greg at grossmeier.net
Sun Apr 19 20:04:05 BST 2009
On Fri, 17 Apr 2009, t jagoda wrote:
> We should compose a letter to the FSF, sign it en masse, and then deliver it
> in a hazmat suit.
<Warning: Long email>
While I like that idea (and I know someone who has a hazmat suit
connection) I think we can do something on a little larger scale.
What is something that tends to produce a lot of chatter on the
various blog Planets? Memes. Love them or hate them, they get people
sharing and talking.
My off the cuff and not completely thought out proposal: a "why I
don't support the actions of the FSF, but their licenses are cool"
blog meme. (We may need a shorter name)
But before people start publicly saying I'm a FSF basher and I hate
freedom: I do really really really like the GPL and the AGPL licenses.
I am a fan of copyleft, which is why my Creative Commons license of
choice is CC:BY-SA. I love the tools, but the ads selling the tools
<start of comparison between FSF and CC, note: I am employed by CC>
What did the FSF do wrong that Creative Commons did right? Let the
fanatics be the face of the organization. I'm not only speaking of
RMS, but also the people employed by the FSF who will argue untill
everyone is blue about "Linux vs GNU/Linux."
Creative Commons, however, is agnostic about how you talk about it, as
long as it is truthful. You can say that the NoDerivative license is
a freedom-hating license, and we'll shrug our shoulders and say
The one thing you can't do, because the issue never presents itself,
is say that we are alienating ANYONE. Creative Commons operates under
the belief that any kind of change towards freedom is a good change.
So we work with Google, we work with Yahoo, we work with Apple, we
even work with Microsoft to get some small changes made (yes,
Microsoft uses some CC licenses for some textual content). Hell, we
even partnered with Nike to promote a more open method of sharing
patents among corporations (why we are dealing with patents is beyond
me, we are a copyright/licensing group).
To reiterate my main point: Creative Commons does not alienate any
party based on some definition of freedom. It is your content so it
is your choice. This is the main difference between CC and the FSF.
Two organizations that are very similar in mission (to encourage
free/open culture) and method (provide the licenses to use).
How does this alienation by the FSF happen? It happens by the FSF
focusing on "enemies" and not focusing on what really matters;
strengthening your community. Simply having a BadVista or 7 Deadly
Sins of Windows campaign alienates the very people you are supposed to
court. This is why you'll never see a BadPublisher or 7 Deadly Sins
of All Rights Reserved campaign from Creative Commons. And this is
why the Creative Commons blog is full of us pimping other projects
that use Creative Commons licenses. It's a "look at all this cool
stuff that use our licenses" blog and because of that it creates a
very positive energy around CC.
This is also why I like planet.ubuntu.com; I get to see people
positively pimping cool projects that relate to Ubuntu.
So next time you see someone negatively reacting to a FSF campaign
take that opportunity to show them the positive side of the Free/Open
Source Software group of awesome people: tell them about the awesome
software you get to use, tell them about how cool the people are in
the community, hell, tell them about the awesome release parties we
have for each release of Ubuntu, like the one this coming Saturday at
Corner Brewery in Ypsi (plug!).
Be positive, and we'll win. Winning is not about defeating the
"other," it is about your team being supported the best people.
 And just so we're clear, Creative Commons does approve of the
Freedom Defined webpage and we even mark two of our licenses as
"Approved for Free Cultural Works" (the Attribution-only and
Attribution-ShareAlike licenses). http://freedomdefined.org/Definition
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