Posted by: Tony Shannon | April 30, 2017

WWW: CERN: .. Choices re Property/ Monopoly/Contracts..

As the final day of April arrived and a reminder for my monthly blog update…this tweet arrived.

Read that (30th April) headline one more time…

On this day in 1993: World Wide Web is made free to everyone by CERN.

 

Last month we were looking at a few key concerns in a world struggling with Brexit and Trump-it.
We mentioned Property, Monopoly and Contracts.

Ask yourself these 3 questions please.. why didn’t CERN take the World Wide Web and try to
1) wrap the tools that underpinned the WWW up with a proprietary software licence and “protect their intellectual property“?
2) leverage the monopoly they held at that time on these WWW service/tools and try to gain some millions of dollars in additional revenue/income etc?
3) sell/rent/resell the tooling via a set of commercial contracts with those who would have been willing to pay for such a service/set of tools as the WWW provided?

Then consider what the implications of the WWW would have been had they secured their intellectual property via commercial contracts and enjoyed their monopoly for a few years?

I ask these questions to ask folk to consider what makes some organisations take the path that CERN took and others to take others?

Does the answer lie in the difference between “public” organisations and “private” organisations.
Do all “public” organisations behave this way?
Do all “private” organisations avoid this behaviour?
I think not..

Reich mentions the difference between Shareholder Capitalism and Stakeholder Capitalism in his Saving Capitalism book in a chapter called..
“Reinventing the Corporation”.
There is something to that…
Could the world of healthcare benefit from some of that thinking for instance?
Again, more to follow…

 

 

 

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