Andy Updegrove writes "In the last several days there have been several stories in the news that highlight the increasing tension between ownership of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the opportunities that become available when broader, free access to those rights is made available. The three articles that struck me as best proving this point were the announcement by Sun Microsystems that it had released the design for its new UltraSPARC processor under the GNU GPL, a speech by Tim Berners-Lee to an Oxford University audience in which he challenged the British government to make Ordnance Survey mapping data available at no cost for Web use, and reports that a Dutch court had upheld the validity of the Creative Commons license. Each of these stories demonstrates a breach in traditional thinking about the balance of value to an IPR owner between licensing those rights for profit, or making those same rights freely and publicly available. They also raise the question: where - if anywhere - are the natural boundaries for 'open IPR?'."
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