How to Support the Free Culture Movement

The free culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom and flexibility to distribute and modify creative works.It's the opposite of the "permission culture" that pervades current copyright and intellectual property law. If you believe that information wants to be free, here are some ways you can support this movement.


  1. Practice an abundance mentality.At the core of the free culture movement is the belief that overly restrictive copyright laws hinder creativity by deterring the free exchange of ideas. In contrast, there is the argument that open licensing will hurt the creative work in some way and limit its value. However, this presumption may prove inaccurate when put to the test. For example, consider the experience ofZen Habitsblogger Leo Babauta. His has removed the copyright from his online work and as a result his work has been spread far and wide, built upon and improved, in ways more diverse than he ever could have done alone. It is a result that he finds flattering and he says:If [people] can take my favorite posts and make something funny or inspiring or thought-provoking or even sad... I say more power to them. The creative community only benefits from derivations and inspirations. This isn’t a new concept, of course, and I’m freely ripping ideas off here. Which is kinda the point.As for Leo? His blog is one of the top 25 blogs and top 50 websites in the world.
    • The opposite of an abundance mentality is a scarcity mentality, in which a person or corporation tries to hoard information out of fear of loss or lack of trust in others. This tends to be aboutcontrollinginformation rather than setting it free for all to benefit from. While it is appropriate that the creator of a work benefits from his or her creation initially, locking up the work well beyond its time of creation is akin to hoarding. For example, originally the US gave a 14 year period for copyright; do you think it is appropriate that the time of this control has since continued to increase, such as 70 years after death for individuals or 95 years for corporations? Who do you think is really benefiting from such extensive control over creative work?
    • Reflect on what concerns you might have about other people sharing what you create. You may not even have any but if you do, what is the basis of them? This is a useful exercise to get to the nub of your concerns––some may be valid, while others might not be based in fact.
    • Watch the filmRiP: A remix manifestoat . You'll learn a lot how about how information has been stealthily controlled over the past century, along with some interesting information on the perils of remixing and the fact that much of Walt Disney's work was built on other people's. And if you like remixing, the filmmaker Brett Gaylor even encourages you to remix this film!
  2. Broaden your idea of the word "free".When many people hear the word "free", they think about getting something without paying for it. But in "free culture", the word "free" refers to the freedom to distribute and build upon creative works without having to ask for permission first. It is absolutely compatible for you to get credit and make money from your works, if you so desire, while still supporting free culture. Consider the band Radiohead, who released their albumIn Rainbowsdirect online and asked listeners to make up their own minds about payment. This gesture increased awareness of and support for their work. Within weeks, remixes of their album were popular and yet, everyone still knew and respected the source as Radiohead. In other words, the openness and trust of the originator encourages others to emulate the work while still honoring the sourceandgetting payment.
  3. Look for ways to benefitandstay free.How can you benefit from your creative works without restricting its distribution? There is the argument that with copyrighted works being shared illegally on the Internet anyway, creators of any kind are better off finding new ways to benefit from their work that do not depend on restrictions that are almost impossible to enforce. There are a number of ways get your creative work out there while still benefiting:
    • The viral aspect: If you use a share-alike license through which someone can distribute or build upon your work only if they share it under the same copyleft license, there's more potential for your work to make continuing contributions to free culture.If you use a license that requires attribution (which most do), that's an opportunity for your name, brand, or website to "tag along" with something that people are sharing freely with their friends. This can generate significant website traffic and other kinds of leads.
    • Sell services associated with your creative works. If you put something out that people find valuable, you can strive to establish your reputation as an expert so that you can make money from speaking engagements, seminars, teleconferences, or as a consultant. If you're a performer, you can generate income from live performances. You could even get a job offer from someone who's enjoyed your work. By way of example, animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin published her designs in the public domain in order to kill the patents––she reasoned that she wanted them used, not tied up in patent disputes.Yet, she is still needed personally to oversee the implementation and ongoing workings of the designs once built––her expertise is valued in the actualdoing.
    • Charge for your creative product. If you're sharing something freely, that means people don't have to ask you (or pay you) before using or redistributing it. But, that doesn't mean you can't simplyaskthem to pay for it, whether before or after they use your work. For example, if you have an eBook under a copyleft license, you can sell it on your site. People who've already bought it can legally share it with their friends, but you can put a note in the book asking that if they enjoyed the eBook, they can pay for it on your site. If it's a helpful product, there will always be some people who will voluntarily pay for it, just to say thanks and also to encourage you to keep creating more.
    • Sell the work in alternative formats. You can use a free license on digital versions of any work, and sell non-digital (for example, print) versions. Or think really laterally and use non-digital variations such as t-shirts, mugs, bags, etc. If you have particular portions of your work that really grab people, such as a quote or an iconic photo, that may be sufficient on its own to create a product range that leads back to your work.
    • Share ideas more persuasively by freely sharing the materials in which you explain the ideas. You'll show you're not just saying something provocative to make money, and show that you're correct––or on the way to being correct––by holding your ideas up to the scrutiny of your opponents as well as your supporters.
  4. Exercise the freedom to share.In addition to sharing your own works, read and browse works that are freely licensed by others. Use them, build upon them, republish them, and attribute them appropriately. No need to worry about expense or supporting something you might disagree with, like gratuitous violence in entertainment; you can enjoy a particular work, and then consider whether and how you might support the maker or genre. By enjoying and circulating creative free works, you're helping the free culture movement to flourish and making it more enjoyable as a "shared" experience.You're contributing to the viral nature of freely licensed works (which, as discussed above, can have many benefits for the creator, and for the world) and you're part of reassuring everyone that sharing makes good sense.
    • Contribute knowledge and images to any website that uses free licensing by default, such as wikiHow and Wikipedia. You can also post wikiHow articles on your blog or website.
    • Instead of using copyrighted or stock images (in blog posts or brochures, for example) get Creative Commons images from Flickr, look for images at Wikimedia Commons () or .
  5. Donate to free culture organizations.It takes time and money to develop the licenses that define the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright and the public domain, and that work globally alongside existing copyright laws. Free culture based organizations also undertake efforts to educate the public about flexible licensing alternatives. And if you can't donate money, you may be able to donate your time and skills to the movement.
    • You might like to begin by making a donation to the actual Creative Commons organization.

Video: You Share Good Audiobook: Free Culture Movement & Uncopyright

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Date: 08.12.2018, 22:11 / Views: 44255