Riciclare il lavoro intellettuale delle startup fallite

Di   7 Maggio 2008
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Jaisen Mathai, uno sviluppatore di Yahoo si chiede che si può fare con il prodotto intellettuale delle startup fallite per aiutare la comunità

It’s inevitable that all startups won’t be successful. In fact it’s a very small percentage which do. This begs the question of what you do with the intellectual property that has been accumulated. Let’s assume that your startup didn’t amass a substantial enough user base to be considered a valuable asset. Let’s also assume that all you have left is some sort of technology which for whatever reason didn’t fulfill the goals of the creators. What can be done with the intellectual property assets?

Michael Harrington su Techcrunch propone di rendere tutto disponibile con una licenza Creative Commons

But in most cases the founders are exhausted and just walk away, and the creditors really have no idea is the IP is worth anything or not. They also don’t have the time or inclination to try. And it is even rarer to find a case where people took the time to open source the assets. The fact that the IP usually has a limited shelf life before others simply re-create it is another reason why it usually ends up forgotten.

But I can see how this could change. Creditors and investors could agree up front, via a standard clause added to agreements, that any IP that isn’t obviously valuable on its face would be turned over to a third party for a quick analysis and determination of its value (financial and otherwise). That third party could decide to sell anything of value, keeping a percentage of the sale (and giving them an incentive to find value when it’s there), and simply release the code for anything that may be interesting but has little immediate commercial value.

That third party would need to be funded, though, and the income from asset sales probably wouldn’t cover the operating expenses. Perhaps this would be a good project for a university, or group of universities, to support. Student developers and faculty may find academic reasons to pursue it. And they would certainly be giving back to the community as well.

This may seem far fetched, but the idea of Creative Commons was just as crazy back in the day. At the very least, it would be an interesting experiment.