Free culture movement

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Lawrence Lessig in front of a laptop labeled "free culture"

The free culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify creative works, using the Internet as well as other media.

The movement objects to overly restrictive copyright laws, or completely rejects the concepts of copyright and intellectual property, which many members of the movement also argue hinder creativity. They call this system "permission culture".[1]


[edit] Organizations

The organization commonly associated with free culture is Creative Commons (CC), founded by Lawrence Lessig. Lessig is a law professor at Stanford University and a prominent figure in the free software movement. He wrote a book called Free Culture, which provides many arguments in favor of the free culture movement.

The student organization Students for Free Culture is sometimes confusingly called "the Free Culture Movement", but that is not its official name. The organization is a subset of the greater movement.

The free culture movement takes the ideals of the free software movement and extends them from the field of software to all cultural and creative works. Early in Creative Commons' life, Richard Stallman (founder of the Free Software Foundation and the free software movement) supported the organization. He withdrew his support due to the introduction of several licenses including a developing nations and the sampling licenses[2] and later restored some support when Creative Commons retired those licenses.

[edit] Defining Freedom

Within the free culture movement, the Creative Commons has been criticized for lacking standard of freedom.[3] Thus, some within the movement only consider a few Creative Commons licenses to actually be free based on the Definition of Free Cultural Works.[4] In February 2008, Creative Commons added an "approved for free cultural works" badge to its licenses which comply -- Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike. [5] The NonCommercial provision on some Creative Commons licenses remains the most controversial within the free culture movement.

[edit] Criticism

Andrew Keen criticizes some of the Free Culture ideas in his book, Cult of the Amateur, describing Free Culture proponent Lawrence Lessig as an "intellectual property communist".[6]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Robert S. Boynton: The Tyranny of Copyright? The New York Times, January 25, 2004
  2. ^ interview for LinuxP2P (6 february 2006)
  3. ^ "Towards A Standard Of Freedom". 
  4. ^ "Definition of Free Cultural Works". 
  5. ^ "Approved for Free Cultural Works". 
  6. ^ Keen, Andrew (May 16, 2006). Web 2.0; The second generation of the Internet has arrived. It's worse than you think. The Weekly Standard

[edit] External links

  • is a project of building and promoting a free culture community online.
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