[CODATA-international] Digital Feudalism

Yuri Demchenko y.demchenko at uva.nl
Wed Oct 16 04:10:55 EDT 2019

Hello Everybody,

I did not intend to participate in such rather political/regulations 
discussion, but accidentally I catch the similarity between discussion 
on sharing/exchanging industrial data and issues about data as "private 
property" introduced by Anatoly.

International Data Space Association (IDSA) is solving this problem by 
introducing concepts (and attributes) of data sovereignty and data 
ownership. This should be supported by necessary infrastructure 
services, and IDSA is developing necessary tools.

Should people find this is elevant, the discussion can be transferred 
into practical technical scope.

Also there is the Interest Group on Data Economics at RDA, IG-DE will 
hold meeting at RDA14.

Best regards,


On 16-Oct-19 7:39 AM, anatoly wrote:
> Dear George: I never said that IP is the central problem here. But what 
> is the central problem?
> I haven't read very carefully the entire exchange and didn't see an answer.
> I give mine: The problem is treating data as private property. Was it 
> clarified already?
> As for my previous comment -- I do believe that treating data as private 
> property is based on IP related concepts. Therefore problems with data 
> sharing, etc. described here cannot be solved while IP is in picture.
> If you disagree with the conclusion -- start with premises.
> On 10/14/19 07:31, George Alter wrote:
>> I must disagree with Anatoly.  Copyrights and IP policies are not the 
>> central problem here.
>> It is often a lack of respect for local researchers, who are 
>> considered only as sources of data.
>> An African researcher told me that she receives messages from people 
>> at European and American universities that say: "Let's collaborate.  
>> First, you send us all of your data."
>> Kassim's comments about creating true partnerships from the beginning 
>> of projects are very important.  Projects that build such partnerships 
>> produce much better science too.
>>        George
>> ---------------------------------------------------
>> George Alter
>> Research Professor, ICPSR
>> Professor of History, University of Michigan
>> PO Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
>> Tel: 734-478-0783    Fax: 734-647-8200
>> Email: altergc at umich.edu <mailto:altergc at umich.edu>
>> On Sun, Oct 13, 2019 at 6:27 AM anatoly <av at total-knowledge.com 
>> <mailto:av at total-knowledge.com>> wrote:
>>     I don't know what "data capitalism" could mean conceptually. But
>>     it seems to be clear that we deal here with a direct  derivative
>>     of IP concept(s). Copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc. are in
>>     opposition to the very foundation of humanity in general, art and
>>     science -- in particular. If and when IP monsters be gone the
>>     derivatives must  die along.
>>     Anatoly Volynets
>>     On 10/11/19 15:46, Mwitondi, Kassim wrote:
>>>     This is an instance of a biased data ownership. A few years ago I
>>>     was working with a young African researcher on an agro-forestry
>>>     research project. No sooner had we started than I realused that
>>>     her centre had only some descriptive statistics but no direct
>>>     access to the biomass data which she and her colleagues had spent
>>>     months collecting from two islands! The vast chunk of the data
>>>     had left with the development partners at the end of the project.
>>>     It turned out, nobody at the centre had any knowledge or pressing
>>>     interest to pursue the data and there was already new initiatives
>>>     to run another project, which in my view was almost a duplicate
>>>     of the first, but this time with a different development partner.
>>>     To cut the long story short, I have come across several cases of
>>>     data ownership of this nature and my view is that it doesn't help
>>>     much coining terminologies, as the best that can be achieved is a
>>>     blame culture. Would I call that data capitalism? Colonialism?
>>>     Feudalism? I never would! I have learnt, over the years, that
>>>     proper problem identification is a major stride in working out
>>>     the solution. Blaming it on one part marginalizing the other when
>>>     it comes to data generation, access and ownership is stripping
>>>     everyone on the project of a fundamental responsibility in
>>>     managing the project.
