Book launch ‘The Telekommunist Manifesto’ by Dymitri Kleiner

Posted: November 16, 2010 at 12:38 am  |  By: morgancurrie  |  Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dymitri Kleiner is used to writing code, not books. However the texts that he was spreading around the Internet, inspired a lot of practitioners in the field of the free and open. One of those practisioners and friend of Dymitri, Matteo Pasquinelli, eventually took the effort in gathering all of Dymitri's texts that were scattered online. It took a long time to finally connect the pieces and transform the texts into a book. Now finally, The Telekommunist Manifesto is ready to be presented.

About the publication
The Telekommunist Manifesto is a key contribution to commons-based, collaborative and shared forms of cultural production and economic distribution. Dymitri Kleiner goes beyond understanding conflict and property in an age of international telecommunications, copyright and capitalisation of intellectual property in that he offers alternatives to truly grasp the revolutionary potential of the internet for a free society. The alternatives are reflected in the idea of 'venture communism', a new model in which workers organize themselves and buy back little sections of capitalism, step by step. Also copyfarleft is proposed as an alternative to the creative commons (or 'copy-just-right' as Dymitri coins it). Copyfarleft truly enables workers to create and produce by explicitly allowing commercial use.

In his presentation earlier that day a rather intense discussion was raised about the copyfarleft and Dymitri's critique on the creative commons. I would recommend everyone interested in free culture and copyright to read The Telekommunist Manifesto in order to try and understand the perspective of an activist and practitioner in the field. You can download the .pdf here.

Dymtri Kleiner, The Telekommunist. Network Notebooks 03, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2010. ISBN: 978-90-816021-2-9.

Dolf Veenvliet: "Do something awesome (or at least, something notable)"

Posted: November 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm  |  By: morgancurrie  |  Tags: , , , , , ,

The presentation by the Dutch 3D artist Dolf Veenvliet would likely fall under the category of most pragmatic ones of the three day conference. Veenvliet started of by elaborating on the latest landmark production from the Blender Foundation (of which he is a member), namely the fantasy feature film called 'Sintel'. After showing the trailer, Veenvliet explained the course of pre-production and production of the film. Besides the funding by the Dutch Film Fund, a substantial part of the costs were covered by the pre-orders of the DVD. What's remarkable here is that, in this stage, the film was merely a textual synopsis posted on the Blender community web site. According to Veenvliet, the community is so willingly to donate because they know "things get done" when the money's there.

After Sintel was released in September, the film reached an incredible amount of views and downloads. Over the months, it has been watched on YouTube over 2 million times, and downloaded over 5 million times, while previous Blender Foundation films (i.e the Pixar-esque 'Big Buck Bunny' (2008), or philosophic mini-epos 'Elephant's Dream') stagnated at about 1 million over a whole year.

One of the common misunderstandings of film projects initiated by the Blender Foundation is that the production itself is an open-source trajectory. Instead, the director still has a leading role in what to include in terms of storytelling and visuals. In this process, a large group of content producers (ranging from amateur to professional) contributed by submitting 3d models of characters, scenery or animation, all under the Creative Commons license.

While the production of these films is not entirely democratic, Veenvliet for the remainder of the presentation, very much stressed the point of the benefits of making your work (and source files) accessible for a world-wide audience. For example, by posting a 3d-model of a humanoid robot called 'Petunia', other artists took this model and started animating it. The story of the crowd-sourcing project was eventually featured by i.e the MIT newspaper and the Dutch NRC newspaper.

In conclusion, protecting one's work as an artist is a safe, but orthodox way to go. At the same time, alternative production methods like Veenvliet's prove to become increasingly viable as a source of income (for example, crowd-funded), as well as a platform for content exchange. Doing things in public might not pay off immediately, but by contributing work within a peer network, future productions might as well feature your carefully crafted models.

