The politics of the libre commons
The project of ‘free culture’ is committed to the creation of a cultural space, rather like the ‘public domain’, seeking to complement/replace that of proprietary cultural commodities and privatized meaning. This has been given a new impetus with the birth of the Creative Commons. This organization has sought to introduce cultural producers across the world to the possibilities of sharing, co–operation and commons–based peer–production by creating a set of interwoven licenses for creators to append to their artwork, music and text. In this paper, we chart the connections between this movement and the early Free Software and Open Source movements and question whether underlying assumptions that are ignored or de–politicized are a threat to the very free culture that the project purports to save. We then move to suggest a new discursive project linked to notions of radical democracy.
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