Open content and value creation

  • Magnus Cedergren


The borderline between production and consumption of media content is not so clear as it used to be. For example on the Internet, many people put a lot of effort into producing personal homepages in the absence of personal compensation. They publish everything from holiday pictures to complete Web directories. Illegal exchange of media material is another important trend that has a negative impact on the media industry. In this paper, I consider open content as an important development track in the media landscape of tomorrow. I define open content as content possible for others to improve and redistribute and/or content that is produced without any consideration of immediate financial reward ? often collectively within a virtual community. The open content phenomenon can to some extent be compared to the phenomenon of open source. Production within a virtual community is one possible source of open content. Another possible source is content in the public domain. This could be sound, pictures, movies or texts that have no copyright, in legal terms. Which are the driving forces for the cooperation between players that work with open content? This knowledge could be essential in order to understand the dynamics of business development, technical design and legal aspects in this field. In this paper I focus on these driving forces and the relationships between these players. I have studied three major open content projects. In my analysis, I have used Gordijnos (2002) value modeling method "e3value", modified for open content value creation and value chains. Open content value chains look much the same as commercial value chains, but there are also some major differences. In a commercial value chain, the consumerso needs trigger the entire chain of value creation. My studies indicate that an open content value chain is often triggered by what the creators and producers wish to make available as open content. Motivations in non-monetary forms play a crucial role in the creation of open content value chains and value. My study of these aspects is based on Feller and Fitzgeraldos (2002) three perspectives on motivations underlying participation in the creation of open source software.
How to Cite
Cedergren, M. (2003). Open content and value creation. First Monday, 8(8).