[okfn-discuss] Removing the nc: why license restrictions on commercial use are problematic and (frequently) unnecessary

Saul Albert saul at theps.net
Sun Apr 30 22:15:10 UTC 2006

On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 09:41:52AM +0100, Tom Chance wrote:
> I sympathise with the approach, I find the likes of Berry and Wark really 
> interesting and I definitely think labour is a central question. But I don't 
> think it's a class issue, and nor will an awful lot of people. The problem, 
> then, is when you load dismissive sentences with these assumptions. You have 
> to be able to explain to the painters at our exhibition, for example, why NC 
> is flawed without needing to give them a two hour lecture on 
> labour/information politics.
> I don't like the approach of going off into a small academic circle and 
> discussing the issues, then riding back into the debate armed with a complex 
> discourse that doesn't relate to the dominant discourses in the different 
> political and art worlds. It seems to me like an academic conceit.
> The CC "bubble" *is* political, it *is* ethical, it benefits enormously from 
> critiques like Berry's, Mako Hill's and others. The great thing is that it's 
> a kind of hub around which a lot of very different people can engage in 
> debate. Why the need to "go away", gain clarity and then "re-enter"? Should 
> everyone else wait until you come back with the answer?

The 'go away' bit was a *metaphor* for how our discussion in *this*
context could work to cut through this doublethink - some of which Rufus
points out in his response - about 'freedom' in CC/NC discussions that I
think are best dealt with by leaving the detail out and focusing on
material movement of value through systems of ownership. That is a class
issue, and it's really not very difficult to explain or understand.

In the interest of moving the discussion somewhere more useful, I think
the best argument for dropping NC in most contexts is the packaging
issue. Debian works *really really well* because it deals with packaging
exquisitely - formally and legally. If you're running debian or a
derivative, try 'sudo apt-get install anarchism' for a great practical
demonstration of knowledge packaging. I've had exciting conversations
about this approach to open knowledge with you, Rufus, and to me this is
what will stumble over NC (and many other CC licenses).

Anyway, I don't need to start on that old chestnut. It's pretty clearly
argued here:




More information about the okfn-discuss mailing list