>>>     Apparently, the problem starts with the project write-up. If the
>>>     project recipient is fully engaged from project initiation to
>>>     delivery, they surely should know how to access the data, as that
>>>     is a key project deliverable. My personal experience is that
>>>     there are a several factors that lead to this kind of situation.
>>>     One, many project ideas are top-down, that is, they are not
>>>     developed within the working conditions of the recipients. Two,
>>>     there are often many gaps in engagement, mainly caused by near
>>>     disparate motives on many projects, with the funders, experts and
>>>     recipients not necessarily having the same perception, motives or
>>>     knowledge. Put the two together and add the determined project
>>>     timeline, you have a near disaster. But the tripartite interests
>>>     to run projects continues and we are creating a vicious cycle.
>>>     What is the solution? It must start from the recipients who must
>>>     align each incoming project with their respective development
>>>     strategies. They must present themselves as equal partners in
>>>     defining the project problem and tracking and measuring its
>>>     outcomes. They should be able to quantifiable identify what
>>>     worked and what didn't and any there should be national
>>>     institutions charged with such responsibility. I could be writing
>>>     all night, I would rather stop here for now.
>>>     Thanks.
>>>     KSM
>>>     Dr Kassim S. Mwitondi
>>>     Sheffield Hallam University
>>>     Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts
>>>     Communication & Computing Research Centre
>>>     9410 Cantor Building, City Campus
>>>     153 Arundel Street
>>>     Sheffield, S1 2NU
>>>     United Kingdom
>>>     Tel. +44-114-2256914 (Direct)
>>>     Tel. +44-114-2255555 (General)
>>>     https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff-profiles/kassim-mwitondi
>>>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>     *From:* CODATA-international
>>>     <codata-international-bounces at lists.codata.org>
>>>     <mailto:codata-international-bounces at lists.codata.org> on behalf
>>>     of Trimpact - Niek <niek at trimpact.nl> <mailto:niek at trimpact.nl>
>>>     *Sent:* 11 October 2019 18:12:22
>>>     *To:* 'Ernie Boyko' <boykern at yahoo.com>
>>>     <mailto:boykern at yahoo.com>; 'CODATA International'
>>>     <codata-international at lists.codata.org>
>>>     <mailto:codata-international at lists.codata.org>; 'Suchith Anand'
>>>     <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>
>>>     <mailto:Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>
>>>     *Subject:* Re: [CODATA-international] Digital Feudalism
>>>     Dear all,
>>>     This is indeed a huge problem. I also recently learned that
>>>     information data from NGOs are best perhaps shared with some
>>>     ministries in Bamako, Mali, but not within a region where the
>>>     work is being done. This implies that local decision makers
>>>     remain dependant on the information/data stream back from the
>>>     ministries which may take some months, if ever. This can never be
>>>     the purpose of the work executed.
>>>     Since most of the projects are financed with public funding for
>>>     the benefit of de people in the given (development) country and
>>>     data/information belong in fact to the real funds provider of the
>>>     work (i.e. tax payers), claims of intellectual property rights
>>>     that data belong to the project executors seem not applicable.
>>>     Consequently, data and other information (e.g. lessons learned)
>>>     should be shared at large to the population and other relevant
>>>     stakeholders to avoid duplication of efforts.
>>>     A discussion worthwhile to be continued.
>>>     Kind regards,
>>>     Dr. Niek van Duivenbooden
>>>     /Bringing value to life/
>>>     Mezenlaan 138  -  6951 HR Dieren  -  The Netherlands – T +31 61
>>>     13 81 061
>>>     KvK: 64218422  - niek at trimpact.nl <mailto:niek at trimpact.nl>-
>>>     www.Trimpact.nl <http://www.trimpact.nl/>
>>>     *Van:* CODATA-international
>>>     <codata-international-bounces at lists.codata.org>
>>>     <mailto:codata-international-bounces at lists.codata.org> *Namens
>>>     *Ernie Boyko
>>>     *Verzonden:* vrijdag 11 oktober 2019 15:26
>>>     *Aan:* CODATA International
>>>     <codata-international at lists.codata.org>
>>>     <mailto:codata-international at lists.codata.org>; Suchith Anand
