[-empyre-] comments welcome

adam adam at flossmanuals.net
Thu Jan 26 22:25:49 EST 2012

On 01/26/2012 11:31 AM, marc garrett wrote:
> Hi Adam,
>  >I'd welcome any help strengthening this book.
> I intend to view but there seems to a problem with your server at the
> moment...

seems ok, might have been a temp outage at the provider. if you (invite 
also goes to all on the list) get a chance to look at it and improve I 
would welcome that very much.
> Anyway - Love the passion behind Floss Manuels...

thanks :)

> Yet, even this is not enough. For what I am trying to get at here seems
> to question many aspects of post-modern culture as well as
> hyper-capitalism, and even faith in networked culture. This voyage into
> reshaping particular fundementals of technology, peer 2 peer culture,
> and social mutualism, must have an inner 'current', other than the
> electricity being used up. What are the values being sought after which
> say more than the word 'freedom', and if we take away the technology
> binding us together here, what can we build where its equivilant can be
> flourish?
> What do you reckon?

Well I am not very good at theory I have to admit. I can only respond to 
this from my experience within free culture, and from this I can only 
say that I have the same questions. I think this is what Jon Philips 
(rejon) and crew are trying to address and articulate with Sharism 
(http://sharism.org/) and the sharing agreement 

"The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work 
to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work 
worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring 
rights, to the extent allowed by law.

"You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for 
commercial purposes, all without asking permission. "

I like this approach and understand where it comes from. Jon was deeply 
involved with the establishment of Creative Commons and is now, it seems 
to me, trying to shake the unattended meme 'free culture == free license'.

If this is his position, and I am to some extent putting words in his 
mouth, then I completely agree. We have come stuck on the idea that Free 
Culture is a license not a set of values. I think this is largely 
because the real consequences of free culture are still terrifying to 
even hardcore proponents of creative commons and similar sub movements.
Free culture, for example, in the world of publishing effectively means 
publishing as we know it ceases to exist. We cannot have Free Culture 
publishing where the only thing that changes is that books are free to 
give away. That's closed publishing with free distribution rights and 
that is not Free Culture.

The consequence of free culture as a set of values means we are willing 
to give away what we produce and let *anyone* take it and do with it as 
they please. That means if you write a book anyone can release it under 
the same title, cover etc and populate the distribution channels before 
you can or better than you can. Worse for some is that the book can be 
changed in anyway anyone wants even to a point that the forks of the 
work carrying your name disappoint you.

Which leads to another issue - attribution. Attribution also has many 
issues that make it unsustainable if we are to value free culture. If a 
work gets reused or collaboratively produced then attribution clauses of 
CC licenses become unworkable. In FLOSS Manuals we have some credit 
lists that are 8 printed pages long for a single book eg:

And thats just after 5 years of working like this. Imagine in the year 
2020 or 2050 or 2300...how many pages will that attribution be? Its not 
sustainable. Attribution, if we are to hold on to it at all, must be 
more transient.

Attribution must also be challenged for reasons of mandate. We have such 
a deeply ingrained respect for 'the author' - the authority or creator 
of a work - that I believe attribution removes or hinders the mandate to 
participate in altering a work. This can be solved a little by 
mechanical means such as better forking technology but there are not 
many tools that enable that for books (only one as far as I know) so we 
have a long way to go on this.

These consequences of free culture sound terrible to many people and it 
is why, in my opinion, there is a supposed 'vanguard' within free 
culture that see open publishing as merely a question of distribution. 
Open publishing, it seems, means 'free to distribute' to many and that 
is not at all what it should be. If freedom means 'free to distribute' 
that is a very poor freedom in my opinion compared to the exciting and 
wonderful riches of 'real' free culture.

We need to get rid of these fears, stop hiding behind licenses, 
upholding old values and processes of closed culture within free culture 
and embrace the values and consequences of free culture no matter how 
uncomfortable they might be.

Until we get to that point I am not sure we can answer your question.


> Wishing you well.
> marc
>> hi,
>> I'm putting together a book on Federated Publishing which is a version
>> of Open Publishing focused on open production as well as open
>> distribution. Federated Publishing takes free software principles of
>> federated software and applies them to book production.
>> The text is here for your reading, comment, and improvements:
>> http://booki.flossmanuals.net/a-webpage-is-a-book/_edit/
>> I'd welcome any help strengthening this book. Although its a public
>> document already I will 'push it out the door' Feb 3 as an initial
>> beta release.
>> adam


Adam Hyde
Founder, FLOSS Manuals
Project Manager, Booki
Book Sprint Facilitator
mobile :+ 49 177 4935122
identi.ca : @eset
booki.flossmanuals.net : @adam


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