Friday, April 8, 2011

The License


I'd like to draw your attention to the license text at the bottom of this page. I might not normally take the time to point out licensing, but it is a matter of professional interest. My dissertation concerns intellectual property rights, and I argue for a fairly open intellectual property system, in hopes of providing some argument against current trends. I place myself on the side of free culture. Culture is the product of basic human activities, the ways we connect to one another and come to understand ourselves and our fellows. As such, creative works provide a key benefit to the public at large. They allow us to express ourselves and communicate with others, to show our own struggles and reflection, to offer our own perspective. What is most interesting to me is that the value of intellectual objects is maximized by sharing, not hoarding. An invention unsold, a story unpublished, can bring some passing benefit to a single person, but once released to the public, circulated widely, it can benefit generations. As such, our creators and innovators should be rewarded and encouraged to continue their intellectual labors, but the public must be allowed sufficient access to creative products to realize their full value.

As a scholar, I feel that it would be dishonest to simply release these blog posts under a full copyright. Instead, I will put my arguments into action and opt for a Creative Commons license that suits my needs. As such, all material posted to this blog is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. While this is the most restrictive of Creative Commons licenses, I chose this license because I want this work to be circulated freely, but since it is an extension of my professional activities, I would like my name attached to these posts, and I would like to be involved in any efforts to build upon them.

Unfortunately, my sense is that CC licenses will be incompatible with most journals, so I will not be posting any full papers here. This blog will be reserved for ruminations and sketches for complete arguments to aid in my writing. I will be sure to note when any paper relevant to these posts is published so that those interested in the longer work can find it. Perhaps in the future, open-access journals will become the norm and the situation will be different, but until then, I am bound by necessity. I do hope others in the community of scholars will adopt open licenses appropriate for their research. We're the ones who have to demand the change.