OpenEd – week 7

Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong.

Albert Einstein

Copyright philosophy is deeply flawed at the very beginning.

Laws should protect our freedom to give and not our freedom to have.

Even more: we have the human right to place our creations into the Public Domain.

Society is dominated by economy, nowadays. Economy is necessary; however, ultimately, society should not be dominated by economic laws but by laws based on basic human rights.

Donation produces abundance, property produces scarcity (A Hacker Manifesto). Incidentally, this is exactly the core message of the Gospel, if one likes this perspective. At any rate, the concept is sound even without the need of a particular perspective.

Megs Planet says:

I think the problem is a culture that sees everything as enclosed property (something that CC and GFDL try to get away from)


Copyright philosophy is deeply flawed at the very beginning.

It is not true that copyright protects creativity.

Copyright protects economic exploitation of creativity.

Those that want to exploit their creativity economically are free to do it but also those that want to donate their creativity are free to do it!

Which of these options must be the default? The second one, in my opinion.

One creates something because of passion for something … because of love for something … because of love for nature … because of the joy of sharing …

All this comes before economic exploitation.

Einstein believed that, in order to be able to create, one need to be free, free from economic needs, free from academic achievements.

If you link your creativity to your economic needs or to your academic achievements or to your success, your creativity may be flawed.

Nobody liked Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings before his death. Nowadays, his paintings have extremely high values.

Do you believe that if Van Gogh would have wanted to put is works on the market, he would have painted the same things? Are we really believing this?

No, he was driven by some inner force, not by economic success, even not by the basic need of physical surviving.

I feel as if the economic system had put me in a corner. I think the economic system has put us in a corner.

An animal put in corner is forced to change his own behaviour.

So, many are struggling and asking themselves: “I want to give my work to the Public Domain, but how?”.

It seems that the most free legally recognized option is the CC-BY licence but why are we obliged to pretend something, when giving our work away? Glad to see that others, Houshuang, Greg and, I believe, Alessandro, and perhaps others, are also asking why the BY clause is mandatory.

Therefore, I agree with Greg very much:

So the value of the public domain is not 100% realized in creative commons or GFDL licensing in even the most liberal renditions.

These matters are even more difficult to understand in the educational domain. Educational acts, educational performances, educational materials should belong inherently to the Public Domain. Why to impose licensing practices that diminish the Public Domain value?

The growing number of licenses tells us that the reality is too complex to be put into words, even more into legally meaningful words. We always fail when we pretend to describe all possible cases of complex domains.

I have been told that the Italian system of laws is fairly sophisticated, more than the systems of other western countries. Is it therefore true that in Italy we have a smaller quota of crooks with respect to other countries? Well … lasciamo perdere …

No, I believe we should work to recover the Public Domain as the default option. I believe that we should privilege people instead of content, definitely. Thanks to your tiny brain, David, for this sharp insight (Noncommercial isn’t the problem, ShareAlike is, ShareAlike, the public domain, and privileging).

When coming to everyday work, I find the idea of putting access restrictions – passwords as well as restrictive licenses – on my educational creations, quite an embarrassing one. I am a very small computer science professor. There are thousands and thousands of such beings, out there. For instance, I wrote for my students what one can put in a byte in my own way. That’s good, a teacher is a human in touch with other humans. However, there are thousands of descriptions of the same thing, of the same small thing. Why should we protect these thousands of tiny objects? If I discover a better description of the byte content I would like to use it to improve my description!

A world plenty of people protecting their tiny pieces of work. A nightmare were knowledge, instead of being a vital fluid free to flow everywhere, is reduced to a mass of tiny hidden similar pieces, all stupidly similar!

When coming to everyday work, let’s use the less worst option, the CC-BY license, as it is suggested by Open educational resources and practices.

I’m very grateful to this course. I was really upset learning that what I believed to have put into the Public Domain was still in my pockets! Now I’m a little bit more aware of what is going on in this crazy world!


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