[Foundation-l] Anarchopedia changed its license

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 05:01:32 UTC 2009

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 4:18 AM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

Yes, things are moving forward, this is true. And I will be happy to
see free culture movement based on Tolstoy's, Kropotkin's and
Goldman's ideas. At that time there will be no differences between
anarchist and free culture movements.

> >   - 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.

My meaning was a little bit deeper. It is not possible to impose some
rules on culture by force, but cultures are defined by their own
rules. For example, at the most of the West it is not culturally
acceptable that one man is wearing skirt. Such man is treated as
weird, queer or Scottish; with variety of consequences: from laughing
to beating to death.

However, it is true that such position is a strong one and that it is
not very useful in the sense of free access to knowledge :)

> >   - 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.

Is it a "political position of a social group" or "a practical
question" -- is a matter of political position :) Outside of practical
questions (I am using AGPL whenever I write some code), the most of
anarchists see licenses as one of the expression of state power. See
two abstaining positions [1].

[1] - http://meta.anarchopedia.org/Talk:License_change/Decision

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