first, a short thesis on the creative commons. If you're not interested in reading another one of my rants, then you may want to go directly to my disclaimer text. If not, then well...
So why did I license the contents of my blog to the creative commons license? Well, basically its because I believe that copyright today as a legal concept has been perverted too far away from its original purpose, and that those perversion causes undesirable effects upon culture and society.
If you would try to explore discussions on copyright available in legal texts, online texts, history books and other sources all available freely, you would discover that the original purpose of copyright law was to stimulate innovation in the arts and sciences by granting a limited monopoly to the authors of such innovations on the distribution of such innovations. The Statute of Anne originally made in the 16th century was formed on this basis. The US Constitution confirms this for US citizens, basing its law on the experiences of 16th century England. The Berne Convention also gives its limits although for a default of life plus 50 years; although supposedly according to article 7 paragraph (8) the agreement is that each member country of the Union is free to determine its own length for term of protection.
But copyright should be limited not just because it was limited in the past; copyright should be limited because past experiences shows this to be a very good idea. You see, most creative ideas are built upon the foundation of past works, one of the more famous example being Walt Disney's use of the Steamboat Bill cartoon to create Steamboat Willie and thus Mickey Mouse. Modern, more relevant examples are sampling music and academic rebuttal theses on established theories. Imagine what would happen if people like Gallileo and Copernicus was denied their right to their arguments. Actually they were; they were severely punished, even killed, and afterwards their theories proved correct anyways.
People have been so used to the way that copyright is treated in the global marketplace that people have forgotten that copyright is a social contract. We have been so used to treating ideas as legal properties, with characteristics identical to that of physical-material properties (sometimes erroniously as a fundamental human right, even), that we have forgotten that the law governing our ideas is supposed to be an agreement between the citizens of a nation and its respective governments
And then there's the issue of the global market forcing its rules to nations with totally different norms and customs. If any nation in this world would wish to participate in the global marketplace then that nation must conform to the practices set forth by the bigger and more economically powerful nations. This essentially forces less developed nations to abandon a lot of their ideas and cultural identity. There was a story told by my teacher in grade school about how Indonesia's government was forced to crack down on the bootleg casette industry in the '70s and '80s under threat of a US embargo of all textile and textile products from Indonesia (I tried looking for online evidence of this but I couldn't find any). Not all nation-states with different ideas on cultural ownership can be as powerful as the People's Republic of China, which still refuses to be a signatory to the Berne Convention (a decision I personally do not totally disagree with). Every nation has a right to its own opinion, but most other nations must submit to western cultural colonialism.
I feel that Indonesia nowadays is a nation most firmly grounded upon a culture of Kleptocracy. I have been raised as a Kleptocrat, believing that its firmly right to copy audio casettes and software diskettes knowing full well that their creators are not properly compensated. I wish I had been raised on command-line GNU/Linux (or FreeBSD or GNU/HURD, even) instead of on DOS 6.22; if I had beed I would be comfortable enough with Free Software that I would not have to resort to piracy. I know it is wrong but in practice it is a de-facto fact that most of Indonesia's academic institutions and traditions of science would not have been established if not for the eggregarious and efficient distribution of photocopied books. Noone in this nation of minimal GNP could afford the extravagantly high costs of copyrighted software. Thus we copy, lest we be crushed by the wheels of history.
Our nation has consistently ranked among the most corrupt nations of the world for the past few years, one of its primary reason is the public's low regard for the rule of law. The law does not work for people when our most enfringed citizens are barely treated as proper human beings. The law does not work when our abundant wealth is so unfairly distributed. The law does not work when the law can be bought and sold as easily as cheap wine. With all these are truths, the law is nothing more than tools to oppress.
But it does not have to be this way. We as a nation can change if we want. One of the ways to change our respect of law is to change law so as to reflect again the reality of our everyday life. Its not so hard to get people to believe in the law again if the law is formed and enforced justly. One of the places to start is in copyright reform. The rule of law must acknowledge that people do copy and adjust itself as necessary so as not to reenforce the fact that we are a nation of thieves. We are now living in an era where ideas could be spread all over the world at the speed of light, but that speed right now is severely limited by the past's misguided yearning to chain the future. A past which is not that long ago. And that past threatens to change whole nations into thieves (and
in some cases depending on how you look at things have long succeeded).
