Creative Commons Lets You Light It Up

John Wilbanks’ keynote presentation at the NFAIS 2012 includes a hand-drawn artifact image of the singular connection between the ancient IMP computer at UCLA and the Sigma 7 host computer. It is captioned “THE ARPA NETWORK SEPT 1969 1 NODE” and it represents the first-ever computer network.  1969.  Network.
John is Senior Fellow for the venerable Kauffman Foundation and a friend of LillyCOI, and has been talking a lot lately about networks - specifically, three types of networks and how they relate to a "new normal" in information sharing and use. We wanted to share some of his thoughts with you, and a few of our team's challenges and dreams for the future.


John's diagram above reveals three very distinct network models to support business.  The Centralized Network is like a spoked bicycle wheel with a hub at the center.  This network is ideal for tight control of data and transactions.  The Decentralized Network is built on the centralized hub, but the linking “spokes” support smaller sub-networks that interact without total reliance on the mother-ship.  It is inherently stable and where a lot of companies rest.  It makes a lot of sense: less risk, central control, and a profitable posture.

The third, Distributed Network model, can be seen as a representation of the true nature of the internet.  With fast, inexpensive and highly scaling ways to share information, it is the model the Lilly COI team is passionate about.  Our goal in designing an Open Clinical Intelligence Network is to leverage valuable open clinical research and data, and lower the coefficient of friction for anyone to collect, consume, curate and connect in the network.

Part of the solution lies in improving the technology and providing new tools that push toward those goals.  For example, our API on clinical trials is designed from the ground up to be the springboard for processes and applications that we hope will change the face of pharmaceutical development.  Technology alone is insufficient.

Lighting up the Open Clinical Intelligence Network

Making data and knowledge associated with clinical development easier to access means removing technological barriers as well as creating technological solutions and affordances - but it's not enough.

Our LillyCOI team shares John Wilbanks's view that an honest, ethical consideration of intellectual property rights and permissions - and the appropriate mechanisms to support them - is essential to Open Innovation in general and Lilly COI's Open Clinical Intelligence Network specifically. For many years, John has been driving the adoption of Creative Commons licensing as one of the keys to enable global information sharing. Creative Commons licensing is designed to "give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work." (see Creative Commons About page)

Creative Commons licensing does not imply the dissolution of intellectual property rights.  On the contrary.  Creative Commons provides multiple licenses by which one can choose to protect AND share works.  It enables sharing of open works, artifacts and knowledge that are essential to supporting knowledge generated from diverse OCIN participants globally: patients and family members, researchers and scientists from other geographies and fields of study, people at large who are motivated to help.

People make up the nodes we see on the distributed Open Clinical Intelligence Network.  We believe their knowledge is the power that can change clinical development.  Creative Commons licensing let's the power flow to light up the network.  We invite you to share your power in an Open Clinical Intelligence Network and contribute your knowledge to transform clinical development.