[Foundation-l] I'm a creative commoner!!!

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Mon Mar 30 04:50:02 UTC 2009

I was surprised last year to receive an e-mail from the journal Nature
Genetics. They put one of my pictures that they found on Commons on the
cover of the journal. I've received a couple of other similar but lower
profile requests. Commons is definitely a great way to get your work seen.

On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 9:34 AM, Domas Mituzas <midom.lists at gmail.com>wrote:
> I got this email back in summer, 2007. Did I just steal a job from
> professional photographer? Or would they just leave blank book cover?
> Will this lead to a better bridge in future? Did I join a civil cause?
> All I know now, is that I’m book cover photographer, albeit quite
> cheap one. Also, by using CC license I simply used lingua-franca of
> world I’m in - and now my content can evolve into shapes that I
> couldn’t expect, and that would be limited by non-portable licenses.
> Other anecdote is way more internal. I have cheap point-and-shoot
> camera (same one to shoot book cover pictures :) that I use during my
> travels. It fits well into my jeans pocket, it doesn’t provide me any
> self esteem in professional photography. Still, I get to places, I
> take pictures, I place them on my flickr photostream, and I license
> them under creative commons. And fascinating things happen - my
> pictures appear on top of Wikipedia articles (like
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_buildings_in_the_world
>  ), without any intervention of mine. People just use it, I can sit
> back, relax, and see how the contribution widens.
> Of course, there other different stories. My colleague (and manager)
> runs a wiki about his own town, Bielepedia, and he wants to exchange
> information with Wikipedia. Now he can’t, as well as quite a lot of
> other free content community projects. Though of course, some may
> believe license difference doesn’t mean much, in this case it means
> that we’re building borders we don’t need nor we have intent to
> maintain.
> I live and breathe Wikipedia technology, but I do not feel competent
> enough to go and push content itself around, and it just shows up
> there itself (oh, of course, there’s army of committed volunteers who
> help with that). So, I benefit the project just by being creative
> commoner, and I may benefit lots of other projects. We at Wikipedia
> technical team are very open in what we do, and try to spread our know-
> how in many directions. Documents I wrote about how we do things ended
> up downloaded hundred thousand times, and I really hope that some of
> that know-how will end up used and reused.
> I guess I’m taking this to extremes - I ended up talking to people in
> government of Lithuania, journalists and non-profit activists. Imagine
> a government, that would commit to open licensing for produced
> content. Well, no need to imagine - US federal institutions release
> information to public domain, but in Europe it is way more restricted.
> Still, what one has to realize - at government level it is not only a
> right to be given, it also has to be a right that has to be protected.
> Nowadays that means going to copyright powerhouses that serve large
> record labels and movie studios, and will charge for services, that
> government has to provide for free (and does in other areas, like
> looking for your stolen car).
> We have lots and lots of talks about knowledge-societies at government
> levels, but we never get to the point, that every individual is part
> of that, and first of all we have to teach those rights, and guard
> them. But of course, to prove, that our rights have to be guarded, we
> have to show how great our work is - and how powerful can our sharing
> be. To achieve that we have to build bridges between license islands,
> talk same languages, and of course, create.
> I’m a creative commoner. So should be you.
> P.S. So should be Wikimedia Foundation. I’m extremely excited about
> the work being done to make it reality (thanks Erik, Mike, Mako,
> everyone!), and you know my personal position on the matter by now :)
> Cheers,
> --
> Domas Mituzas -- http://dammit.lt/ -- [[user:midom]]
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