Collaborative tools for videos on Wikipedia

Posted: November 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm  |  By: geert  |  Tags: , , , , , ,

Michael Dale (Wikimedia Foundation)  Video on Wikipedia

Michael Dale is an advocate for open standard and free video formats for the web. The past two years he has lead open source development for video on Wikipedia. To realize open web video Dale has worked closely with the Mozilla Foundation, Kaltura, and the Open Video Alliance. During the open video pre-conference Michael provided the audience a first technical insight into the possibilities of open video and collaborative video editing tools for Wikipedia.

Read the rest of this entry »

A contribution to a critique of free culture: From Anti-Copyright to the Creative Anti-Commons

Posted: November 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm  |  By: morgancurrie  |  Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dymitri Kleiner is a software developer working on projects that investigate the political economy of the internet, and the ideal of workers’ self-organization of production as a form of class struggle. Born in the USSR, Dmytri grew up in Toronto and now lives in Berlin. He is a founder of the Telekommunisten Collective, which provides internet and telephone services, as well as undertakes artistic projects that explore the way communications technologies have social relations embedded within them, such as deadSwap (2009) and Thimbl (2010).

Kleiner’s latest project however was the writing of “The Telekommunist Manifesto”, a book published by the Institute of Network Cultures of Amsterdam and launched in the Economies of Commons 2 conference at De Balie, Amsterdam, on Friday the 12th of November, 2010. Even though, Dmytri Kleiner introduced himself as a hacker or an amateur writer and not as an academic, his work stimulated an interesting and rather intense discussion.

In his talk in the session “Critique of the “Free and Open”, Kleiner follows the track from Anti-Copyright to the Creative Anti-Commons and presented it to the audience as a tragedy in three parts, which are described below.

Kleiner opened his talk claiming that copyright was not created to empower artists. Instead, it was created by the bourgeoisie to embed cultural production in an economic system that encourages the theft of the surplus value. In this context, the notion of “author” was invented just to justify the making of property out of cultural works.

Further on, he presented the three parts of the “tragedy”:

ACT 1: ANTI-COPYRIGHT- A proletarian movement

Anti-copyright is a proletarian or anti- capitalist movement, embraced by labor struggles, that opposes mightily to the existence of the individual author. It is based on the ideal of a common culture with no distinction between producers and consumers. An ideal that makes it incompatible with the needs of dominant Capitalism. Consequently, Anti-copyright could never be seen as nothing more than a threatening, radical fringe.

ACT 2: COPYLEFT – Invasion of the Bourgeoisie

Copyleft on the other hand, an alternative form of dissent to copyright that emerged with the development of Free Software, is fully compatible both to the contemporary economic system and to Bourgeois capitalism. The reason is simple: Software is capital. Producers depend on it so that they can produce and make profit out of the circulation of the generated consumer goods. Free software’s sustainability is based on the fact that it is largely funded by corporations, since it’s cheaper and more flexible compared to software developed from scratch.

ACT 3: THE CREATIVE COMMONS –The author reborn as Useful Idiot

Both Anti-copyright and Copyleft celebrated the death of the author. In the Creative Commons model however, that was boosted by the success of the Free Software Movement “the author is reborn as useful idiot”. He can’t reserve “all rights” as copyright suggested, but only “some rights”, including the options of “Non Derivative” and “Non Commercial”. The paradox of the Creative Commons, as presented by Dmytri Kleiner, is that the consumer is deprived from his right to become a producer and that the “Free Works” are not actually free, but private. Thus, the “Commons” turns into an “Anti-Commons”, where free sharing encounters constantly the barrier of incompatible licenses.

COPY-JUST-RIGHT

Developing his thought on the Creative Commons, Dmytri Kleiner claims that it is not an example of Anti-copyright or of Copyleft but a case of Copy-just-right: the model is based on content distribution but the “mechanical royalties” are being eliminated. However, he comes up with the antidote: Copy-far-left.

