Open Source and App Stores

In an interesting talk with pkabel, Peter tried to convince me, that the webwide perception of free will for the next foreseeable keep digital stuff, well: free. Partly, I wholeheartedly agree.

  • Free is powerful, and
  • any digital commodity will sooner or later end up there.

So one question can be: where and for whom could we prevent commoditization? A core feature of a digital file is infinite, lossless copies. So we’re talking not just commodity, but commodity with an endless supply. For a while, copy restrictions for digital files seemed to some parties a doable, systemic approach to kill this killer feature. Sure. Unfortunately, this was a bit like trying to protect the water business by demanding that all water has to be kept in its solid form. Yes, ice is great. But you have to deep freeze the world, otherwise your business is going to melt.

But, does everything digital necessarily become a commodity? I guess that’s where we started to disagree. Disclaimer: some people will know, that I’m working on a platform which bets on the value of a digital creation – emphasizing the creation, and not the digital part.

As we have no proof or traction or even a counter-example yet, I’m always glad to hear of people thinking into comparable directions. A couple of months ago, Robert Douglass, Open Source developer of Drupal-Core fame, proposed his idea of a Drupal App Store to the Drupal community. Which led to some rather heated exchanges. Now can listen to his reasonings in this podcast by Lullabot Consultants.

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