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Five myths about the future of culture and the commons


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  • interview with me in Swedish newspaper taken following this presentation.
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  • re yeah, services are another example, but I didn't go into it at all here, only had 30 minutes. I'll talk about that in two days at FSCONS. :)
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  • A little of not licensing their own works, not really enjoying consuming all rights reserved media, more not or barely consuming free media (beyond Wikipedia).
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  • I only implicitly talked about pirated works not being part of the commons, more that they crowd out the commons.

    Except maybe in the very long term you're dreaming -- all of the pressure has been to update the law to change/ignore reality rather than reflect it. When will drugs be legalized?
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  • Regarding myth 4, in what sense do you see free culture advocates not eating their own dogfood? Not licensing their own works freely? Consuming all-rights-reserved media and enjoying it? ...?

    maybe you should insert the logo here :)
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  • 1. Nordic Cultural Commons Conference Stockholm 2008 10 22 Five myths about the future of culture and the commons Mike Linksvayer Creative Commons
  • 2. Myths?
    • Most “X myths about Y” screeds annoy...
    • Conventional wisdom doesn’t believe the myths already (so the screed, sometimes sold as a heresy, isn’t)
    • Claims embedded in demolishing the “myths” are themselves mythic
    • Hopefully I will exceed these low expectations, but maintain skepticism
  • 3. Original photo by Brooke Novak · Licensed under CC BY · I AM NOT A
  • 4. 0: Piracy helps the commons
  • 5. Image by Mllerustad · Licensed under CC BY ·
  • 6. Photo by RocketRaccoon · Licensed under CC BY ·
  • 7. However, piracy is a dead end
    • 2/3 (probably much higher) of content industry is unaffected
    • Promotes established content industry and cultural hegemony
    • Does not cultivate any alternative
    • The web far more interesting for culture and copyright
  • 8. 1: We need to figure out how to pay creators
  • 9. Incentives matter
    • Does not mean greater incentive always better
    • Cultural abundance and overload exists
    • Better filters make the good problem to have worse
    • If creators need to sell [out], a job for entrepreneurs, let them be creative
  • 10. 2: The commanding heights of culture are out of reach of the commons
  • 11. King Kong is Dead
    • Hollywood suffers from cost disease; US$200m not a relevant barrier
    • See Star Wreck
    • The product does not have to remain the same
    • See Wikipedia
    • How can the commons not just replicate existing cultural products, but make them entirely different and better?
  • 12. 3: The real action is in politics; building a voluntary commons is a sideshow
  • 13.
    • “The gate that has held the movements for equalization of human beings strictly in a dilemma between ineffectiveness and violence has now been opened. The reason is that we have shifted to a zero marginal cost world. As steel is replaced by software, more and more of the value in society becomes non-rivalrous: it can be held by many without costing anybody more than if it is held by a few.”
    • Eben Moglen
  • 14. Building the commons is key
    • Politicians (as people) are unimaginative ... they need to see solutions, or react in fear
    • A dominant commons makes many closed net scenarios much less likely
  • 15. 4: The cultural consumption habits of commons advocates doesn’t matter
  • 16. Credibility
    • The most credible way to promote free software is to become an expert user of it ... when others are ready to use, you can help
    • The most credible way to promote free culture is to experience it ... when others need content, you can recommend
  • 17. Therefore and henceforth
    • Transition quickly from piracy to building creative communities
    • See the revolutionary nature of building voluntary commons
    • Eat your own dog food
  • 18.
    • “If we don’t want to live in a jungle, we must change our attitudes. We must start sending the message that a good citizen is one who cooperates when appropriate, not one who is successful at taking from others.”
    • Richard Stallman
  • 19.
    • License
    • Attribution
      • Author: Mike Linksvayer
      • Link:
    • Questions?
      • [email_address]
    Original photo by swanksalot · Licensed under CC BY-SA ·