The free-culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify the creative works of others in the form of free content or open content without compensation to, or the consent of, the work's original creators, by using the Internet and other forms of media.
Creative Commons is an organization started by Lawrence Lessig which provides licenses that permit sharing and remixing under various conditions, and also offers an online search of various Creative Commons-licensed works.
The free-culture movement, with its ethos of free exchange of ideas, is aligned with the free and open-source-software movement.
Today, the term stands for many other movements, including open access (OA), the remix culture, the hacker culture, the access to knowledge movement, the Open Source Learning, the copyleft movement and the public domain movement.
In the late 1960s, Stewart Brand founded the Whole Earth Catalog and argued that technology could be liberating rather than oppressing. He coined the slogan "Information wants to be free" in 1984 against limiting access to information by governmental control, preventing a public domain of information.
In 1998, the United States Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act which President Clinton signed into law. The legislation extended copyright protections for twenty additional years, resulting in a total guaranteed copyright term of seventy years after a creator's death. The bill was heavily lobbied by music and film corporations like Disney, and dubbed as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. Lawrence Lessig claims copyright is an obstacle to cultural production, knowledge sharing and technological innovation, and that private interests – as opposed to public good – determine law. He travelled the country in 1998, giving as many as a hundred speeches a year at college campuses, and sparked the movement. It led to the foundation of the first chapter of the Students for Free Culture at Swarthmore College.
In 1999, Lessig challenged the Bono Act, taking the case to the US Supreme Court. Despite his firm belief in victory, citing the Constitution's plain language about "limited" copyright terms, Lessig only gained two dissenting votes: from Justices Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens.
In 2001, Lessig initiated Creative Commons, an alternative "some rights reserved" licensing system to the default "all rights reserved" copyright system. Lessig focuses on a fair balance between the interest of the public to use and participate into released creative works and the need of protection for a creator's work, which still enables a "read-write" remix culture.
The term “free culture” was originally used since 2003 during the World Summit on Information Society to present the first free license for artistic creation at large, initiated by the Copyleft attitude team in France since 2001 (named free art license). It was then developed in Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture in 2004.
In 2005/2006 within the free-culture movement, Creative Commons has been criticized by Erik Möller and Benjamin Mako Hill for lacking minimum standards for freedom. Following this, the Definition of Free Cultural Works were created as collaborative work of many, including Erik Möller, Lawrence Lessig, Benjamin Mako Hill and Richard Stallman. In February 2008, several Creative Commons licenses were "approved for free cultural works", namely the CC BY and CC BY-SA (later also the CC0). Creative commons licenses with restrictions on commercial use or derivative works were not approved.
In October 2014 the Open Knowledge Foundation described their definition of "open", for open content and open knowledge, as synonymous to the definition of "free" in the "Definition of Free Cultural Works", noting that both are rooted in the Open Source Definition and Free Software Definition. Therefore, the same three creative commons licenses are recommended for open content and free content, CC BY, CC BY-SA, and CC0. The Open Knowledge foundation defined additionally three specialized licenses for data and databases, previously unavailable, the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and Licence (PDDL), the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-BY) and the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).
The organization commonly associated with free culture is Creative Commons (CC), founded by Lawrence Lessig. CC promotes sharing creative works and diffusing ideas to produce cultural vibrance, scientific progress and business innovation.
QuestionCopyright.org is another organization whose stated mission is "to highlight the economic, artistic, and social harm caused by distribution monopolies, and to demonstrate how freedom-based distribution is better for artists and audiences." QuestionCopyright may be best known for its association with artist Nina Paley, whose multi-award-winning feature length animation Sita Sings The Blues has been held up as an extraordinarily successful example of free distribution under the aegis of the "Sita Distribution Project". The web site of the organization has a number of resources, publications, and other references related to various copyright, patent, and trademark issues.
The student organization Students for Free Culture is sometimes confusingly called "the Free Culture Movement," but that is not its official name. The organization is a subset of the greater movement. The first chapter was founded in 1998 at Swarthmore College, and by 2008, the organization had twenty-six chapters.
The free-culture movement takes the ideals of the free and open-source software movement and extends them from the field of software to all cultural and creative works. Early in Creative Commons' life, Richard Stallman (the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the free software movement) supported the organization. He withdrew his support due to the introduction of several licenses including a developing nations and the sampling licenses and later restored some support when Creative Commons retired those licenses.
