The evolution of Open Data depends on the use of new technologies that not only allow equal access to information, but equal access to the distribution and redistribution of public knowledge. An open API offers only the illusion of transparency—for data to truly be free, librarians must look towards their audience as digital collaborators, rather than simply end users. Thankfully, the tools to create a global, decentralized, peer-to-peer information network for massive amounts of data has been hiding under our nose the entire time. In this opinion piece we explore the opportunities afforded by the BitTorrent protocol. We also discuss what happens when libraries adopt a distributed, grassroots approach to data management that saves money and lays the groundwork for online community.
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