>>>     <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>
>>>     <mailto:Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>
>>>     *Onderwerp:* Re: [CODATA-international] Digital Feudalism
>>>     Thank you Suchith,
>>>     I have not heard that term before but I did run into   related
>>>     term this week at the DDI-CODATA workshop here in Dagstuhl.  The
>>>     term is Data Colonialism.  This often happens when a foreign
>>>     entity (e.g., a development agency/project).e data are collected
>>>     in a developing country and are taken out of the country.  They
>>>     will leave behind some summary tables but will take the rich data
>>>     and metadata away.  This makes it difficult to develop the data
>>>     analysis and management skills within the country.
>>>     Thanks for the message.
>>>     Cheers, Ernie
>>>     +1-613-290-2804
>>>     *Larrimac:  More than a golf course!*
>>>     *CODATA: Making data work together to improve science to support
>>>     decision makers.*
>>>     On Friday, October 11, 2019, 08:51:29 AM EDT, Suchith Anand
>>>     <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
>>>     <mailto:Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>> wrote:
>>>     I came across a recent op-ed by Prof. Mariana Mazzucato on
>>>     “Digital Feudalism”  at
>>>     https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/platform-economy-digital-feudalism-by-mariana-mazzucato-2019-10?utm_source=Project+Syndicate+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d192f2bc47-sunday_newsletter_6_10_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_73bad5b7d8-d192f2bc47-105013549&mc_cid=d192f2bc47&mc_eid=a8cee90b20
>>>     Prof. Mazzucato is a leading researcher and thinker on Technology
>>>     and Innovation, advisor to the European Commission on research
>>>     and innovation strategy, and author of two important books on the
>>>     subject “The Value of Everything” and “The Entrepreneurial State”.
>>>     The report on “Mission-oriented Research and Innovation in the
>>>     European Union” might be of interest
>>>     https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/mazzucato_report_2018.pdf
>>>     Since the use of cloud platforms for GIS data analysis is having
>>>     a huge impact on the GIS community, the subject is of relevance.
>>>     I would like learn more on this
>>>      1. Are there any examples of Digital Feudalism in GIS?
>>>      2. How will Digital Feudalism in GIS affect our future generations?
>>>      3. What policies are governments, regulators doing to reduce
>>>         Digital Feudalism in GIS?
>>>      4. What policies and curriculum are universities, educators
>>>         adopting to reduce Digital Feudalism in GIS?
>>>     Best wishes,
>>>     Suchith
>>>     This message and any attachment are intended solely for the addressee
>>>     and may contain confidential information. If you have received this
>>>     message in error, please contact the sender and delete the email and
>>>     attachment.
>>>     Any views or opinions expressed by the author of this email do not
>>>     necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nottingham. Email
>>>     communications with the University of Nottingham may be monitored
>>>     where permitted by law.
>>>     _______________________________________________
>>>     CODATA-international mailing list
>>>     CODATA-international at lists.codata.org
>>>     <mailto:CODATA-international at lists.codata.org>
>>>     http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/codata-international_lists.codata.org
>>>     _______________________________________________
>>>     CODATA-international mailing list
>>>     CODATA-international at lists.codata.org  <mailto:CODATA-international at lists.codata.org>
>>>     http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/codata-international_lists.codata.org
>>     _______________________________________________
>>     CODATA-international mailing list
>>     CODATA-international at lists.codata.org
>>     <mailto:CODATA-international at lists.codata.org>
>>     http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/codata-international_lists.codata.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> CODATA-international mailing list
>> CODATA-international at lists.codata.org
>> http://lists.codata.org/mailman/listinfo/codata-international_lists.codata.org

More information about the CODATA-international mailing list