The free music movement, a subset of the free-culture movement, started out just as the Web rose in popularity with the Free Music Philosophy by Ram Samudrala in early 1994. It was also based on the idea of free software by Richard Stallman and coincided with nascent open art and open information movements (referred to here as collectively as the "free-culture movement"). The Free Music Philosophy used a three pronged approach to voluntarily encourage the spread of unrestricted copying, based on the fact that copies of recordings and compositions could be made and distributed with complete accuracy and ease via the Internet. The subsequent free music movement was reported on by diverse media outlets including Billboard, Forbes, Levi's Original Music Magazine, The Free Radical, Wired and The New York Times. Along with the explosion of the Web driven by open source software and Linux, the rise of P2P and lossy compression, and despite the efforts of the music industry, free music became largely a reality in the early 21st century. Organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Creative Commons with free information champions like Lawrence Lessig were devising numerous licenses that offered different flavors of copyright and copyleft. The question was no longer why and how music should be free, but rather how creativity would flourish while musicians developed models to generate revenue in the Internet era.
As a general rule, I don't believe that it is essential for people to have permission to modify all sorts of articles and books. The issues for writings are not necessarily the same as those for software. For example, I don't think you or I are obliged to give permission to modify articles like this one, which describe our actions and our views.
Similarly, in 1999 Stallman said that he sees "no social imperative for free hardware designs like the imperative for free software". Other authors, such as Joshua Pearce, have argued that there is an ethical imperative for open-source hardware, specifically with respect to open-source-appropriate technology for sustainable development.
Later, Stallman changed his position slightly and advocated for free sharing of information in 2009. But, in 2011 Stallman commented on the Megaupload founder's arrest, "I think all works meant for practical uses must be free, but that does not apply to music, since music is meant for appreciation, not for practical use." In a follow up Stallman differentiated three classes: Works of practical use should be free, Works representing points of view should be shareable but not changeable and works of art or entertainment should be copyrighted (but only for 10 years). In an essay in 2012 Stallman argued that video games as software should be free but not their artwork. In 2015 Stallman advocated for free hardware designs.
Vocal criticism against the free-culture movement comes from copyright proponents.
Prominent technologist and musician Jaron Lanier discusses this perspective of Free Culture in his 2010 book You Are Not a Gadget. Lanier's concerns include the depersonalization of crowd-sourced anonymous media (such as Wikipedia) and the economic dignity of middle-class creative artists.
The decline of news media industry's market share is blamed on free culture but scholars like Clay Shirky claim that the market itself, not free culture, is what's killing the journalism industry.
I'm closing OpenContent because I think Creative Commons is doing a better job of providing licensing options which will stand up in court.
Is Software special? [...] So restricting modification is not necessarily evil when it comes to "articles and books"? Or does he just mean that we aren't obliged to let others misrepresent us? Alas, no mention of restricting verbatim duplication. Even Stallman's story on "The Right to Read" does not address the issue directly, despite being about IPR issues other than software. It extrapolates a dystopian future from our current position and acts as a warning about current trends, but offers no comment on the status quo. [...] There is a striking lack of discussion from the usual leaders with regards to the application of copyright in areas other than software. Raymond is mute, and Stallman mumbles. They both seem to view software as a special case: Raymond tacitly, and Stallman explicitly.
Free Culture may refer to:
Free Culture (book) by Lawrence Lessig
Free-culture movement, a social movement for free culture (inspired partly by the book)
Students for Free Culture, formerly FreeCulture.org, an international student organization supporting free cultureKnowledge commons
The term "knowledge commons" refers to information, data, and content that is collectively owned and managed by a community of users, particularly over the Internet. What distinguishes a knowledge commons from a commons of shared physical resources is that digital resources are non-subtractible; that is, multiple users can access the same digital resources with no effect on their quantity or quality.Open-design movement
The open-design movement involves the development of physical products, machines and systems through use of publicly shared design information. This includes the making of both free and open-source software (FOSS) as well as open-source hardware. The process is generally facilitated by the Internet and often performed without monetary compensation. The goals and philosophy of the movement are identical to that of the open-source movement, but are implemented for the development of physical products rather than software. Open design is a form of co-creation, where the final product is designed by the users, rather than an external stakeholder such as a private company.Open-source governance
