The concept of open source software really boggled my mind when I was first introduced to the concept of it, years ago in secondary school. Firstly, I was surprised that there even existed operating systems besides Windows and Mac, but I was mostly surprised by of the lack of standardisation. It was so odd to have so many different versions of a single programme required to do one thing, like word processing.
Despite open source’s admirable resilience all these years, it made me wonder why it still hasn’t appealed to the masses in the way it was meant to be revolutionary and groundbreaking. Besides the reasons listed in the text, I suppose it is also because the dynamism of open source is a double-edged sword. While it opens a lot of room for creativity, but also leaves the user spoilt for choice, due to the wide variety of software available to them. How do you choose which is best? Also, without standardisation, tech support would be a headache.
On the topic of intellectual property rights, I feel that creative commons comes about in the spirit of open source software, hoping to make intellectual property available to the masses, while still acknowledging the effort of the original owners. Creative commons is said to head the ‘copyleft’ movement (there’s an extensive article about copyleft on Wikipedia. Go check it out!), changing perspectives on intellectual property rights.