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Free Culture Foundation enters the copyright debate

Just before new year, on December 31st 2006 the Free Culture Foundation site has been launched. The site appears to be mimicking the Free Software Foundation in form and also presents four core freedoms on which the Free Culture Movement should be based, to use, create, share and learn. On Libervis.com we have been discussing the need for defining core principles of the Free Culture Movement before and the FCF might just be filling the gap. Here is the press release:

"The Free Culture Foundation was launched today to promote and protect cultural freedoms. The Foundation provides an accessible, independent introduction to the free culture movement, now a global phenomenon thanks to the Creative Commons licenses, organisations like Open Business and artists like the Beastie Boys.
The Foundation defines 'free culture' in terms of four simple principles: the freedom to use, create, share and learn. In recognition of the controversy surrounding the Creative Commons licenses, the Foundation's new web site presents a set of essays that discuss precisely what these might mean. Future plans include packaging free art for free software users and commissioning a set of essays to explain the issues.

Rob Myers, digital artist, said "we fill a gap left by the likes of Creative Commons, popularising a coherent set of principles. We don't pretend to have all the answers, but want people to think more about how technology and the law help or hinder our ability to watch films, write novels, share music with friends and learn to paint."

Myers continued, "no single person or organisation should define what the free culture movement is trying to achieve. As an artist I value the diversity of approaches we introduce, so our intention is to highlight the many people and groups in the movement and our important disagreements, rather than stepping on any toes. I hope we will contribute something of use for everyone interested in the issues we raise.""

You can find the full release here.

Comments

Interesting

I think this is pretty interesting. There are some disagreements about what constitutes free culture. Personally, I think all creative works should ideally have the same freedoms as free software. I don't agree with Larry Lessig's viewpoint that works which restrict commercial use can be seen as completely free. However, I do think freedom for artistic works and works of opinion is less important than for functional works such as software, encyclopedias and textbooks. Another thing I don't particularly like is the FSF's policy of restricting modification of most of their texts. I think this should be allowed as long as you make it clear it's been modified. I particularly don't like the fact that this has been copied by the Free Culture Foundation, as this directly conflicts with one of their own four freedoms (to "create" as they put it, which also includes modification), and I'd expect that the text of their website would be included in what they say should be free.

Welcome GuyJohnston. Yes, I

Welcome GuyJohnston. Yes, I am also vary of the no-commercial licenses and would definitely avoid them if I were to look for works to remix, for example, on ccmixter.org.

Also, to allow modifications as long as you require the modification to be noted seems more sensible to me as well.

I think that the debate of what should be the core principles for Free Culture is largely still quite young and many people, including sometimes myself, tend to get confused about what to finally accept as our core ideals as strongly as Free Software Movement accepts the "four freedoms".

Maybe that's why the title of their press release, implying a *debate*, is so appropriate. Smiling

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