A Tale of Three Cultures

Thanks to geeks with portable WiFi base stations, the air was filled with Net love all over SXSW in Austin. Then Hollywood moved in. And neither faction was anywhere in sight at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco.

Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal


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Re: A Tale of Three Cultures

Anonymous's picture


As usual your voice is like a clear beacon through the fog of confusion. The fog in this place created by corporate interests who have very little respect for the people that enable them to occupy their current place in society.

Thanks again, I'll write my congressman. Again.

--Paul Ferris

Re: A Tale of Three Cultures

chufarj's picture

Thanks for the update, Doc. (or is the term "Doc" trademarked?)

This article again shows how much the "unorganized, uneducated (in terms of legal proceedings, etc.), and especially the un-involved" are at a disadvantage, when facing the force of large corporate, government, and institutional organizations.

The person-on-the-street, let's call her "Mary Mouse Click" either doesn't know, is too busy, or doesn't realize the implication of these turbulent times and potentially dangerous initiatives (i.e. DMCA).

What can we do?

1) Let EVERYBODY know. Last week, I sent a link for the Open Audio License page at EFF/Cafe, to an aspiring musician (sequencer music).

One small step, but, this gives him options...and education.

2) The net enables Virtual Organizations (VOs). Just as powerful, and maybe more effective, than many private organizations (whereas private orgs' ultimate goal is increased value for the shareholder, an altruistic VO can arguably motivate and achieve any objective the members are passionate about). Why maybe more effective? Answer that with this question. Who can honestly claim they don't want (the world) to get past the suffering, hunger, desolation, and inequity that exists? As you so aptly noted Dr. Kings remarks, the answer therein lies.

3) "Un-involved" just means it hasn't affected one--yet. There are opportunities for most of us to contribute in various wasy, whether it be open source code, open info (sharing general information for the sake of sharing/mankind) or open art (for the sake of entertainment).

When they offer you the big contract...Just Say No.

Why, you may ask.

The only reasons the "Eisners", and others will continue to copyright, control, and cheat the artist (by taking proceeds for doing nothing but controlling distribution channels), is because the NEW artists are signing New contracts.

Can we (open, sharing individuals) offer any alternatives to the artists and content creators?

I am sure we can. The OAL web page has a few good ideas on this.

One last question. Did musicans exists before ASCAP and BMI?

I think they did....

Re: A Tale of Three Cultures

Doc's picture

Well put. Thanks.

I think what Geek Culture keeps doing, and not always with the best manners (but so what) is bringing us back not just to First Principles, but to pre-industrial facts about art, markets, and even The Net, which was never intended in the first place as a distro system for "content producers."