Friday, August 26, 2005

"Creative Commons?" No Thanks...

Why don't I have a Creative Commons license on my site? Easy: to do so would be to concede that I have some kind of ownership over my words. Sure, I can get legal systems all over the world to use the state's monopoly on force to back up that assertion. But it wouldn't make it morally right. Not that I'm big on "morality" either, but to take a moral reading of Kant's categorical imperative, if everyone were to go around asserting "ownership" in such abstract ways, why, we'd end up living in a hierarchal system! Can't have that.

So, just in case there was any confusion, I don't express any ownership over anything that I write here. Go ahead, use it, attribute it to me if you like (I think that's polite), but don't if you don't feel like it. Make money off it--if you can sell my book better than I can, fine by me. You can even call it your own. I just wouldn't turn in any of the stuff on this site as a paper for a university class--you probably won't get a very good grade. This is all pretty silly--why am I "giving permission" for you to do this? You certainly don't need it--I don't think that I have the moral "right" to require my permission...

If anyone wants to disagree with my view here, please explain. If, on the other hand, you want to publicly express that you, too, don't express ownership over your site's work, sign up below!

6 comments:

Q said...

I see that if your ideas have some tradable value then it may be copyrighted. I can imagine a world without any copyright on ideas provided people who give birth to them don't make a living on them.
There is a disctinction to be made between immaterial "products" such as writings or ideas and material goods or services such as a house or transports. The scarcity of raw materials makes very difficult the finding of an alternative to copyright issue , precisely the hierarchic organization of tradable values.

Jacques van Ginneken said...

I don't have a site yet but I sure declare that I don't ask any kind of copyright to what I'm going to write on it!

By the way, I am already spreading your book freely around me by voice. And guess what... even my nihilistic younger brother was enthusiastic about your ideas and really appeased. Good job!

Dale said...

i don't disagree with you in principle. however, a CC licence may be a good tool to make it easier for others who may not buy into the whole "information is inherently free" argument to use your material.

for example, intellectual property laws vary greatly from country to country: marking your work as CC is a good way to show people that it absolutely *is* usable under the law, without them have to get involved with lawyers and such.

also, by releaseing your material under a license with a "share-alike" provision, you encourage others to spread your stuff in a "viral" manner.

so regardless of your ideology, there are at least a few pragmatic reasons to use CC, and there are probably more than i've mentioned here.

Anonymous said...

Information wants to be free, yo.

gilemon said...

I’ve been writing an open source novel thanks to SourceForge environment:
http://crepuscule.sourceforge.net
It helped me to centralized the work and involve more people into the correction process. CVS is not only a tool for coders, it makes you work safe and with many concurrent versions, allowing a group of people to work on the same texts at the same time.
It seems that this approach revamps the post First World War movements, like Dada, automatic writing, and the “Cadavre Exquis”. The links that can be drawn in-between this period and nowadays would be a very interesting venture…
So YES, I want to publicly express that I don't express ownership over my site's work and that I reused some ideas of your “Theory of Power”, some turns of phrase as well as the look and feel of your Blog.

Silke Helfrich said...

Jeff, you could use CC PD. Why don't you do that?