Saturday, October 14, 2006

Libre Commons

I've just finished reading this paper The politics of the libre commons and I've found it quite mind-expanding. Even though I've known for years that promoting democracy and communality through the use of digital technologies is something that I'm interested in, since I've begun participating in the Free Culture movement, I've always felt like there was something missing.

I recently got an e-mail from someone from the U of T who was considering starting a chapter there. It seems like they have given up with this endeavor, not due to any lack of dilegence, but rather, due to their view of Particularly, they felt that was not doing enough to facilitate discourse about these issues; they seemed to think that was more about propagandizing than anything else. Admitedly, I may have fallen into this pitfall, shamelessly promoting Creative Commons and Free Software without trying to engage opinions enough.

Now, concerning this paper: if I had not been introduced to some of the concepts of Deluzian philosophy by my friends, I would have been completely lost. Now I feel more motivated to learn about Deluzian philosophy. This paper takes a philosophical and political angle on "freedom of ideas". The paper criticizes both the Creative Commons and the Free Software movement, as the y supposes the need for law, and thus the state, to uphold these "commons". It criticizes the Free Software movement for being based upon assumptions about morality, and the Creative Commons for having no morality, no commonality.

After reading this paper, I visited the Libre Society's web page, started by the authors of this paper. As it turns out, this organization has created non-legal "licenses" for artistic works. They have a nicely designed manifesto . I'm happy to see that some are taking a more radical approach to the idea of the "commons" in our connected world.

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