Friday, May 06, 2005

Open content(ions)

As I mentioned in a previous post on copyright confusion, the issue (and vocabulary) around copyright and "free" content is complicated and contentious.

Creative Commons has, IMHO, done the best job so far of explaining what different forms of rights people can reserve of their work. What I'm going to do is let you sort out yourself the words and meanings - but I'd like to start a list of ... uh, open content? Share-alike content? Public domain (or fair use?) content....

I will focus on non-music "open content" (the word I guess I'm settling on) because the music sampling world is already well up and running.

My open content links:

And just to show, as an example, how can be used to expand on the idea - there's already a bunch of "open content" tagged links:

Of course, the problem with is that no one has to agree on what tag exactly to use:

In the meantime, I will share a couple of paragraphs I wrote when I originally started thinking about this:
I see the struggle being the attempt to balance capitalism and expression. Intellectual property is protected primarily to make money (officially, to "provide a financial incentive to the creators") - and rightly so. The challenge is to figure out how much money-making protection we should afford "property" versus the potential greater public good of making these properties "public domain."

Wow, it sounds like I'm talking about generic pharmaceuticals - but no, it's also happening in the arts world. Public domain means *anyone* gets the power to use the material: use it for free; alter it; resell it. And that takes away the power of the "property" owner.
Someone else had a much more concise way of putting it (with personal examples in the full post):
[...] the goal of privatization and ownership in perpetuity that pervades the corporate psyche. This process burns a wide swath into the modern landscape: land ownership (property), resource ownership (privatization of water, etc.), and intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.).


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