[Clipart] Free Cultural Works definition & buttons
erik at wikimedia.org
Tue Feb 13 15:46:19 PST 2007
Mako Hill and I, with the help of many others, have written a
"Definition of Free Cultural Works" which is meant to apply and extend
the principles of free software to all works. See the announcement
I'm not here to spam you though. I have a couple of specific requests
for the artists on this list:
* We would like to develop alternative buttons that people can use to
identify Free Cultural Works. Buttons that say, with a single look,
that a work is CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, PD, or whatever. Buttons that don't
say "Some rights reserved" -- buttons which communicate freedom. They
could link to a page on freedomdefined.org which explains both the
license in question, and the general principles of freedom as
elaborated in our definition.
If you feel this is a worthwhile endeavor, please see the URLs below
and help us come up with some cool designs (I've made some concept art
but it's really just that).
* I would like to open a discussion with as many interested
participants as possible about the need of a non-profit organization
that, as broadly as possible, positions itself to facilitate the
creation of free artistic works. I'm on the Board of Wikimedia, which
is all about free knowledge. I think there is a need for an
organization that uses similar methods, but is all about art. A Free
Art Foundation, if you will -- restricted to music, pictures, sounds,
and so on under the licenses which can be reasonably called free as
per the definition.
For now I've set up a Google Group where we can begin this
conversation, and also other discussion related to the definition; the
link is on the definition site below. If there are other forums where
this discussion is already happening, please let me know.
Your comments would be much appreciated. I'll be on the list for a while.
- - - -
''The Internet, February 14, 2007.'' -
A diverse group of writers has released the first version of the
"Definition of Free Cultural Works." The authors have identified a
minimum set of freedoms which they believe should be granted to all
users of copyrighted materials. Created on a wiki with the feedback of
Wikipedia users, open source hackers, artists, scientists, and
lawyers, the definition lists the following core freedoms:
* The freedom to use and perform the work
* The freedom to study the work and apply the information
* The freedom to redistribute copies
* The freedom to distribute derivative works.
Inspired by the Free Software Definition and the ideals of the free
software and open source movements, these conditions are meant to
apply to any conceivable work. In reality, these freedoms must be
granted explicitly by authors, through the use of licenses which
confer them. On the website of the definition,
<http://freedomdefined.org/>, a list of these licenses can be found.
Furthermore, authors are encouraged to identify their works as Free
Cultural Works using a set of logos and buttons.
The definition was initiated by Benjamin Mako Hill, a Debian GNU/Linux
developer, and Erik Möller, an author and long-time Wikipedia user.
Wikipedia already follows similar principles to those established by
the definition. Angela Beesley, Wikimedia Advisory Board Chair and
co-founder of Wikia.com; Mia Garlick, general counsel of Creative
Commons; and Elizabeth Stark of the Free Culture Student Movement
acted as moderators, while Richard Stallman of the Free Software
Foundation and Lawrence Lessig of Creative Commons provided helpful
As more and more people recognize that there are alternatives to
traditional copyright, phrases like "open source," "open access,"
"open content," "free content," and "commons" are increasingly used.
But many of these phrases are ambiguous when it comes to
distinguishing works and licenses which grant all the above freedoms,
and those which only confer limited rights. For example, a popular
license restricts the commercial use of works, whereas the authors
believe that such use must be permitted for a work to be considered
Free. Instead of limiting commercial use, they recommend using a
clever legal trick called "copyleft:" requiring all users of the work
to make their combined and derivative works freely available.
Möller and Hill encourage authors to rethink copyright law and use one
of the Free Culture Licenses to help build a genuine free and open
== Links ==
* http://freedomdefined.org/ - Official homepage of the definition
* http://freedomdefined.org/Licenses - Information about specific licenses
* http://freedomdefined.org/Logos_and_buttons - Logos and buttons for
identifying free cultural works
== Contact ==
* Erik Möller - eloquence (at) gmail (dot) com - +49-30-45491008
* Benjamin Mako Hill - mako (at) atdot (dot) cc
Peace & Love,
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
More information about the clipart