COPY-FAR-LEFT: THE ANTIDOTE

Copy-far-left, acknowledging that neither Anti-Copyright not Copyleft can provide a sustainable solution for economic support of cultural producers, brings a new perspective: the Non-Commercial clause used by some creative commons license can be sustained but with limitations. Copy-far-left suggests that commons based commercial use should be allowed explicitly to Co-operatives, Collectives, Non-profits and independent producers and not to profit seeking organizations. That way, free licensing remains a source of funding, while consumers regain the right to become producers, as long as they don’t become exploiters.

In his epilogue, Dmytri Kleiner points out that in order to have a free culture we have to assert a free society. Cultural workers have to work in solidarity with other workers on that big idea.

By Ilektra Pavlaki

Michael Edson on the Smithsonian Commons

Posted: November 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm  |  By: morgancurrie  |  Tags: , , , , ,

Michael Edson, director of Web and New Media Strategy for the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian Commons, opens with the goals and virtues of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian institution is the world's largest museum complex and research organization composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. Toghether these museums, research centers and other initiatives have a database of over 137 million resources.

The Smithsonian Institution tries to accomplish four grand challenges: To unlock the mysteries of the universe, understand and sustain a biodiverse planet, value world cultures and understand the American experience. In doing so, they completed a Smithsonian Web and New Media Strategy in 2009 "that describes an updated digital experience and a new learning model."

Michael continues "Our job in this era is to make people outside succesful in what they do". The Smithsonian resources should therefor not only be available for experts and people inside the community. This idea resonates through the Smithsonian Commons: an online platform dedicated to free and unrestricted sharing of Smithsonian resources that encourages new kinds of learning and creation through interaction with Smithsonian research, collections, and communities.

Attempting to directly monetize access to, and use of, museum content does not
appear to be a sustainable business model, according to Michael. Instead the resources should be vast, findable, sharable and free. Michael recognises that in a web 2.0. environment the best you can do is to create a large and ongoing communication in engaging enthousiasts. "Many positive things flow out from that." Examples of those positive things are increased donations, purchases, and sponsorship revenue.

In an attempt to visualize the Smithsonian Commons, Michael shows a video of an amateur astronomer who, with the use of the Smithsonian resources gets more engaged in astronomy, the community around it while broadening the reach and impact of the Smithsonian's primary resources.

Still a new revenue model is needed and even Michael doesn't know yet what that is going to be. The budget for the project is 20 million to fulfill the vision of the Smithsonian Commons for the first five years, and fundraising has just begun. These years will be those of trial and error in trying to understand the entire user experience. The focus will therefor be on research and development with some support of e-commerce.

The Smithsonian Commons prototype is still in development. The team would very much appreciate the feedback of enthousiasts. Michael wraps up by inviting everybody to share their thoughts on new revenue models, business strategy or make suggestions in the online charter and wiki-page of the Smithsonian Commons prototype.

WHEN THE COPY’S NO EXCEPTION: Interview with Kennisland’s Paul Keller

Posted: June 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm  |  By: morgancurrie  |  Tags: , , ,

Interview with Kennisland's Paul Keller on Creative Commons, Mick Jagger, and the changing role of the archive.

Go here to listen to the original interview of  May 18, 2010

Paul Keller, one of the founders of Creative Commons Nederlands, recently sat down with me to talk about freeing society’s creative silos, a conversation ranging from how we might circumvent stale copyright law to the surprisingly robust underground of p2p networks innovating in the margins.

Keller hails from Kennisland, a future-oriented Dutch think tank that puts its stake in an economy driven less by the production and circulation of 3-D goods than by creative knowledge flows. An overarching goal is to bolster society’s cultural commons and improve access as far as possible to these resources. Their partners include Creative Commons, Images for the Future, Communia, and Wikimedia.

Kennisland is working with several cultural heritage institutions on copyright issues. What have you found to be so deficient about the current copyright system?

