open source” is not giving something away for free but making something, typically a resource, available for free. This is the concept of “free” as in “free beer” we often see associated with open source projects. This means that what you are producing is not a finished product but something that can be used by someone else to add value, which in turn is made available to others to add value, etc. This is an amplifying system, not one based on the control of resources which is the true traditional mode.

    Applying this concept to business is essentially what “commerce” is all about…and keep in mind the agreements to exchange goods and services are largely very tenuous and the mark of a civilized society that agrees to abide by certain rules. Effective commerce (i.e. “free trade”) is one that is unfettered by unneccesary or parasitic controls. So, Open Business is really a return to business or commerce fundamentals.

    Where things could really make a difference in an open business model is an enhanced accountability system, or transparency throughout the various business processes. I am thinking specifically here about unfair trade practices and the exploitation of workers (i.e. children virtually indentured working in locked factories) and irresponsible use of land and other resources.

    Right now public companies have disclosure and accountability but it ends at the FOB point. What raping and pillaging is happening in the supply chain is obscured from view, and this is what needs to be OPEN.

    So, Open Business should also be about the responsibility of disclosing your sourcing practices, just like using somebody else’s open source code in your own project…

  30. Defining Free Software Business…

    A very interesting and always ongoing debate is trying to identify a clear definition of what is a ‘Free Software Business’.  While we have a very clear definition of what is ‘free software’ ……

  31. Michael says:

    The Open Business wiki documents business models which qualify in some respect as ‘open’. Given the diversity of subject matter and the range of mechanisms for both monetizing and freeing content, I agree with Christian that we need a systematic, formal analysis of the dimensions of ‘openness’. In particular I agree that this analysis should consider production and distribution processes, as well as organisational governance structures and certain formal indicators (i.e. DRM / CC licensing). The complexity of these practices demands a rigorous approach.

    We should certainly distinguish two dimensions of ‘open’. On the one hand, open can indicate a business which offers goods or services that are literally free / no-cost at the point of access. For example, Pandora is a web-based music application that can be enjoyed for free, although the user is subjected to advertising. Yet open also indicates a business which rejects the ‘closed’ approach to intellectual property, such that only some rights are reserved and users are encouraged to share (and perhaps even to make derivations) a firm’s product. For example, Beatpick is a record label that uses CC licensing and a media-player with built in sharing capacities.

    On this distinction, is it necessary to be open in the ‘some rights reserved’ sense to qualify as an OB, or is it enough to make proprietary content accessible for no cost? Certainly the two are not mutually exclusive, but many see a tension between the approaches.

    I prefer inclusive rather than exclusive definitions, as they make our work acceptable to as many exponents of the different practices as possible. In addition it seems crude at this early stage to draw a definite line between those contributing to the mythical ‘commons’ and those more basically giving away promotional items. My gut prefers the former, but there is clearly worth and, dare I say it, commercial value, in the latter.

    And one incongruous thought – where would a print magazine packaged with a cover-mount CD fit into the spectrum of open businesses? The publisher claim the additional content to be a ‘freebie’ / ‘give-away’ available at no-cost, yet the customer has paid £3 and is subjected to advertising. And what if the cover-mount was licensed under CC terms?

  32. blablabla says:

    [...] Pour tout ceux qui sont sur MySpace, attention open business Pas de commentaire [...]

  33. blablabla says:

    [...] Pour tout ceux qui sont sur MySpace etc.; attention au droits de proprit. Pas de commentaire [...]

  34. zotz says:

    To Michael:

    Yo say:

    “I prefer inclusive rather than exclusive definitions, as they make our work acceptable to as many exponents of the different practices as possible.”

    Not necessarily, in fact, they could end up making it acceptable to no one at all.

    all the best,

    drew

  35. Michael says:

    To Drew

    Good point, an inclusive definition could indeed make OB acceptable to no one at all, which is clearly not a desirable outcome.

    To clarify my intention further, it may be rash to reject business practices without proof of the harm which they cause to a given culture. This is something I’ve certainly been guilty of in the past. Instead it is advisable to understand and appropriate any commercial practices which might present opportunities and benefits for creative folks. For example, advertising may well blight our landscape and promote weak products, but if the revenue created by an advert enables a group to practice their creativity, then that advertising might on balance be a positive thing. To be sure, commercial practices of no benefit or in fact detrimental to culture and access to knowledge should be excluded from the dimensions of open business.

