Skip to Content.
Sympa Menu

cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0

cc-licenses AT

Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

List archive

Chronological Thread  
  • From: "Greg London" <email AT>
  • To: "Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts" <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0
  • Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 20:03:13 -0400 (EDT)

>> ShareAlike isn't a business model. It's a model,
>> but it isn't based on business. The business
>> model is the Cathedral. ShareAlike is the Bazaar.
> I am not sure this jibes with ESR's take on the
> cahtedral and the bazaar. IIRC, he sees each as
> a development model. Two different ways of making
> the product. That you have a business model built
> around the final creation is a somewhat different
> matter.

Take any Intellectual Works project. does'nt matter
what it is. Wikipedia or Microsoft Windows.
The project will take N man-hours of work to create.
You can either get a small number of people to work
a large number of hours to get N hours

p * H = N

or you can get a large number of people to work small
numbers of hours to get N hours total.

P * h = N

The first describes the cathedral. The second describes
bazaar. While ESR used the metaphors to describe a
development model, it also happens to map very well
to the division of labor in a project.

Cathedral is top-down, centrally controlled, which
naturally lends itself to fewer people working on
the project, but working longer hours each, which
lends itself to full-time employees getting paid
directly for their time put into the project.

Bazaar is bottom-up, chaotically controlled, which
naturally lends itself to many people working on
the project, each working small bits, which lends
itself to part time contributers who aren't making
a living at it, but are contributing because they
support the project's goals, and they can afford the
time it takes to contribute.

Now, take a look at various, specific Intellectual
Work projects. The way they naturally chunk controls
whether Cathedral or Bazaar is the natural choice
for the project.

Software chunks relatively easily. the only thing
that matters is functionality and some semblance of
maintainability. applications can be built up and
accumulated until you've got a suite of FLOSS stuff
from operating system to word processor. And it
helped that RMS made people believe it was possible
to achieve by starting with some seed programs.

Wikipedia chunks easily because individual articles
are small. aggregation works there, even though
different articles may have different voices or tones.

Projects that don't chunk easily can't be accomplished
easily in Bazaar mode. Contributers don't contribute
if they don't think the project has a chance of success.

A fiction novel will not make a good bazaar-style project.
A project that is a collection of novels or a collection
of short stories or a collection of unchunkable pieces,
might work in bazaar mode.

>> The Bazaar works by lowering the cost to contribute
>> so that many people can donate small amounts of time.
>> The incentive to contribute is not money but that the
>> project is intending to create something that is in
>> alignment with what the contributer wants, and the
>> project itself has a plausible chance for success.
> That may or may not be, for instance, I have needed to
> put an application in place at a client several years ago.
> I found a gpl program that nearly fit the bill. I charged
> the client for my time in making the mods, put it in
> place, and released the improved code back to the world.
> The client was happy. There was an improved tool available
> to the world.

You, one person, did the entire job, and you got paid
directly for all of your work. That is top-down mode
That's cathedral. It doesn't matter that the raw
materials you used were GPL.

If the project had been Bazaar, the vendor would have
put a call out to the world asking for modifications
to get something done, and maybe a bunch of people would
have decided to work on creating it together, bottom up.
Instead of one guy working 100 hours, maybe it woudl take
100 guys each putting in 1 hour over the span of several

Instead, they came to you, told you what they wanted,
and paid you to get it done, whatever it took. One guy,
full-time, working on the project, top down.

It's either a small number of people working long hours
or its a large number of people working short hours
p * H = N (cathedral)
P * h = N (bazaar)

And this particular project you describe was one guy
doing all the work, which is clearly cathedral mode.

Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP laws

Archive powered by MHonArc 2.6.24.

Top of Page