Jeremy Smith's blog

Entry Is Labelled


I read Mark Pilgrim's Waiting for the revolution back when he wrote it and thought to myself, "that makes sense." But didn't think too much on it. Just not that into the subject matter of copyrights and licensing and such. Then I read Tim Bray's response, and I thought that it made sense, too:

I discover that my attitudes towards code and non-code are different. The notion of restricting anyone from using code I contribute to feels entirely foreign... But I have strong negative feelings about other people making money from my words or pictures without involving me.

At that point, I found myself being entirely too agreeable with everyone. So I started reading. I checked out all the people linking back to the entry specifically looking for dissenters because those people are more interesting than the yea-me-too's. I started going through the comments. I spent a lot of time reading all of the different opinions and such and began thinking in terms more like Tim Bray's notions as did many others.copyright1.png

Of course, in all of the talking; there seemed to be a lot of people suggesting/speculating/claiming that the area between is much murkier and that some pictures and some words and (even) some code can fall on the side opposite than originally classified depending on a lot of things such as context, intent, expression, etc.


And that got me thinking that maybe the delineating factor isn't code and non-code/"art"; rather, there was another criteria that separates what is one and what is the other. Intent? A desire for others to create more with it? Maybe something else?

Then it struck me. I'm getting to be an old fogey. When I "grew up" as a programmer, the open source methodology was in full swing. It never seemed odd to me to release code. It has never seemed odd to me to release code because (from my vantage point) it's just always been done. It's more weird the other way around where no one would release code.

And in this day of music mashups, sampling, "Web 2.0" mixins, Wikipedia, etc.; sharing for re-purposing and re-creating will become the norm and will rely on copyrights, licensing, and having the rights to do such things.

Mark left this comment on the entry:

Where would Ubuntu Linux be if every single one of their 14437 packages required contacting the author for permission to sell a CD for $1? What the hell kind of "commons" is that?

So I took it more seriously after doing my reading and am now including a Creative Commons cc-sa license on the main page and each individual entry's page along with some appropriate metadata in my syndicated feed.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Hopefully the revolution does eventually happen so course material can be "podcasted", but I fear we're going to have to wait for another generation or two of old fogies like me to die off and make way for the "commons."


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    I'm glad to hear it Jeremy!