Intellectual Property vs. Open Source

In our first two class sessions and readings there were many discussions about the benefits of intellectual property (IP) within a developing country: propelling economic growth, increasing general health, and cultivating an innovative nation. However, I believe that there needs to be a combination of both Intellectual Property laws and regulations to motivate foreign investments which stimulates economic growth as well as Open Source information that supports innovation and creation combined with an increase in knowledge with regards to education.

We can think of a developing country like a developing student. Khan Academy, a world-class free educational website, is a great example of how Open Source can foster knowledge and educational development. Many poor school districts within the United States that lack up-to-date resources (i.e. textbooks or unqualified teachers) are able to implement Khan Academy’s courses to excel the education of its students. More so, those institutions that are up-to-date and are the staple and epitome of a higher education can use Khan Academy as a secondary aid to teaching. This same principle parallels the needs of a developing country. There needs to be some sort of systematic structure or entity that can protect the ideas of others and foster the guidelines necessary for sustainable growth (schools), but included must be resources open to the public in order to foster innovation, personal productivity and exploration, and an intellectual curiosity of development (Khan Academy).

A quote from our reading states, “developing countries need to adopt strategies to improve their infrastructure in ways that promote the technological development necessary for sustained economic growth,” and more so these developing countries also need to adopt open source practices that allows anybody to retrieve information of a topic that they want to research. Through Open Source we can take IP and build upon it, enhance it, making it better and creating a greater value over time.

 

 

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Intellectual Property vs. Open Source