In closing I would like to say that I have too little legal, historical, social background to make an efficient and easy to understand essay on such a complex issue. If you're looking to understand the threat of copyright disfigurement upon culture, I would strongly recommend you to download a copy of the book Free Culture, also available in paperback from Penguin Press. You can also buy it from Amazon.
Note: this disclaimer text was originally part of the sidebar, under the disclaimer section; it has been expanded quite a bit since then. I've decided to turn this into a blog entry because its turning kinda crowded over there on the left/right/side/wherever it is nowadays:)
Though I'm not too sure anything original here is worth copyrighting :)
So here it is...
Pursuant to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Artistic and Literary Works (also available here), ratified by the Government of Indonesia in 1997, all original content in this web site created by fERDI:) (the "Works" or "Original Content") is copyrighted by fERDI:) ("I" or "me"). This includes, but is not limited to, original text and graphics (if any) created by me.
And as I believe in the dissemination of ideas (but still have a bit of capitalistic greed in me, hehe), unless otherwise noted, I hereby license all Works found on this website under the Terms of the Creative Commons Public License, Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike version 2.0 available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode, or (at the user's choice) later versions (the "License" or the "Creative Commons License"). All uses of Works is governed by the terms set in the Creative Commons License. A layman-readable (simplified) explanation of the Creative Commons License is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/.
There are a few terms set by the Creative Commons License that I would like to point out:
First, You are not required to accept the Creative Commons License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to copy, distribute, or modify the Original Content, aside from the License and fair use. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept the License. Therefore, by copying, distributing or modifying the contents of this site, or by deriving Works herefrom, you indicate your acceptance of the Creative Commons License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Works. Failure to adhere to the terms of the License results in immediate termination of the License. In absence of the license, this work falls under normal copyright (refer to section 7 of the License for details). In other words, if you don't like the license then everything here made by me is copyright by me. Period.
You may only make use of any and all Works in this web site so long as you make clear that my works are created by me. You must also make sure that your use of my Original Contents are non-commercial. And finally you must not place any more limits on others for using my works than the limits that I have imposed upon you for using my works. Section 4 of the License is a thorough and (as far as I can tell) complete explanation of those rights.
Although I have nothing personal against the pursuit of commercial success through the creation of creative works (unless the only singular sole purpose of the creative works is purely for commercial success), I have decided to license using a noncommercial CC license. If you would like to use any of my Works for a commercial purpose you can do so by negotiating another license with me (refer to section 4c of the License for more details). And I would really love to; I sure can use the money :) and I promise I'll be really reasonable :D
All Original Content is meant for personal use only. All opinions expressed are the personal opinions of fERDI:). No claim of thoroughness, accuracy, fairness, or transparency is made upon any information that I discuss in this site, although I do try to make all information as thorough, accurate, fair, and transparet as I possibly can under the circumstances. See Section 5 of the License for details.
And finally, all other content contained in this site not originally created by me or not owned by me is owned by their respective owners/creators, I cannot claim ownership nor authorship upon such works. In other words, I do not and cannot claim I created something that I did not create. This is also (briefly) mentioned in Section 5.
Sounds complicated? Check out the links:) After all, other than my declaration of copyright and licensing, nothing I say matters anyway (check section 8.e. of the License :D)
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I don't write intellectually. I write expressively. I don't claim to be accurate, fair or thorough. I don't wanna get stuck on certain topics. Though I sometimes do. But not that often. I'd like to expand. I wanna write more poems. But I'll only upload them if they're good. I only rant about my life's hardships if it will rescue just a little bit of my sanity. I'm saner than I make myself out to be, though.
If I am an OS kernel, and I just had a kernel dump, I'd imagine that the text in this blog is what it would more or less look like.
There. Do you get it?
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sidesection last edited 08/02/2005