Today’s Unbounded Freedom launch

Becky said > Over at the Register, Andrew Orlowski has done his usual hatchet job…Let’s hope this evening’s live debate can go beyond [this mutual animosity]… I should probably give that link to the Register piece:

Adam says > I think a lot of the issues he raises are worth our consideration.
Rosemary says < Thanks Becky – I’m looking forward to today’s discussion-opener too. Unfortunately, Andrew Orlowski can’t make it, but it was an interesting chat, which made me more convinced than ever that we need debate on these issues – I agree with Adam.

In particular, he pointed out that while we may hear from the big online industries who can afford to sue people over their property rights, and the Creative Commons advocates whom he likes to think of as mere ‘techno-nerds’ – we don’t hear from all the small businesses where a lot of creativity and innovation hangs out, whose existence in a tough global marketplace is threatened by the internet.

Andrew also sent me some links – this one is interesting – an interview with Jim Griffin – ‘a very good advocate of blanket licensing’:

I would love to be a fly on the wall at a much more detailed discussion – face-to-face as Andrew likes it – between the Register people and OpenBusiness, for example. Perhaps we can begin some of that more detailed exchange tonight…

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6 Comments on “Today’s Unbounded Freedom launch”

  1. Parimal Says:

    People are already voting with their computers and downloading, ripping, hacking in significant numbers. I am not making a moral point about their behaviour, just saying that this is what is happening. Therefore the debate over amending existing copyright laws, blanket licensing, Creative Commons, etc seems irrelevant.

  2. Ian Murray Says:

    Thank you for pointing out that the production of this book was paid for and presumably that you were paid for writing it. In my field the production of imagery also has to be paid for by the owner and producer of the intellectual property that results from the process- photographs. The Creative Commons movement is about encouraging people to make their intellectual property available for free to those that want to use it. My point is that those doing the encouraging are not dependent on the creative process for their livelihood but are in salaried or subsidised positions. Instead of addressing this you resort to insults accusing me of having odd views. In return I find it odd that as a taxpayer I am supporting people such as yourself whose aim is to reduce my income by encouraging people to offer their photos for publication for free. This suits the interest of academics and paid cultural ‘experts; not creatives. Why should it be considered odd for me to dislike this? Please explain how I as a photographer benefit from a campaign that is about increasing the amount of ‘free’ imagery in the market place and consequently lowers expectations amongst publishers paying a fair price, or indeed any price, for imagery. Or is this again too odd for you? You book is free because it is propoganda for a movement that paid you to produce it. In any case who would buy it?
    Ian Murray

  3. Rosemary Bechler Says:

    Ian – it was Adam who kindly replied to you. I don’t know him but he is broadly right about British Council funding. I can tell you about my remuneration – I was commissioned to write a guide to Creative Commons thinking for cultural organisations who are increasingly meeting and facing that challenge. I was of course glad to be paid, and pleased to have an opportunity – since my employer was willing – to use a Creative Commons licence, since my main object as well as theirs was to share my ideas. I could have chosen a Creative Commons commercial licence – which is another point that Adam is making: Creative Commons and ‘for no money at all’ are not the same thing.
    Of course it is not odd that you are going to dislike what you see in your own field as undercutting competition – but are you saying more than this? How much of a threat is this at present to your business among all the other factors?

  4. Ian Murray Says:

    ‘How much of a threat is this at present to your business among all the other factors? ‘

    It is an additional and growing threat. I have heard of people being contacted through FlickR about commercial publishing projects, for example, a guidebook, who claim not to have a budget to pay for images. I’m guessing that they have a budget to pay the printer, staff and office rent and other normal business costs and alsoi that they will be seeking to make a profit through selling their books. The British Council being involved in promoting such a climate of creators being increasingly expected to provide for free is a very worrying trend. In USA the Creative Commons people are also the ones pushing for Orphans Work legislation. All of this is a threat to copyright. For me copyright is absolutely essential to manage the rights of my work. What exactly is wrong with current copyright legislation? It simply means that you need to ask the copyright owner for permission to use their IP whether or not a fee is involved. Why is that bad?

  5. Ian Murray Says:

    hey..don’t you people have to work at weekends??

  6. drew Roberts Says:


    look into “copyleft’ – it may suit your concerns. A publisher wanting to use images for “free” but sell their “all rights reserved” books will not be likely to want to use images with such a license.

    I think this will hold in a lot of areas for a long time to come.

    all the best,


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