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Re: <nettime> a free letter to cultural institutions
Rob Myers on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 06:26:04 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> a free letter to cultural institutions

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Florian Cramer:
> I disagree with this letter since I am working for a small cultural
> venue (WORM in Rotterdam) myself and see a discrepancy between good
> intentions and not-so-good practical consequences.
> First of all: the release of work as free culture (according to
> the standards of freedomdefined.org or the FSF Free Software
> Definition) should be intrinsically motivated and a decision of
> those who created the work. It should not something forced upon by
> an institution/venue which would then use its institutional power
> to force upon modalities of distribution - i.e. you can't
> play/exhibit/work here if your work isn't released under a free 
> license. It is not upon an institution to dictate ways of
> distribution outside that institution. If, for example, a punk band
> would decide that it is not releasing its recordings under a free
> license - for which it might have sound political arguments

I'd be very interested to hear why a punk band wouldn't want to release
music under a free license.

> -, it would, under your model, be banned from all punk venues to
> perform.


This would re-inject some much needed political attitude.

> This would boil down to the creation and enforcement of purity
> laws, the typical knee-jerk reflex of the radical left and trap
> into which it is running into again and again.
> To clarify: At WORM, we have fostered, (co-)hosted and
> co-instigated a whole range of free culture projects, such as the
> Hotglue and now SuperGlue web site creation system, the Libre
> Graphics Research Unit, the Free?! conference last fall,

I attended Free?!, it was excellent.

a number of Crypto Parties; our office computers run
> on GNU/Linux and our streaming server streams Ogg Vorbis.
> But we also don't think that it is forbidden if an underground band
> sells its self-made small edition LP after a concert with no
> whatsoever free license because it can't live from the kind of
> artists' fees we pay.

This is a classic example of the kind of scarce, auratic merchandise
that freely licensed non-scarce digital media and live performances
can drive sales of (or see their costs offset by).

The license on it can't make it any less desirable to anyone who isn't
at the gig than it already is.

It can however give it more of the iconoclastic attitude that will make
it desirable to punks.

- - Rob.



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