[Foundation-l] Anarchopedia changed its license

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Mon Apr 20 04:04:34 UTC 2009

I'm surprised that Anarchopedia has decided to use MediaWiki which is, at
its core, based on capitalist values such as the notion of authorship. It is
not straightforward at all to subvert this notion in the software which was
designed to give credit to individuals for every single edit. Since site TOS
are still an untested legal grey area it is not clear that simply stating
that user's who contribute but do not specify a license automatically
release their work into the public domain. This is because many countries
automatically provide legal protections and the software leaves a trace back
to the author. Further, since anarchists hate capitalist values so much it
seems like they would have issues hiring a lawyer to check whether what they
are doing is legal.

The very existence of "Anarchopedia" - an anarchist encyclopedia based on
Wikipedia, is a contradiction in my mind. Wikipedia stands for everything
Anarchopedia does not and developed software based on those principle - many
of which could be considered "capitalist values". It would take a very
different kind of software to suit the needs of anarchists.

Perhaps more confusing is the choice of a wiki in the first place...

On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 8:18 PM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:

> Milos,
> This is a great post.
> On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 10:07 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
> > As it may be of interest here, I am sending my blog
> > post<
> http://blog.millosh.org/2009/04/anarchopedia-changed-its-license.html>to
> > the list.
> > And a couple of my personal notes:
> >
> >   - Anarchists are not a part of the free culture movement. Free culture
> is
> >   defined by licenses and licenses are the part of state system.
> Free culture is NOT defined by licenses.  If there is any consensus on
> this, a good chunk of free culture fanatics need to find a better name
> for their movement and goals.  The replacement of copyright with more
> sensible social norms for sharing is an important part of sharing
> culture.
> >   - I even think that "free culture" term is an oxymoronic one. There is
> no
> >   free culture. Every culture defines its own rules, which is lowering
> >   freedom. Of course, I am not against culture, but I, simply, think that
> >   "free culture" is a similar phrase to "free prison". There are no such
> >   things.
> I think it's oxymoronic for the opposite reason - there is no rational
> way to impose 'rules' on culture, which is by definition a set of
> things freely and implicitly shared... it is like "free thinking", as
> though anything but a nightmare could prevent thoughts from being
> free.
> >   - Yes, it is better to have non-proprietary knowledge than proprietary
> >   knowledge. As well as capitalism is better than feudalism or slavery.
> >   However, licensed knowledge and capitalism are just far away of
> anarchist
> >   political positions.
> you can come up with toy universes and cultures in which any obscure
> or counterproductive system looks 'locally better'.  I think this is a
> much more practical discussion than 'political positions of a social
> group'.  What is the best way to ensure that almost all factual
> knowledge is available at almost no cost in almost all circumstances
> to almost everyone in the world?  This is a practical question that
> enough info and reflection would allow us to answer, in any given
> year.
> >   - And, inside of current social organization I think that the best
> option
> >   for one anarchist project is to choose the most pragmatic one.
> Sounds reasonable to me.
> SJ
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