Tim O’Reilly on Open Data

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Source: McKinsey

“We should define a little bit what we mean by “open,” because there’s open as in it’s open source. Anybody can take it and reuse it in whatever way they want. And I’m not sure that’s always necessary. There’s a pragmatic open and there’s an ideological open. And the pragmatic open is that it’s available. It’s available in a timely way, in a nonpreferential way, so that some people don’t get better access than others.

And if you look at so many of our apps now on the web, because they are ad-supported and free, we get a lot of the benefits of open. When the cost is low enough, it does in fact create many of the same conditions as a commons. That being said, that requires great restraint, as I said earlier, on the part of companies, because it becomes easy for them to say, “Well, actually we just need to take a little bit more of the value for ourselves. And oh, we just need a bit more of that.” And before long, it really isn’t open at all.”