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Bill Gates & Knowledge Commons

Many people have been surprised (and skeptical) about Bill Gates & Knowledge Commons: “Yesterday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it would require that any researcher who accepts its grant monies for HIV/AIDS research will have to agree to share their scientific findings.” Open knowledge sharing has always made sense to me when public funds are involved. If a corporation invests in research, and preserve its intellectual property, that makes sense. If a researcher, dealing with public or grant funds, chooses to keep new knowledge hidden (especially in fields like AIDS research, where it seems unethical to withold new research while people are dying), it seems inappropriate.