Is there a lesson to learn from open source movement?
I was born in 1971 in a farmer’s family in Eastern Finland. As a teenager I was deeply interested in mechanics and I could easily tell the technical details of any surpassing motorbike. After finishing secondary school, I got degree in car mechanics and electronics. Simultaneously with my studies in the field of mechanics, I also discovered a totally different world; the world of philosophy. After working some time in the field of electronics, I applied to the University of Jyväskylä to pursue a degree in Philosophy. But soon I found out that I am more interested of cultural heritage and especially virtual reconstructions than purely academic philosophy. But I never lost my interest of technology and from the beginning of my studies I also studied computing in the university. I graduated in 2004 from the university where I majored in art history. At this point I finally found my own territory -digital heritage - which combined my interest for humanities and technology. During my studies in university I was exposed to open source software. After using years of proprietary software and reading again and again restricting End-user Licence Agreements (EULA), I immediately fell love the idea of open source software. Instead of restricting users rights, open source software promoted the idea of sharing and participating. Hacker communities were open to everyone and - depending one’s skills and attitude - it was possible to participate in numerous ways. As a student of art history I also experienced heritage institution communities. Again I was confronted with the world of restrictions. It was not possible to contribute, it was not allowed to re-use materials or build my own views. After the inviting nature of open source communities, heritage institutions appeared for me as property holders guarding they possessions from any external influences. Currently I’m a PhD-student of Digital Culture and free software enthusiast. I’m interested in open digital heritage. There has been many efforts to open digital heritage by heritage organisations for example through different kind of participatory projects. In addition, there are independent noninstitutional online resources competing with museums, archives and libraries. Instead of just overlapping with the sources provided by the traditional institutions, these novel sources often surpass the institutional sources in search results and coverage. I am studying differences between these two sources of heritage information and possible models for collaboration in the sense of open source heritage.