Mimi & Eunice say it for me

Most of my thoughts about Free Culture are currently coming out as Mimi & Eunice cartoons. Check out their ever-expanding Intellectual Pooperty category. And please subscribe to their RSS feed.

Most of my thoughts about Free Culture are currently coming out as Mimi & Eunice cartoons. Check out their ever-expanding Intellectual Pooperty category. And please subscribe to their

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Bill Benzon’s Busy Bee Brain

Read the whole thing, it’s one of those ideas that’ll stay with you. Excerpt:

There is now a pretty strong consensus that the cerebral cortex (which is, by no means, the entire brain, but it is likely that this is where culture is carried) is organized into small columns of neurons. In a 1978 essay Vernon Mountcastle called these minicolumns and suggested that they have about 100-300 neurons each. He estimated that the neocortex consists of 600,000,000 of these minicolumns. He also suggested that these minicolumns are organized into macrocolumns, about 600,000 of them — implying that there are hundreds of minicolumns per macrocolumn. (Mountcastle

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Everything is a Remix

More info here.

More info

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Me discussing VHEMT on Bloggingheads

This was recorded about 2 months ago. Today Bloggingheads finally posted it – SURPRISE! Now everyone who didn’t figure it out before will know that the nice lady who made SSTB is also in the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Please, please watch the whole thing – you may be surprised.

Update: comments on this video inspired a Mimi & Eunice comic!

This was recorded about 2 months ago. Today Bloggingheads finally posted it – SURPRISE! Now everyone who didn’t figure it out before will know that the nice lady

Continue reading Me discussing VHEMT on Bloggingheads

Obfuscate You!

Sometimes I really need to use the word “ “. But if I type it out, it will trigger  web filters that will block my site from some users. So for those times, I’ve created this handy image file to use instead. You’re welcome to use it too! Go  crazy.

Sometimes I really need to use the word “ “. But if I type it out, it will trigger  web filters that will block my site from some

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Excerpts from my HOPE talk

Excerpts from my talk “Sita Sings the Blues: a Free Culture Success Story” at The Next H.O.P.E. (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference, July 16 2010 in New York City. Includes: why I insisted on authentic songs, what is and is not property, software is culture, the difference between Share Alike (copyleft) and other Creative Commons licenses, why I paid to legally license the old songs, how noncommercial copyright infringement is still illegal, legal costs, benefits of audience sharing & decentralized distribution, the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire (sitasingstheblues.com/store), open-licensed merch, audience goodwill, how fans support artists, rivalrous vs. non-rivalrous goods,

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Paley & Doctorow argue over Non-Commercial licenses

Venerable author Cory Doctorow and I had this email correspondence this Summer, with the intention of sharing it to illuminate some issues confronting Free Culture and Creative Commons licenses. My thanks to Cory!

May 17, 2010

Hi Cory,

I’m writing to invite you to experiment with what I think is a brilliant innovation from QuestionCopyright.org: the Creator Endorsed Mark.

You clearly laid out your reasons for using -NC licenses in THE COPYRIGHT THING:

“I like the fact that copyright lets me sell rights to my publishers and film studios and so on. It’s nice that they can’t just take my stuff without permission and get rich on it without cutting me in for a piece of the action.” link

The Creator Endorsed Mark effectively achieves the same thing, but without commercial monopolies. As you know, -NC licenses have some drawbacks: there’s no clear delineation between commercial and non-commercial use. You write,

“It’s just stupid to say that an elementary school classroom should have to talk to a lawyer at a giant global publisher before they put on a play based on one of my books.” link

It is stupid, but if the school raises any money to put on that play, or charges for tickets, or any number of other likely scenarios, then it’s commercial use of your work. You know it’s stupid, and I know it’s stupid, and maybe even some teachers and students know it’s stupid, but the school is obliged to obey the law, and the -NC license says they have to negotiate permission. If there’s a legal adviser at that school, they’re not going to allow the play without permission; and if asking for permission is too uncertain or labor-intensive (as it is in almost all cases – a lawyer may not know what an exception yours is), they won’t put on the play.

The Creator Endorsed Mark solves that problem. There is no commercial monopoly to infringe on. Big players – “publishers and film studios and so on” – need your Endorsement. If they cross you and your fans, they have a huge publicity problem; if they obtain your endorsement and cooperation, they sell more copies. The Creator Endorsed Mark increases the monetary value of distributed works, and is an essential investment for a distributor to make. But unlike a commercial monopoly, it doesn’t legally threaten or punish all those other players who are so crucial to a thriving cultural economy: schools putting on plays, other creatives building on the work, and otherwise unimaginable scenarios.

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