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Re: <nettime> Benjamin Mako Hill on Creative Commons
august on Thu, 4 Aug 2005 10:40:39 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Benjamin Mako Hill on Creative Commons

here is my argument in a nutshell:

a.) you are using the rhetoric of freedom for the sake of persuasion.  I
find this rhetoric to be incredibly hollow and needless.

b.)  you think the CC is not "free" enough, and therefore detrimental to
your cause, becuase it doesn't emit the same attitude or, as you say,
ethic of freedom.  I'm not crazy about them, but I think the CC lics
offer some needed options.

c.)  I don't think the right to distribute something at will is a
necessary prerequisite of "freedom"?  Let's say I make something, a song
or a piece of software.  I grant you the permission to use it or play it,
to sample it or modify it.  Let's say I even give you the right to copy it
for a friend.  Why should I give you complete rights to copy it verbatim
and distribute it for money?  Or, the better question in your case is, why
would that be less "free"?  (please don't answer, "because that is what
Stallman says, and those are the definitions of free software". also,
please don't answer "because information wants to be free")

d.) the free software definition only addresses the use and distribution
of software.  it doesn't take the fact of production into account,
demanding that a producer give up all his/her rights. the CC license, on
the other hand, offers a real choice to a producer of something.  Why
should someone who has spent their creative energy immediatly release ALL
control over their outcomes, especially in a world of totalitarian
capitalism where the scales are tipped in the favor of obvious parties?

e.) just because there has been some consensus here on nettime, doesn't
mean that non-commercial clauses would be immpossible.  the CC licenses
have some interesting flavors and I am curious to know if any of them will
ever be contended.  I'm not a lawyer, but I do see fuzzy definitions in
other parts of society - like in some tax definitions, where if you can
claim something as art, then it has special cultural status and recieves a
different tax percentage.

f.)  I see a lot of cultural funding and support for art in some parts of
the western world. Stallman, himself, suggests a "Software Tax" in the GNU
manifesto.  There has even been some concesus here on nettime that
software is social.  So where is the non-commercial support for FLOSS
production?  Why are few activists focused on finding ways of getting
software produced and programmers fed?  I'm not just talking about
conceptual, retinal or acoustic art ware, but real utilitarian software.

g.) the free software definition, as professed by you and many others (and
even by myself to some extent) is incredibly efficient, simple, complete
and probably bullet-proof.  It's also isolated in its own world of bits
and bytes, taking little consideration for the world of flesh and desire
around it.

I'm curious to know what your definition of free culture is.  For me it
has more to do with having the "freedom" not to have to work 40+ hours a
week, and more to do with having "free" time to develop the things I am
interested in.

While I see the point in arguing for a code of conduct or ethics, I find
the entire argument to be much larger than your definition of "freedom".

best -august.

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