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Covid-19 

I'm fascinated that the Gates foundation convinced the Oxford vaccine developers to not go open-source with their vaccine. In an interview Bill said it was in order to maintain the quality of vaccines being distributed. So that any old company couldn't botch together a cut-price distribution scheme.

AstraZeneca are producing the vaccine on a non-profit basis, paid for by the Gates foundation.

Covid-19 

While the reasoning seems logical, I can't help but think that there's an ideological component here.

Like it's worth spending countless dollars stop open source solutions being a thing.

I can't say I know enough about epidemiology to really have a fully informed opinion here. But I don't like this idea that ONLY big companies can save us and anyone or anything else will cause harm.

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Covid-19 

I don't think Bill is being deliberately nefarious or cunning here. I think he's well meaning and just acting on his personal beliefs and ideology.

It's just that his actions happen to determine the health and lives of billions of people.

That in and of itself should be concerning.

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@ChrisWere so many years and BillG still doesn't get how #foss works.

re: Covid-19 

@fedops @ChrisWere
>and BillG still doesn't get how foss works.
MS people know very well how it works, that's why it adopted a technicall shareware distribution of the OS instead of DRMing the thing like XP was if you did not have any license.

re: Covid-19 

@mangeurdenuage @ChrisWere I wasn't talking about MS I was talking about BillG and his foundation.

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@ChrisWere Open source here meaning...?

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@ChrisWere indeed it should be, but turns out the overwhelming majority of bipeds on the planet doesn't care.

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@ChrisWere I think you need to be careful in comparing the end-user needs in the pharma industry to those in software. Concerns about rogue manufacturing of injectables are legitimate.

Open source is well and good, especially in software, but no one philosophy is necessarily wise to spread across all disciplines. One-size-fits-all rarely works.

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@gedvondur That's all fair. I'm certainly no expect in the field and the rogue manufacturing issue look like a genuine concern to me.

I guess the "only billionaires and big drug companies can save us" mentality doesn't sit right with me.

I guess we have to trust the billionaire class for now it seems.

Covid-19 

@ChrisWere I hear you and I share that concern.

But what we are really talking about is availability of resources. Something as complicated as vaccines and the manufacturing for them precludes small to medium business. That leaves us with big business, big money, or government.

Nobody else has the resources to do it it, at least not at scale.

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@gedvondur Yeah, no doubt.

I think it's worth waiting to see how this all pans out before solidify any strong opinions.

Specifically as to how this all this will affect poorer people from poorer counties.

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@ChrisWere 100% agree.

I have a feeling that poorer countries are going to get shafted. But I really hope not.

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@ChrisWere there was a piece on the news yesterday about a US professor having released a document describing how almost anybody could create their own vaccine.

I find that quite bold, because no doubt some layman will screw it up and inject their family with a lethal cocktail of chemicals and then try to sue that guy.

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@ChrisWere that argument still makes me wonder why effort wasn't made to set up "franchised" manufacturers around the world.

If it isn't about profit it should certainly be possible to ensure quality with other manufacturers and meeting the world wide demand.

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@ChrisWere The foundation is a shareholder in the company, and both the foundation as well as the company profit from the vaccine. They're not giving away products for free, are they?

re: Covid-19 

@ChrisWere
>In an interview Bill said it was in order to maintain the quality of vaccines being distributed.
Lmao it's the exact same argument he had for not distributing windows under a free/libre license.

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@ChrisWere *afaik* (don't just take my word for it) but I think they reached out to many other major manufacturers where the can have quality control so they don't ruin the reputation of the vaccine (bad incidents only fueling anti vaxers)

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@ChrisWere Fascinating, indeed!

This gives me a similarly odd feeling. For me, his logic falls into the same fallacy bucket as “security through obscurity”. Keeping a vaccine closed-source might give an impression of protecting quality, while having absolutely nothing to do with quality. It _can_ make it harder for an adversary to do the cheap product / cut prices thing, but if the the system weather that scenario, closed-vs-open doesn’t matter.

Covid-19 

@ChrisWere In this case, I’d rather have open-source (a.k.a “science”) happen than hamper science & collaboration with business/product-centric thinking.

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