Our aim at Kennisland has been to improve access as far as possible to digital cultural resources, to make them available under free licenses or without restrictions. Now if you decide to license something, you need to know who was involved in producing something, then you must find them and negotiate with them, and that's usually when it ends. Because with large diverse collections, it can be very difficult to find the people who own copyrights in your archive. So we’re looking to find practical solutions for existing projects, but also shaping policies and practices on the national level to overcome these hurdles. How can you align stakeholders so that material becomes available? All the talk about innovations taking place in the shadows, in an unregulated sphere that ignores copyright and the interest of authors - it's simply not an option for organizations funded by public money and run by boards with respectable retired ladies and gentleman. You need to negotiate these problems in a way that doesn't put too much burden on archives and respects the rights of the producers and authors involved.

For instance, copyright still is organized around national boundaries. Organizations may have permission to display something on the internet in France but not in Belgium. From the perspective of an internet user that is absurd, but if you don't have right to do so, and you risk being held liable, you probably won't make it available.

So how does Creative Commons then nuance the law to address the way digital technologies are changing cultural production and circulation?

Copyright law usually makes the distinction between private and public. Private is what I show in my own house, legally defined as people I have personal bonds with, in a close community. A public performance requires permission from the copyright holder, while with a private doesn’t. The internet has of course dramatically enlarged the range of our public. If I look at my flickr collection of pictures, hundreds of thousands of people have looked at them, while it it is still essentially the same collection that started its life in a shoe box on my shelf that maybe 5 people looked at back in the days. You can argue that the private has become global, and as a consequence this public-private distinction doesn't work well for triggering copyright anymore.

In place of this public/private distinction, the difference between commercial and non-commercial uses might be a much more relevant. In a way Creative Commons introduced this idea. The non-commercial sphere needs much less regulation and restrictions, and it is probably a good thing if copyright holders focus on generating income from commercial uses of their works. These days not making a copy of something is damn difficult to do. The unique is the exception and copies are the new normal. There needs to be some kind of acknowledgement of this, or the rules that govern copying will stop functioning.

You were one of the founders of Creative Commons Nederlands seven years ago. Can you talk to me about what effects its licenses may have had on the public domain since? What are some of your successes?

I don't see the main value of Creative Commons in licensing individual works, someone's blog that isn't that interesting to use in the first place. What’s more substantial is when a large platform like Flickr becomes tightly integrated with Creative Commons. Flickr is an amazing resource for freely licensed imagery that can be very useful in educational settings, and the cc licensed imagery there provides value to a large group of people. It’s becoming a real threat to professional photographers because you find so much freely licensed stock imagery there.

Another recent case was the decision of the Dutch government to release information published on government websites under CC0, a statement that the government doesn’t assert copyright at all. Here we see Creative Commons as a tool to support government policies about how we can best structure access to information in the networked environment. So we are trying to spread this idea that what’s important isn’t if it’s 3 or 17 videos become available, but that sharing information is beneficial to entire organizations, so that they start integrating these instruments into their platforms and procedures.

We see this happening more and more. One of the most signifficant projects we’ve done is with Buma/Stemera, the collective rights management organization for authors of musical works in the Netherlands, exploring if it is possible to combine collective rights management and individual rights management. When we started talking to them, they had the perception that we were working against them: you want to make stuff available for free, and we’re in the business of extracting money from people who want to use music, so you should get out of our way. Instead, we’ve come up with an understanding of how one approach can drive the other, the free availability of material can actually drive your ability to extract money.

So with the aid of Creative Commons, large amounts of digital objects are being released by massive silos, such as Flickr, Youtube, and the Dutch government, as you mentioned. How do you see this changing the role of the public archive?

