#future of open

Our goal is for the Open Movement to develop a new, collective strategy. One that takes into account the experience of the last two decades of open, and the changes in the digital ecosystem that have happened in this period.

The new strategy should leverage the principle of openness to design and build systems that maximize the societal benefits of digital resources while avoiding harm. Doing this requires acknowledging that, in some cases, openness serves to strengthen power imbalances and is thus not emancipatory in itself.

The idea of Open Access and free reuse of knowledge and culture continues to be one of the most powerful challenges to the exclusive control by corporations and states over information goods. And openness is a principle on which a vision of a more just and egalitarian digital society can be built.

It is time to define once again what Open means: the normative vision behind sharing and the way value is created. We are doing this work through sensemaking and building new narratives about Open.



Undermining the foundation of open source AI?

May 11, 2023 by: Paul Keller
Today, the European Parliament's IMCO and LIBE committees adopted their joint report on the proposed AI Act. The text includes additional safeguards for fundamental rights and an overall more cautious approach to AI. In this post, we provide an in-depth analysis of the implications of the text for open source AI development.

Friction and AI Governance: through the Scale of the City

May 10, 2023 by: Nadia Nadesan
AI governance captures a wide range of processes and conversations, from internal governance policies for companies to public, national, and transnational regulatory bodies. For this blog series, I intend to map places where friction in this seemingly effortless and inevitable flow of technology occurs.

Concerns Over the Impact of the AI Act on Open-Source R&D: LAION’s open letter

May 2, 2023 by: Zuzanna Warso
Establishing a regulatory framework that achieves the dual objectives of protecting open-source AI systems and mitigating risks of potential harm is a critical imperative for the European Union. Especially since open-source, publicly supported AI systems are crucial digital public infrastructures that would ensure Europe’s sovereignty. 

LAION petitions for a European public AI mission

April 13, 2023 by: Alek Tarkowski
The LAION proposal calls for a public research facility capable of building large-scale artificial intelligence models. It offers an alternative to corporate development of AI, in which responsible use is ensured in open source environments through the involvement of democratically elected institutions.

AI is already out there. We need commons-based governance, not a moratorium

March 30, 2023 by: Alek Tarkowski
The Future of Life Institute published an open letter asking for a moratorium on generative AI development. Yet social harms caused by AI will not be addressed in this way. Instead, commons-based governance of existing AI systems is needed.

Protecting Creatives or Impeding Progress?

February 17, 2023 by: Paul Keller
As generative machine learning (ML) becomes more widespread, the issue of copyright and ML input is back in focus. This post explores the Eu legal framework governing the use of copyrighted works for training ML systems and the potential for collective action by artists and creators.

Paradox of Open Redux

January 23, 2023 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
After many conversations on the Paradox of Open, and the series of responses to their essay, Alek Tarkowski and Paul Keller share their reflections on the issue of addressing the power imbalances in the open ecosystems.

Straw Men and Weak Reeds: Persistent Myths About The Open Movement

January 23, 2023 by: James Boyle
James Boyle reacts to Jan J. Zygmuntowski's opinion on Paradox of Open: Responses.

Gatekeepers of open

January 19, 2023 by: Jan J. Zygmuntowski
As a contribution to his fellowship, Jan J. Zygmuntowski wrote an opinion on the Paradox of Open, which builds – and responds to – the series of responses to the Paradox of Open.

How will the AI Act deal with open source AI systems?

December 13, 2022 by: Paul Keller
None of the approaches dealing with open source AI systems in the AI Act address the concerns related to chilling effects on open source AI development so far. The Parliament still has the opportunity to address these concerns without jeopardizing the AI Act’s overall regulatory objective by leveraging on the inherent transparency of open source, writes Paul Keller.

Open Future Fellowship 2023

December 6, 2022 by: Open Future
We are looking for two Fellows to contribute to our work on advancing digital public space and designing the future of open. The application submission deadline is 31 December 2022.


Shifting tides

June 7, 2023 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
Our research aims to understand the current state of the open movement, as seen through the eyes of people actively involved in its endeavors and leading organizations within the movement.

Exploring the Intersection of Openness and AI

April 7, 2023 by: Zuzanna Warso et al.
The rapid advancements in AI challenge the concept of openness on the internet, as companies use publicly available data to their advantage, frequently disregarding the concerns and welfare of other parties, such as artists and content creators, and the impacts of the tools they make available for use. There is a growing realization that the […]

The Growth of responsible AI licensing

February 7, 2023 by: Paul Keller et al.
The RAIL licenses are gaining ground, but permissive sharing is still the prominent norm governing the sharing of ML models on huggingface.co. This analysis aims at understanding how licenses are used by developers making ML model-related code and or data publicly available.


January 12, 2023 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
The AI_Commons Final Report summarizes our findings and offers recommendations for commons-based governance of AI datasets.

Paradox of Open: Responses

November 30, 2022 by: Open Future
We asked leaders and experts from the broad open movement to respond to the Paradox of Open, and published their responses in an online anthology.

AI_Commons white paper

September 28, 2022 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
This white paper presents the case of using openly licensed photographs for AI facial recognition training datasets. The analysis is part of our exploration of how AI training datasets, and works included in those datasets, can be better governed and shared as a commons.

Proposal to leverage Article 17 to build a public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works.

September 21, 2021 by: Paul Keller
White-paper on how to to leverage Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive to build a public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works.

The Paradox of Open

March 5, 2021 by: Paul Keller et al.
The Paradox of Open is the essay that we published in March 2021 to mark the launch of Open Future. In this essay we reflect on almost 20 years of our involvement in the open movement.


April 13, 2023

Critical Infrastructure Lab launch: What should the next European Commission do?

April 14, 2023
Yesterday, at the Critical Infrastructure Lab launch event in Amsterdam, we hosted a workshop on “Imagining the future: what should the next European Comission do”. Our session focused on brainstorming ideas that could be brought up to the attention of the next Commission, whose term is about to start in the fall in 2024. We […]
March 23, 2023

Mozfest 2023: AI systems as a challenge to concentrations of power

April 4, 2023
On 23 March, we organised a roundtable titled “Open AI systems: will they challenge the concentrations of power?”, during the Mozilla Festival 2023.
November 30, 2022

Open Future Salon #2. Launch of Paradox of Open: Responses

November 11, 2022
On 30 November at 17:00 CET (16:00 UTC), online, we hosted an Open Future Salon to launch "Paradox of Open: Responses." 
September 15, 2021

Open Future Sessions Season 2: Conversation of the openness of today and tomorrow

July 5, 2022
A collection of the summaries of the conversations we had with thought leaders from the Open Movement during Season 2 of the Open Future Sessions (September 2021-June 2022), to address the key challenges that Open faces today.
September 21, 2021

Protecting Open Licenses in the EU Copyright Reform at CC Global Summit 2021

December 1, 2021
Presentation of the White Paper: "Proposal to Leverage Art.17 of CDSM Directive to build a public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works"
September 20, 2021

Future of Open Sessions at CC Global Summit 2021

September 20, 2021
The CC Global Summit is among the events that create the beat of the Open Movement. In this 2021 Summit edition we teamed up with Library Futures, Wikimedia and Invest in Open for a series of interrelated conversations about the Future of Open.
October 29, 2021

Global Congress on Intellectual Property & the Public Interest

August 30, 2021
Workshop on Copyright and the Digital Economy
September 20, 2021

Rethink Design

August 24, 2021
DCODE Summer School 2021: Introducing DCODE challenges, outlining new design ideals for our digital future, and setting the ground for a shared vocabulary.