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[ox-en] Terminology: Peer X?


During the P2P workshop people generally used the term "peer
production" to name the production which is done "based on the
principles of the production of Free Software". The last quotes
contain the term I used so far if I wanted to be exact. As you can see
it is quite longish.

I wonder whether it makes sense to use that term "peer production" in
general. At least it is far more handy than "based on the principles
of the production of Free Software".

"Peer" is also useful at it may be used as an attribute - like in
"peer economy". So you can name all the phenomenons around peer
production in a similar way which makes up for a nice word family.

I see three problems with this. First, "peer" reminds me very much of
the peer review done in scientific publishing. That could be a bit
misleading for those used to that meaning of peer but on the other
hand there are also some similarities so it is not too far-fetched.

Second "peer" in this context reminds probably most people of
"peer-to-peer"/P2P which in my opinion is totally misleading since
virtually all people understand P2P == file sharing == copyright
violation - which is more or less the opposite to peer production.
Because of this concern I didn't like terms like the P2P foundation

Third "peer" seems to ring that bell of personal relationships - which
is certainly not what is the main thing in peer production. But as I'm
not a native English speaker I may be misguided here. May be a native
English speaker can help with clarifying this?

Then there are the attributes "open" and "Free" (with capital "F").
"Open" I didn't use so far favoring "Free" instead. The short term for
"based on the principles of the production of Free Software" then
would be "Free production". However, though "Free" is a quite nice
word it conveys many meanings. Especially the terms "free economy"
(i.e. capitalist economy) and "Free economy" are more or less
contradictions and that's unfortunate.

What is also nice about the term "peer" is that it does not remind of
"Free Software" as much as "Free" does. It thus it is easier to
understand the whole realm of peer production related phenomenons.

I tend to use "peer production" and generally "peer" as an attribute.
What do you think?



Contact: projekt

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