I just found this nugget while scanning for a quote to use from Tim O’Reilly’s 2005 article “What is Web 2.0“:
“Much as the rise of proprietary software led to the Free Software movement, we expect the rise of proprietary databases to result in a Free Data movement within the next decade. One can see early signs of this countervailing trend in open data projects such as Wikipedia, the Creative Commons, and in software projects like Greasemonkey, which allow users to take control of how data is displayed on their computer.”
I’m not sure he imagined it happening in the social data game at the time he wrote this, but it’s pretty clear he was grokking the issues at both macro and micro levels. He at least understood the dynamics that led us into today’s DataPortability debate.