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On sharing, Creative Commons, and open source

Yesterday, I got a comment on flickr that someone was using one of the photograph that I marked as Creative Commons license for his web site. 1 It happens time to time, and I feel good about it. I try to take good pictures, and being used somewhere is an acknowledgement of it. I am also excited that my works are reused to create even more creative values.

I feel the same way for coding, and I like Open Source community. Services like github made code sharing much easier, and it is obvious it helped to create many services and companies both for-profit and non-profit. One of my goals this year is to open source one of my works. I cannot tell you what the code does yet. It's something about Android.

The other day, I heard a news about a new drug that is shown to be effective for treating hepatitis C costs about $10,0002. In my utopia, the patent holder for this drug would say, "Screw it. Because this drug would save so many lives, any one can make this drug without my license."

I understand that it costs so much on research and development of discovering drugs and pushing the product out to the market. I also understand that the patent system exist to give exclusive rights to the inventors so they have incentive for technological advancements. But today's inventions seem to me more of the fruits from collaboration than one genius's idea, and no invention is made without the wealth of free knowledge the mankind accumulated for centuries. We all stand on the shoulders of giants. I am not saying that patent system should totally be vanished. It's just my observation that Creative Commons and Open Source enrich and accelerate creation of values, and making them available for small or no cost to many people. Patent systems nowadays seem to be doing quite the opposite.

  1. Here is my flickr page. I have not tagged all the pictures as Creative Commons license, but you can use my pictures as long as they don't contain an identifiable person in the frame. Just be kind as to drop me a line how you are going to use it, so I feel good about it. 

  2. WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C : Shots - Health News : NPR 

Original post: April 15, 2014 | Last updated: April 18, 2014

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