We see a transformation of archives away from being the central place where we store stuff that no one uses, into resources that people actually want to use. In this process the real innovation probably isn’t happening at the central archiving nodes, but at the fringes of the network, in the distributive archive and metadata systems, where you make sure that I have access to what you archive, and you have access to what I archive. Peer-to-peer networks are a natural way of selecting what's worthy of being preserved and what's not. If there's at least one person assigning enough value to one object to keep it, then it's available to the entire community. There's no policy that says we can only conserve more of our glorious history. Underground bittorent communities that specialize in specific genres of film, for instance, are surprisingly responsible archives, operating outside the realm of copyright permission. It's fan driven, distributed and very responsive. One would expect those networks to do a lousy job of preserving, but in the end they can be far more complete than centralized systems that have to stick to the rules.

Copyright in this sense is like a one way mirror: one the one side you have this institutional world of archiving, and on the other side, you have these informal activities that are doing very interesting things but are invisible to the institutional players who can't look back through the mirror. From the perspective of these informal communities, institutions are still operating in structures based on a time when the main characteristic of the archives were thick walls, controlled temperatures and enough space to have everything in one place. The current copyright model does not enable them to fundamentally transform the way they grant access, and as a result a lot of material that could be available to society is hidden away.

There's a criticism of Creative Commons floating around that claims these licenses don't address how artists will make money once their content is offered up for free, and that it doesn't prevent companies from exploiting all this open content created by unpaid labor. How do you answer these complaints?

The criticism you refer to argues against this idea that free availability can be a good thing, because if something is given away free, how will the artist be paid? That's a relevant question, but Creative Commons isn't necessarily the organization with an answer to this. We are not making a claim that the Creative Commons licenses are the tool to use if your primary objective is to earn a living from producing artistic works. Creative Commons has always been careful to say we don't oblige people to use our licenses. Our licenses are tools that you can use if you have come to the conclusion that you want to share something.

Right now there is a much more fundamental problem with generating income from artistic production. In a recent interview with the BBC Mick Jagger stated that he is rather skeptical of the current discussion about how musicians can earn money from selling recordings of their music. He observes that in the history of modern music, the period from 1970 to 1997 is about the only period that a substantial group of musicians managed to earn a living by selling music as a recorded good. This period probably needs to be seen as an exception, while we are currently treating it as the rule. So How do you value the production of cultural goods in society of resource abundance, and what economic mechanisms can reimburse people who do that? How do we regulate it or not? What's the point of value creation when everyone has access to everything? Creative Commons, copyright - neither are the final answer to that question. We need to rethink this not from a rights-based perspective, but from an economical perspective. So far we haven't found the business model that will solve these discussions.

Earning money by selling cultural goods, where I give you a cultural good and you give me money, and this ends up being a good deal for the artist, is the absolute exception. So it’s probably more productive to look at what's wrong with copyright as an underlying system. Copyright currently justifies a simple binary transaction. I have cultural goods, you have money, and we do a proper exchange, or otherwise I’m in violation of copyright. Given that everybody can make copies of pretty much anything, this is clearly not the smartest system for organizing knowledge transfer or the distribution of cultural goods. Creative Commons is built on top of the existing copyright system to offer ways to escape these effects.

WHEN THE COPY'S NO EXCEPTION: Interview with Kennisland's Paul Keller

Posted: June 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm  |  By: morgancurrie  |  Tags: , , ,

Interview with Kennisland's Paul Keller on Creative Commons, Mick Jagger, and the changing role of the archive.

Go here to listen to the original interview of  May 18, 2010

Paul Keller, one of the founders of Creative Commons Nederlands, recently sat down with me to talk about freeing society’s creative silos, a conversation ranging from how we might circumvent stale copyright law to the surprisingly robust underground of p2p networks innovating in the margins.

Keller hails from Kennisland, a future-oriented Dutch think tank that puts its stake in an economy driven less by the production and circulation of 3-D goods than by creative knowledge flows. An overarching goal is to bolster society’s cultural commons and improve access as far as possible to these resources. Their partners include Creative Commons, Images for the Future, Communia, and Wikimedia.