    Perhaps it was my characterisation of proprietary approaches to copyright as being not necessarily outside OB which prompted your criticism. If so, lets discuss that point more directly. For me, its about personal choice – a copyright work should be protected to the level desired by its creator, whether that means reserving all or some or none of the rights offered by statute. That said, creative workers are in general ill-informed of issues relevant to an informed choice regarding the appropriate level of copyright protection, most likely a result of your average artist having little interest in legal, economic or ICT theory.

    I hope we can discuss further.

  36. zotz says:

    To Michael:

    At this present time, when it comes to the thought of open business, the aspect I am concerned with is the creation of copyleft works.

    There are other aspects discussed in the thread above which do concern me, but I am not focused on them at present.

    That being the case, I doubt I am going to buy into any definition of Open Business (you see, I lean to the Free Software versus the Open Source Side of things) that does not hold to the equivalent of GPL or BSD or CC BY-SA or CC BY licenses where that can be done. (Similar ideas wrt patents if they apply.)

    So, what I offered was not a critism so much as what I see as a statement of fact. I have been aware of being in this game for a good number of years now and I really don’t think that you are going to find a way to please everyone. If that is the case, perhaps the thing to do is to try and figure out what openbusiness (as a site and as a group of interested persons) thinks is best for culture and access to knowledge (to use your terms from above) and to try and come up with a decent definition from there. Some will buy into it and some will not.

    Certainly, creators have the legal right to put their works under any level of “protection” offered by law the various licenses including home grown ones, but those of us looking for something better than effectively never expiring all rights reserved works do not have to applaud and work to support choices which are way to far from optimal in the areas we value.

    So, I came to this site as a result of my interest in finding effective ways of funding the creation of copyleft works of all types. I see that people are discussing other aspects of business practices that I also have interest in and that is a good thing, but I am trying to concentrate on the reason I came here.

    I am happy to discuss further. (I wish this site had better discussion forums. Hint, hint to the pertinent parties.)

    all the best,

    drew

  37. [...] What Is Open Business? Creative Commons: We started Openbusiness to share knowledge about business models that give a substantial portion of their main product away for free. By “free” we meant free as in “freedom” and also as in “free beer”, paraphrasing Richard Stallman’s famous illustration of the difference between “freed” from restrictions of intellectual property law and a product which literally costs nothing. [...]

  38. [...] 2. Se produciamo materiale no copyright, vogliamo che rimanga così e non che, pubblicandolo su myspace, ci tocca poi subire del copyright imposto per maggiori info sull’argomento o ancora questo link per la storia di myspace. [...]

  39. [...] Have a look at Open Business a place for sharing business models. [...]

  40. nailwww says:

    Not sure if this is a right place… We have growing electronic newsletter mailing list, and I’m desperate to find decent, reasonably priced software or shareware for list management and distribution. We’ve been using Outlook and ACT and they’re not working well. I was found bulk email software for sending newsletter. Are there other good options to help save my sanity? Does anyone know of any good hosting company that can handle bulk email? We need to send newsletters to about 900 customers without the hassle of restrictions. Thanks!

  41. What is an Open Business? Consider the Open Value…

    In two recent posts on OpenBusiness.cc, (What is an Open Business and What is an Open Business – Part II), a number of thought-provoking ideas have been voiced with regard to the conditions that shape openness in business. In a similar vain, J. Nolen…..

  42. [...] Read more about Open Business from the OpenBusiness.cc website (affiliated w/ Creative Commons) [...]

  43. [...] Myspace will undoubtedly fix this soon, and it’s a huge security flaw. According to myspace’s user agreement everything on the site legally belongs to them, so I don’t know if any celebrity lawyers can sue for reposting information found on myspace, but if it gets widely distributed like Paris’ hacked Blackberry they’re sure to try. [...]

  44. [...] GooTube might appear to be the beating heart of the Web 2.0 revolution, but well-informed bloggers suggest they’re faking, and in fact driving us all towards Bubble 2.0. This debate echoes recent OB discussions, particularly Christian’s recent provocative but insightful post on Open Services. Looking further back we had a great thread seeking to define ‘What is an Open Business’. [...]

  45. [...] these are words that are widely bandied about in discussions of social media best practices and business 2.0. But it’s crucial to recognize that these principles are no passing fad, invented by us as a [...]

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