[open-science] Planet Open Science

Jack Park jackpark at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 00:37:00 UTC 2014

Hi William,

I'm very glad you copied David. If you scroll up higher in this thread, you
will see that I offered an explanation, based on working with David and
with DebateGraph since 2007. I think it's a bit over the top to
characterize the terms as "draconian" but you're welcome to do so if you
need to.

I am more than certain that David will be able to explain the entire
situation. But, let me say this: I am already building tools which mimic
aspects of DebateGraph. You can visit my engineering prototype at
and I can assure you that David has been following it closely; I have
absolutely no reason to expect a lawsuit from him, ever. In fact, our
interests lie entirely in "federation", that is to say, working together.
David is close to announcing a web services API that will let us share.
Certainly nothing "draconian" in that, what?

In fact, David is attending the fourth international Knowledge Federation
Conference in Dubrovnik this year. I co-founded that group with Dino
Karabeg, but this will be the first conference I do not attend, owing to
heavy workload on my prototype. That conference starts this weekend.  See
http://www.knowledgefederation.org/ for more.

I would like to remind that when I suggested DebateGraph to Svetlana, my
intention had *nothing* to do with actually running PlanetOpenScience
there. Rather, the intention was to make a rapid move to a platform well
suited to the kind of structured thinking necessary to identify all
stakeholders views and assemble that into a design process for a different
platform to satisfy those needs established in that process.  I did point
out that her graph could be embedded in any portal eventually established
just to keep those conversations alive.

And, let me close with this: if you do craft some cool tools, please keep
me informed.  All of my code is up at github. I'll look forward to seeing
yours as well.


On Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM, William Waites <ww at eris.okfn.org> wrote:

> Hi Jack,
> Debategraph is slick, but it is a proprietary service. In fact the
> Ts&Cs are draconian enough that if I were to register an account in
> order to learn how it worked and make a free version or a better
> version, or even use some ideas from it in a different context, I
> would be worried that your friend David Price would try to sue
> me.
> Clearly he has done a lot of thinking about, as you put it, social
> intercourse on the web, but perhaps he hasn't thought through the ways
> in which services ought to respect their users. Perhaps the Ts&Cs were
> just written by a lawyer who took the strongest "defending
> intellectual property" stance by default and nobody really thought
> about it. If so, maybe they could be changed to be more friendly and
> changed so as to be less obviously designed to be bought out by one of
> the megaservices. Or perhaps this was properly thought through in
> which case I don't think it is an appropriate platform for organising
> around open science.
> It is also architecturally wrong. It is a silo, and designed as
> such. That there may be an API "real soon now" is symptomatic that
> ideas of federation and decentralisation were not built in from the
> beginning, as they should be. There's a reason that the "Web2.0"
> services are silos -- it's the only way to attract capital. And the
> only reasons to build something that way are either out of naievety in
> not understanding this or the intent to build it and sell the eyeballs
> and data you've managed to collect.
> I've copied David on this message in the hope he'll respond to the
> list (list admins watch out for a message to be let through!)
> Best,
> William Waites
> Research Fellow
> School of Informatics
> University of Edinburgh
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