Donut Age: America's Donut Magazine

Creative Commons

I've just put this site under Creative Commons partial license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, to be exact). It's a small gesture, to be sure, but I feel strongly that those of us who care about freedom of information and the exchange of ideas need to do something about the broken system of copyright that prevails today. It's not that copyright is a bad thing per se, but the repeated expansion of copyright duration (the Sonny Bono Act), increasingly broad interpretations of what protection copyright provides (the DMCA), and aggressive prosecution by corporate copyright holders (Disney, the RIAA) have turned copyright into a perversion of itself. Copyright is supposed to encourage the dissemination of information by giving creators safeguards against unauthorized reproduction of their work. However, what I see going on is the parcelling out of our shared cultural and intellectual heritage into so many gated communities run by a handful of corporate interests. Researchers, teachers, and creative artists are shut out of these enclaves, or are granted entry only after paying considerable tolls, which ultimately impoverishes all of us for the sake of those few interests.

Creative commons is an attempt to create an alternate model of intellectual property rights, one that still protects the creator without strangling the flow of information. I don't know if this will be the ultimate answer, but it seems like the best alternative at the moment, and those of us who care should lead by example.

While on the topic of copyright, the proposed Eric Eldred Act to repopulate the public domain is worth a look.