Committing to Creating Free Cultural Worksby Seth Dennon on Jul 26, 2012 • 5:50 AM
How does Seth license his work and why is he changing?
For several years now I have licensed my visual work under the Creative Commons – Non-Commercial – Share-Alike license 3.0. I did this because I only really wanted to ensure that at some point we would build a system where attribution to derivative works that I may use, but also let others they may use it as well. I do not create visual work for financial gain, creating, challenging and evolving my artistic expression is closely held with the evolution of my perception and shifting views of my reality. Creating visually is my life’s passion and brings a sense of completeness and wholeness within my self that I wish to share the vision from my personal perspective and life’s journey to say here is my contribution to our world, so that others may find and use my work. I do have a very hard time assigning value by any means to my work, to me it is priceless. The license I have been using, I am now going to alter for all future works using the Free Cultural Works framework to not only publish my work including the files used to compose the visual work, It has renewed my use in Open-Source Free Distributed software to create in and the biggest change is I will now use a Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0.
The hardest point to make this change for me was actually removing the ‘Non-Commercial’ part of the license. Previously I had considered an attitude if they make money, I make money. After coming across the Free Cultural Works framework, I came to know a new perspective which in truth inspired me to change. My ‘Non-Commercial’ use had banned my work from being used in free markets, so if a business chooses to use my visual work, this will spread my ideas to more people, and also when more people have a chance to see it takes on the ability to have more and more derivative works created. My highest goals being a Visual Artist is introducing work in which I introduce new ways of interpreting and seeing our unfolding view of our world and it’s systems. From the Quantum Level to the Cosmos level and all in between. More importantly it is focusing with demonstrating how my spiritual beliefs shape and do affect all other parts of our world. And in turn be and do my little part to create a shift so our worlds governments and systems may utilize our emerging visions and technologies to create a unified world working in harmony a creating equality and new standard of living which will instill an eco-friendly approach which only uses resources at a rate and contaminates at a rate which can be naturally recovered within the natural functions of our planet.
I would like to see the restoration of human rights equally to all humans in all countries. My highest vision would be seeing a world where Access to Food, Clean Potable Water, Shelter, Healthcare and either technical or advanced degrees being accessible to every human being. This foundation would require us to each challenge our perceptions of our world, to see our united humanness and know that each of our countries unique culture, spirituality and people add to an overall rich human fabric and when we each rise above our differences and come to sustainable agreements enabling each country what they need to develop and create these standard for themselves and through open and fair trade vigorously held with integrity, not for gain, but because it is the right thing to do for our world and fellow humans.
Look at what humanity has accomplished in the last 500 years since open sharing and spreading of the freedom to be able to create change as individuals increased. We have had one radical age after another at rates which use to take 300 years occurring in 100. As more humans where able to contribute so did our systems and technology increase, I see tremendous value in shifting from our debt based systems, which assume a constant state of loss and really are designed to be in fear that a loss will occur may be misguided. Our history is a reference point, imagine billions of humans living not in fears of being able to survive, but these where insured and priorities to maintain, end every available resource was aimed at giving each human access to learn and develop their own way of contributing to our worlds richness and vastness. We would stop assigning monetary value to what is priceless in ensuring that our problems are solved equitably, with blazing speed and respect for our differences is only the point at which we honor that we are one species with one home, and where we meet in our difference we each rise above shift agree and still maintain our integrity of our commitment to my new human standard with adding these things and investing in these aspects which then give true human equality.
So committing myself to my new license framework I am doing my part to illustrate and show what is possible when we shift, challenge, rise above, unite and create a world of sustained equality for every human.
Thank you and I look forward to the use of my work once it’s published,
I am also now going to machine license my work and the license will be embedded into my work files, and the files unique identifier will be verifiable through the link embedded in the file.
Creating Free Cultural Works
Social and technological advances make it possible for a growing part of humanity to access, create, modify, publish and distribute various kinds of works – artworks, scientific and educational materials, software, articles – in short: anything that can be represented in digital form. Many communities have formed to exercise those new possibilities and create a wealth of collectively re-usable works.
Most authors, whatever their field of activity, whatever their amateur or professional status, have a genuine interest in favoring an ecosystem where works can be spread, re-used and derived in creative ways. The easier it is to re-use and derive works, the richer our cultures become.
Defining Free Culture Licenses
Licenses are legal instruments through which the owner of certain legal rights may transfer these rights to third parties. Free Culture Licenses do not take any rights away — they are always optional to accept, and if accepted, they grant freedoms which copyright law alone does not provide. When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing exemptions in copyright laws.
In order to be recognized as “free” under this definition, a license must grant the following freedoms without limitation:
- The freedom to use and perform the work: The licensee must be allowed to make any use, private or public, of the work. For kinds of works where it is relevant, this freedom should include all derived uses (“related rights”) such as performing or interpreting the work. There must be no exception regarding, for example, political or religious considerations.
- The freedom to study the work and apply the information: The licensee must be allowed to examine the work and to use the knowledge gained from the work in any way. The license may not, for example, restrict “reverse engineering”.
- The freedom to redistribute copies: Copies may be sold, swapped or given away for free, as part of a larger work, a collection, or independently. There must be no limit on the amount of information that can be copied. There must also not be any limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be copied.
- The freedom to distribute derivative works: In order to give everyone the ability to improve upon a work, the license must not limit the freedom to distribute a modified version (or, for physical works, a work somehow derived from the original), regardless of the intent and purpose of such modifications. However, some restrictions may be applied to protect these essential freedoms or the attribution of authors (see below).
Not all restrictions on the use or distribution of works impede essential freedoms. In particular, requirements for attribution, for symmetric collaboration (i.e., “copyleft”), and for the protection of essential freedom are considered permissible restrictions.
Defining Free Cultural Works
In order to be considered free, a work must be covered by a Free Culture License, or its legal status must provide the same essential freedoms enumerated above. It is not, however, a sufficient condition. Indeed, a specific work may be non-free in other ways that restrict the essential freedoms. These are the additional conditions in order for a work to be considered free:
- Availability of source data: Where a final work has been obtained through the compilation or processing of a source file or multiple source files, all underlying source data should be available alongside the work itself under the same conditions. This can be the score of a musical composition, the models used in a 3D scene, the data of a scientific publication, the source code of a computer application, or any other such information.
- Use of a free format: For digital files, the format in which the work is made available should not be protected by patents, unless a world-wide, unlimited and irrevocable royalty-free grant is given to make use of the patented technology. While non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy must be available for the work to be considered free.
- No technical restrictions: The work must be available in a form where no technical measures are used to limit the freedoms enumerated above.
- No other restrictions or limitations: The work itself must not be covered by legal restrictions (patents, contracts, etc.) or limitations (such as privacy rights) which would impede the freedoms enumerated above. A work may make use of existing legal exemptions to copyright (in order to cite copyrighted works), though only the portions of it which are unambiguously free constitute a free work.
In other words, whenever the user of a work cannot legally or practically exercise his or her basic freedoms, the work cannot be considered and should not be called “free.”
To ensure the graceful functioning of this ecosystem, works of authorship should be free, and by freedom we mean:
- the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
- the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
- the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
- the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works
If authors do not take action, their works are covered by existing copyright laws, which severely limit what others can and cannot do. Authors can make their works free by choosing among a number of legal documents known as licenses. For an author, choosing to put their work under a free license does not mean that they lose all their rights, but it gives to anyone the freedoms listed above.
It is important that any work that claims to be free provides, practically and without any risk, the aforementioned freedoms. This is why we hereafter give a precise definition of freedom for licenses and for works of authorship.