Kennisland is working with several cultural heritage institutions on copyright issues. What have you found to be so deficient about the current copyright system?

Our aim at Kennisland has been to improve access as far as possible to digital cultural resources, to make them available under free licenses or without restrictions. Now if you decide to license something, you need to know who was involved in producing something, then you must find them and negotiate with them, and that's usually when it ends. Because with large diverse collections, it can be very difficult to find the people who own copyrights in your archive. So we’re looking to find practical solutions for existing projects, but also shaping policies and practices on the national level to overcome these hurdles. How can you align stakeholders so that material becomes available? All the talk about innovations taking place in the shadows, in an unregulated sphere that ignores copyright and the interest of authors - it's simply not an option for organizations funded by public money and run by boards with respectable retired ladies and gentleman. You need to negotiate these problems in a way that doesn't put too much burden on archives and respects the rights of the producers and authors involved.

For instance, copyright still is organized around national boundaries. Organizations may have permission to display something on the internet in France but not in Belgium. From the perspective of an internet user that is absurd, but if you don't have right to do so, and you risk being held liable, you probably won't make it available.

So how does Creative Commons then nuance the law to address the way digital technologies are changing cultural production and circulation?

Copyright law usually makes the distinction between private and public. Private is what I show in my own house, legally defined as people I have personal bonds with, in a close community. A public performance requires permission from the copyright holder, while with a private doesn’t. The internet has of course dramatically enlarged the range of our public. If I look at my flickr collection of pictures, hundreds of thousands of people have looked at them, while it it is still essentially the same collection that started its life in a shoe box on my shelf that maybe 5 people looked at back in the days. You can argue that the private has become global, and as a consequence this public-private distinction doesn't work well for triggering copyright anymore.

In place of this public/private distinction, the difference between commercial and non-commercial uses might be a much more relevant. In a way Creative Commons introduced this idea. The non-commercial sphere needs much less regulation and restrictions, and it is probably a good thing if copyright holders focus on generating income from commercial uses of their works. These days not making a copy of something is damn difficult to do. The unique is the exception and copies are the new normal. There needs to be some kind of acknowledgement of this, or the rules that govern copying will stop functioning.

You were one of the founders of Creative Commons Nederlands seven years ago. Can you talk to me about what effects its licenses may have had on the public domain since? What are some of your successes?

I don't see the main value of Creative Commons in licensing individual works, someone's blog that isn't that interesting to use in the first place. What’s more substantial is when a large platform like Flickr becomes tightly integrated with Creative Commons. Flickr is an amazing resource for freely licensed imagery that can be very useful in educational settings, and the cc licensed imagery there provides value to a large group of people. It’s becoming a real threat to professional photographers because you find so much freely licensed stock imagery there.

Another recent case was the decision of the Dutch government to release information published on government websites under CC0, a statement that the government doesn’t assert copyright at all. Here we see Creative Commons as a tool to support government policies about how we can best structure access to information in the networked environment. So we are trying to spread this idea that what’s important isn’t if it’s 3 or 17 videos become available, but that sharing information is beneficial to entire organizations, so that they start integrating these instruments into their platforms and procedures.

We see this happening more and more. One of the most signifficant projects we’ve done is with Buma/Stemera, the collective rights management organization for authors of musical works in the Netherlands, exploring if it is possible to combine collective rights management and individual rights management. When we started talking to them, they had the perception that we were working against them: you want to make stuff available for free, and we’re in the business of extracting money from people who want to use music, so you should get out of our way. Instead, we’ve come up with an understanding of how one approach can drive the other, the free availability of material can actually drive your ability to extract money.

So with the aid of Creative Commons, large amounts of digital objects are being released by massive silos, such as Flickr, Youtube, and the Dutch government, as you mentioned. How do you see this changing the role of the public archive?

