a node at the edge  

May 16, 2002
TechnologyCreative Commons

According to Dan Gillmor, the concepts and technology behind Napster are continuing despite the recent resignations and layoffs at the company.

In particular, Gillmor references new organizations and technologies being introduced at the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference this week, including Creative Commons -- a non-profit organization dedicated to "...the notion that some people would prefer to share their creative works...".

Lawrence Lessig is Chair on the Board of Directorys, and technology team members include Lisa Rein and Aaron Swartz, both of whom I have worked with in past and current writing efforts.

What do you think? Would you dedicate your creative effort to the public domain in the interest of sharing? Technologists have been doing this for years with software; now the door opens for creative talents in other fields to share their work.

Will photographers, writers, musicians, and artists in other media buy into this concept?

Creative Commons: A bold new venture.

Posted by Bb at May 16, 2002 09:44 AM


Funny you should ask!

I've been sharing my creative efforts for years. I have a short story and some fan fiction on my web site. I'm seriously thinking of posting a novel I wrote as well.

Of course, I would prefer to sell it, but it's not an easily marketable book (the main character is a female hockey player :-)).

I've also got desktop wallpaper that I've made and I'm working on putting up some web page graphic sets on my NJ Devils site.

I think the sharing is one of the best aspects of web life. People share not only creative efforts, but other talents as well. It's great!

I think if I was a writer, musician, artist, etc. I would have a site where I could share things with fans - not everything, of course, but enough to say, "thanks for supporting me."

I hate all this whole greedy, "Mine! Mine! Mine!" mindset. And I think sometimes people take and share things they shouldn't merely because they have been told not too. It may be a childish reaction, but I think it's mostly just human.

Posted by: Kath on May 16, 2002 04:37 PM

For me, the question of creative control always comes back to: "Exactly what kind of sharing is going on?"

Plagiarism is a pretty troublesome notion to me. I'd hate it if someone took credit for even a sentence I wrote, and I'd be slightly put out if they quoted me without referring to who I am. If someone wanted to distribute something I wrote, freely, without my permission, but complete and unaltered and gave the work credit where it was due, that would bother me a whole lot less. I suppose recognition is more important to me than money.

True "sharing" of creative works, I think, is better posed as a question of: If you wrote a song, would it bother you if someone included a sample of your song in a new song they made, without explicit permission or credit? Would it bother you if someone used a fragment of a poem in a story they wrote? Would it bother you if they used your photo and altered it? (Again, all without credit or explicit permission.) Those who answer "no, it wouldn't bother me in the least," I think that's particularly brave. I wouldn't necessarily have that spirit of sharing about most of the things I create. Whether or not I make money off of them is, I suppose, moot to me because I don't make money off them anyway. ;)

Posted by: Andrea on May 17, 2002 12:34 PM

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