Open-source governance (also known as open politics) is a political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the open-source and open-content movements to democratic principles to enable any interested citizen to add to the creation of policy, as with a wiki document. Legislation is democratically opened to the general citizenry, employing their collective wisdom to benefit the decision-making process and improve democracy.Theories on how to constrain, limit or enable this participation vary. Accordingly, there is no one dominant theory of how to go about authoring legislation with this approach. There are a wide array of projects and movements which are working on building open-source governance systems.Many left-libertarian and radical centrist organizations around the globe have begun advocating open-source governance and its related political ideas as a reformist alternative to current governance systems. Often, these groups have their origins in decentralized structures such as the Internet and place particular importance on the need for anonymity to protect an individual's right to free speech in democratic systems. Opinions vary, however, not least because the principles behind open-source government are still very loosely defined.Open-source hardware
Open-source hardware (OSH) consists of physical artifacts of technology designed and offered by the open-design movement . Both free and open-source software (FOSS) and open-source hardware are created by this open-source culture movement and apply a like concept to a variety of components. It is sometimes, thus, referred to as FOSH (free and open-source hardware). The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned so that others can make it – coupling it closely to the maker movement. Hardware design (i.e. mechanical drawings, schematics, bills of material, PCB layout data, HDL source code and integrated circuit layout data), in addition to the software that drives the hardware, are all released under free/libre terms. The original sharer gains feedback and potentially improvements on the design from the FOSH community. There is now significant evidence that such sharing can drive a high return on investment for the scientific community.Since the rise of reconfigurable programmable logic devices, sharing of logic designs has been a form of open-source hardware. Instead of the schematics, hardware description language (HDL) code is shared. HDL descriptions are commonly used to set up system-on-a-chip systems either in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) or directly in application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designs. HDL modules, when distributed, are called semiconductor intellectual property cores, also known as IP cores.Open-source license
An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions. This allows end users and commercial companies to review and modify the source code, blueprint or design for their own customization, curiosity or troubleshooting needs. Open-source licensed software is mostly available free of charge, though this does not necessarily have to be the case. Licenses which only permit non-commercial redistribution or modification of the source code for personal use only are generally not considered as open-source licenses. However, open-source licenses may have some restrictions, particularly regarding the expression of respect to the origin of software, such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and a copyright statement within the code, or a requirement to redistribute the licensed software only under the same license (as in a copyleft license). One popular set of open-source software licenses are those approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) based on their Open Source Definition (OSD).Open-source record label
Open-source record labels are record labels that release music under copyleft licenses, that is, licenses that allow free redistribution and may allow free modification of the tracks.
They hold that the fight over free, libre, and open content and media is a struggle over the freedoms of expression and speech, with the goal of opening up the possibilities of media through open collaboration. This is a reaction against what some musicians see as corporate control of music via means of copyright. They believe that creativity requires that musicians reappropriate and reinterpret music and sounds to enable them to create truly innovative music. Additionally, copyleft enables musicians to develop music collaboratively and equitably.Open-source religion
Open-source religions employ open-source methods for the sharing, construction, and adaptation of religious belief systems, content, and practice. In comparison to religions utilizing proprietary, authoritarian, hierarchical, and change-resistant structures, open-source religions emphasize sharing in a cultural Commons, participation, self-determination, decentralization, and evolution. They apply principles used in organizing communities developing open-source software for organizing group efforts innovating with human culture. New open-source religions may develop their rituals, praxes, or systems of beliefs through a continuous process of refinement and dialogue among participating practitioners. Organizers and participants often see themselves as part of a more generalized open-source and free-culture movement.Open-source software advocacy
Open-source software advocacy is the practice of attempting to increase the awareness and improve the perception of open-source software. In some cases, this may be in opposition to proprietary software or intellectual property concepts (e.g. patents and copyrights as a whole).
Leading open-source advocates include Brian Behlendorf, Tim O'Reilly, Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds, Mitch Kapor and Paul Vixie. Others that advocate the related free software movement include Richard Stallman, Alan Cox, Jimmy Wales and Eben Moglen. Bruce Perens is a prominent figure who works to promote both terms.
There are even broadcast and podcast radio shows whose sole subject is open source advocacy. Gutsy geeks and Open Source (radio show) are but two examples.Open Source Initiative
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting open-source software.
The organization was founded in late February 1998 by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond, part of a group inspired by the Netscape Communications Corporation publishing the source code for its flagship Netscape Communicator product. Later, in August 1998, the organization added a board of directors.
