Re: Business Models, Profitability, and Linked Data


On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM, Kingsley Idehen
<> wrote:
> On 6/10/13 4:18 AM, Leigh Dodds wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:52 PM, Kingsley Idehen <>
>> wrote:
>>> There have been a few recent threads on the LOD and Semantic
>>> Web mailing lists that boil down to the fundamental issues of
>>> profitability, business models, and Linked Data.
>>> Situation Analysis
>>> ==================
>>> Business Model Issue
>>> --------------------
>>> The problem with "Data"-oriented business models is that you
>>> ultimately have to deal with the issue of wholesale data copying
>>> without attribution. That's the key issue; everything else is
>>> a futile dance around this concern.
>> Why do you think that attribution is the key issue with data oriented
>> businesses?
> Its the key to provenance. It's the key making all contributors to the data
> value chain visible.

I don't disagree that attribution and provenance are important,
especially for Open Data, but also whenever it becomes important to
understand sources of data.

> As I've already stated, the big problem here is wholesale copying and
> reproduction without attribution. Every data publisher has to deal with this
> problem, at some point, when crafting a data oriented business model.

Every data publisher that aggregates or collects data from other
sources certainly needs to understand -- for their own workflow --
where data originates.

>> I've spoken with a number of firms who have business models based on
>> data supply and have never once heard attribution being mentioned as
>> an issue for themselves or their customers. So I'm curious why you
>> think this is a problem.
> And are those data suppliers conforming to patterns such as those associated
> with publicly available Linked Open Data? Can they provide open access to
> data and actually have a functional business model based on the
> aforementioned style of data publication?

No they weren't using Linked Open Data. No they weren't publishing
open data (it was commercially licensed for the most part). But they
all had successful business models.

But I understood you to be making a general statement about a key
issue that is common to all data business models, one that Linked Data
then solves.

I agree that every data aggregator needs to understand their workflow,
to manage their own processes. I agree that publishing details of data
provenance and attribution is important, particularly for Open Data.
And absolutely agree that Linked Data can help there.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point but I'm not seeing evidence that
attribution is a key business issue that data businesses have to solve
in order to be successful. You said that "everything else is a futile
dance around this concern" which I found surprising, so I'm curious
about the evidence. I'm curious about the general business drivers,
regardless of whether the data is Linked or Open.

Making the data Linked is a solution; making the data Open might also
be a solution, but also presents its own challenges.

Sometimes its important to know how the sausage is made, sometimes its not.



Leigh Dodds
Freelance Technologist
Open Data, Linked Data Geek
t: @ldodds

Received on Monday, 10 June 2013 13:07:21 UTC