We see a transformation of archives away from being the central place where we store stuff that no one uses, into resources that people actually want to use. In this process the real innovation probably isn’t happening at the central archiving nodes, but at the fringes of the network, in the distributive archive and metadata systems, where you make sure that I have access to what you archive, and you have access to what I archive. Peer-to-peer networks are a natural way of selecting what's worthy of being preserved and what's not. If there's at least one person assigning enough value to one object to keep it, then it's available to the entire community. There's no policy that says we can only conserve more of our glorious history. Underground bittorent communities that specialize in specific genres of film, for instance, are surprisingly responsible archives, operating outside the realm of copyright permission. It's fan driven, distributed and very responsive. One would expect those networks to do a lousy job of preserving, but in the end they can be far more complete than centralized systems that have to stick to the rules.

Copyright in this sense is like a one way mirror: one the one side you have this institutional world of archiving, and on the other side, you have these informal activities that are doing very interesting things but are invisible to the institutional players who can't look back through the mirror. From the perspective of these informal communities, institutions are still operating in structures based on a time when the main characteristic of the archives were thick walls, controlled temperatures and enough space to have everything in one place. The current copyright model does not enable them to fundamentally transform the way they grant access, and as a result a lot of material that could be available to society is hidden away.

There's a criticism of Creative Commons floating around that claims these licenses don't address how artists will make money once their content is offered up for free, and that it doesn't prevent companies from exploiting all this open content created by unpaid labor. How do you answer these complaints?

The criticism you refer to argues against this idea that free availability can be a good thing, because if something is given away free, how will the artist be paid? That's a relevant question, but Creative Commons isn't necessarily the organization with an answer to this. We are not making a claim that the Creative Commons licenses are the tool to use if your primary objective is to earn a living from producing artistic works. Creative Commons has always been careful to say we don't oblige people to use our licenses. Our licenses are tools that you can use if you have come to the conclusion that you want to share something.

Right now there is a much more fundamental problem with generating income from artistic production. In a recent interview with the BBC Mick Jagger stated that he is rather skeptical of the current discussion about how musicians can earn money from selling recordings of their music. He observes that in the history of modern music, the period from 1970 to 1997 is about the only period that a substantial group of musicians managed to earn a living by selling music as a recorded good. This period probably needs to be seen as an exception, while we are currently treating it as the rule. So How do you value the production of cultural goods in society of resource abundance, and what economic mechanisms can reimburse people who do that? How do we regulate it or not? What's the point of value creation when everyone has access to everything? Creative Commons, copyright - neither are the final answer to that question. We need to rethink this not from a rights-based perspective, but from an economical perspective. So far we haven't found the business model that will solve these discussions.

Earning money by selling cultural goods, where I give you a cultural good and you give me money, and this ends up being a good deal for the artist, is the absolute exception. So it’s probably more productive to look at what's wrong with copyright as an underlying system. Copyright currently justifies a simple binary transaction. I have cultural goods, you have money, and we do a proper exchange, or otherwise I’m in violation of copyright. Given that everybody can make copies of pretty much anything, this is clearly not the smartest system for organizing knowledge transfer or the distribution of cultural goods. Creative Commons is built on top of the existing copyright system to offer ways to escape these effects.

Creative Commons presentation by Paul Keller

Posted: April 16, 2009 at 9:26 am  |  By: margreet  |  Tags: , , ,

Last Wednesday, Paul Keller from Kennisland,  gave a presentation about Creative Commons licensing.

Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

This lecture was an initiative from the IAM Open Courseware team to inform teachers and students about copyrights. IAM Open Courseware is a project of the Institute of Networkcultures, MediaLAB and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam about creating a platform, similar to MIT Open Courseware, to make open educational material to improve education globally through the free and open sharing of knowledge.

This presentation was streamed and is archived at http://webcolleges.hva.nl/Webcollege/ by Paul den Hertog and Abdullah Geels.

IAM Open Courseware is sponsored by Digitale Pioniers.