Raymond was president from its founding until February 2005, followed briefly by Russ Nelson and then Michael Tiemann. In May 2012, the new board elected Simon Phipps as president and in May 2015 Allison Randal was elected as president when Phipps stepped down in preparation for the 2016 end of his Board term. Phipps became President again in September 2017.Open communication
In business, open communication (or open access to communication resources) is the ability of anyone, on equal conditions with a transparent relation between cost and pricing, to get access to and share communication resources on one level to provide value added services on another level in a layered communication system architecture. Simply put, Open access plans are to deregulate oligarchy of telecom operators in a bid to give consumers more choices for equipment, services and service vendors or carriers. It will also provide some breathing room for the controversial Net neutrality that has been the central issue between mobile carriers, like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel, and web media moguls, like eBay, Amazon.com and Google. True open communication is where employees are encouraged to share their thoughts and concerns, both good and bad, without the worry of retaliation from management when the feedback is bad.Open content
Open content is a neologism coined by David Wiley in 1998 which describes a creative work that others can copy or modify freely, without asking for permission. The term evokes the related concept of open-source software. Such content is said to be under an open licence.Open data
Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. The goals of the open-source data movement are similar to those of other "open(-source)" movements such as open-source software, hardware, open content, open education, open educational resources, open government, open knowledge, open access, open science, and the open web. Paradoxically, the growth of the open data movement is paralleled by a rise in intellectual property rights. The philosophy behind open data has been long established (for example in the Mertonian tradition of science), but the term "open data" itself is recent, gaining popularity with the rise of the Internet and World Wide Web and, especially, with the launch of open-data government initiatives such as Data.gov, Data.gov.uk and Data.gov.in.
Open data, can also be linked data; when it is, it is linked open data. One of the most important forms of open data is open government data (OGD), which is a form of open data created by ruling government institutions. Open government data's importance is borne from it being a part of citizens' everyday lives, down to the most routine/mundane tasks that are seemingly far removed from government.Open education
Open education is education without academic admission requirements and is typically offered online. Open education broadens access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems. The qualifier "open" refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institution-based learning. One aspect of openness or "opening up" education is the development and adoption of open educational resources.
Institutional practices that seek to eliminate barriers to entry, for example, would not have academic admission requirements. Such universities include the Open University in Britain, and Athabasca University, Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning in Canada. Such programs are commonly (but not necessarily) distance learning programs like e-learning, MOOC and OpenCourseWare. Whereas many e-learning programs are free to follow, the costs of acquiring a certification may be a barrier. Many open education institutes offer free certification schemes accredited by organisations like UKAS in the UK and ANAB in the United States; others offer a badge.Open knowledge
Open knowledge is knowledge that one is free to use, reuse, and redistribute without legal, social or technological restriction. Open knowledge is a set of principles and methodologies related to the production and distribution of how knowledge works in an open manner. Knowledge is interpreted broadly to include data, content and general information.
The concept is related to open source and the Open Knowledge Definition is directly derived from the Open Source Definition. Open knowledge can be seen as being a superset of open data, open content and libre open access with the aim of highlighting the commonalities between these different groups.Open source
Open source is a term denoting that a product includes permission to use its source code, design documents, or content. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement. Use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the software sector to cover other open content and forms of open collaboration.OverClocked ReMix
OverClocked ReMix, also known as OC ReMix and OCR, is a non-commercial organization dedicated to preserving and paying tribute to video game music through arranging and re-interpreting the songs, both with new technology and software and by various traditional means. The primary focus of OC ReMix is its website, ocremix.org, which freely hosts over 3,000 curated fan-made video game music arrangements, information on game music and composers, and resources for aspiring artists. In addition to the individual works, called "ReMixes", the site hosts over 70 albums of music, including both albums of arrangements centered on a particular video game, series, or theme, and albums of original compositions for video games. The OC ReMix community created the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix soundtrack for Capcom in 2008, and began publishing commercially licensed arrangement albums in 2013.
The founder of OverClocked ReMix and its parent company OverClocked ReMix, LLC is David W. Lloyd (a.k.a. djpretzel), who coined the word "ReMix" to refer to distinctive and interpretive arrangements, as opposed to a remix which typically involves less transformative alterations to the original works. Lloyd originally curated all of the submissions to the site, but since 2002 submissions are judged by a panel of community members for quality and originality. The site has been positively received by both critics and video game industry professionals, and several video game composers have submitted their own ReMixes. Multiple OC ReMix contributors have gone on to have professional video game composition careers.Patentleft
Patentleft (also patent left, copyleft-style patent license or open patent) is the practice of licensing patents (especially biological patents) for royalty-free use, on the condition that adopters license related improvements they develop under the same terms. Copyleft-style licensors seek "continuous growth of a universally accessible technology commons" from which they, and others, will benefit.Patentleft is analogous to copyleft, a license which allows distribution of a copyrighted work and derived works, but only under the same terms.Timeline of the open-access movement
The following is a timeline of the international movement for open access to scholarly communication.
Intellectual property activism
Free-culture and open-source movements
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