Martin Eve:

For me, the fundamental meta-principle, or ideal, that underpins POSI (the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure) is forkability and persistence. Taken on aggregate and implemented, an organization that signs up for POSI should be duplicable. That is: I should be able, as a reasonably technically competent individual, to acquire all the components of a POSI-posse signatory, and rebuild/resurrect their technical architecture.

Adds Eve:

Certainly, this can be a scary proposition to those unschooled in thinking this way. Might not other organizations just usurp us if we do this? What’s to stop someone else just stepping in and re-selling all of our data?

Forkability and persistence, for sure. But why not foreclose some of the nightmare scenarios with non-commercial licensing? Eve lists NC licenses as among the ways that an organization might skirt POSI principles without fulfilling their spirit:

Likewise, you might comply with the spirit of POSI by licensing your data openly, but under conditions that limit who could ever resurrect the project (e.g. CC-BY-ND, CC-BY-NC, or, even, CC-BY-SA – even though I am usually a fan of ShareAlike licenses).

I respectfully disagree. Indeed, a major flaw in the POSI principles is that they don’t make an explicit call-out to nonprofit status. Scholarly infrastructure shouldn’t just be open, but nonprofit too. The alternative is capture-by-acquisition.1

  1. Eve had his own, OA monograph experience with CC BY profiteering.