[Foundation-l] Clearing up Wikimedia's media licensing policies

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun Feb 11 04:03:07 UTC 2007

luke brandt wrote:

>Hey guys,
>There's been a lot of info to digest over the past couple of days, but
>one thing I've always wondered about is the definition of 'freedom'
>being used by Erik and others. I just looked at Benjamin's blog entry here:-
>and noted these words: "... A free culture is not a culture without
>property; it is not a culture in which artists don't get paid. A culture
>without property, or in which creators can't get paid is anarchy, not
>freedom. ..." quoted seemingly with approval, which strike me as
>displaying an attitude of which the Adam Smith Institute -
>http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/ - would heartily approve. Not that
>there's anything necessarily right or wrong with that, or Lawrence
>Lessig's characterization of 'anarchy'... it's just that we need to look
>very carefully at the assumptions being made in the terminology
>employed, so we know where the conclusions come from. just my 2 cents.
>Take care - luke
The first clause in the quotation is remarkable for its ambiguity.  My 
first inclination was to read this as indicating that property is 
essential to the definition of culture, or that a society that does not 
believe in capital does not have a culture.  A more acceptable 
interpretation is that a culture does not exclude the existence of 
property.  In other words

>A free culture is not a culture - without property
>A free culture is not - a culture without property
Having artists be paid is acceptable in both circumstances.  In 
accounting terms, property is an asset on the balance sheet; getting 
paid belongs in the revenue portion of the financial statements.


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