Free Culture as People Wanting To Be Free
On the difference between free speech and free beer: free culture as “people want to be free”
Excerpt from an editorial in the Guardian at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/may/18/information-wants-to-be-free:
“So what do digital rights activists want, if not “free information?”
They want open access to the data and media produced at public expense, because this makes better science, better knowledge, and better culture – and because they already paid for it with their tax and licence fees.
They want to be able to quote, cite and reference earlier works because this is fundamental to all critical discourse.
They want to be able to build on earlier creative works in order to create new, original works because this is the basis of all creativity, and every work they wish to make fragmentary or inspirational use of was, in turn, compiled from the works that went before it.
They want to be able to use the network and their computers without mandatory surveillance and spyware installed under the rubric of “stopping piracy” because censorship and surveillance are themselves corrosive to free thought, intellectual curiosity and an open and fair society.
They want their networks to be free from greedy corporate tampering by telecom giants that wish to sell access to their customers to entertainment congloms, because when you pay for a network connection, you’re paying to have the bits you want delivered to you as fast as possible, even if the providers of those bits don’t want to bribe your ISP.
They want the freedom to build and use tools that allow for the sharing of information and the creation of communities because this is the key to all collaboration and collective action — even if some minority of users of these tools use them to take pop songs without paying.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/may/18/information-wants-to-be-free)