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Creative commons, a wicked paradox at times

2011 May 29

Just finished reading Free Culture by Lessig. Way too late, but I tend to read great books not rightaway when they come out. My understanding of free culture, public domain and creative commons is now at a level that I feel comfortable reading and understanding EC documents on the topic. It seems as if it is not just for me an difficult issue.

Many approaches to a the commons seem a paradox to me. Here are a few examples:

  • A recent report by TNO on open data (a commons of data) was copyrighted. Quoting from that report was fine (fair use), but really using it required permission. Should at least a government report on open data be in the commons?
  • You may write about open source (and open innovation) in magazines with copyrighted content. You write about ‘their commons’, clearly not about yours. (don’t have the links handy now, they are easy to find). Fair?
  • I presented at a meeting on open (geo) standards and open source, which was organized by NOiV. They were many pictures taken, made available on Flickr, but clearly marked copyright! I did ask permission to use a picture of myself… bit odd (I know I don’t have to ask permission, but I just wanted to make a point).
  • During a more recent NOiV event, one of they keynotes from IBM presented on the greatness of Linux and others OSS, while having a big © IBM on each slide.

Wicked stuff? Or just open oddities? Again, I don’t see a 100% world of openness (or 100% closed for that matter). But sometimes the choice of open really strikes me. It’s like: listen here, we are talking about your commons here, not ours!

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