A common theme running through the summit has been the question of the nature of the Creative Commons organisation. Is it a movement? And if so, what is its philosophy? Ideology? Is it political?

I think that these are important questions, and while I believe clearly that this is a movement, I tend to be rather more sceptical about its political and ideological implications. The fact that “we” are now back in the FSF’s good books (at least a couple of the licences are), leads me to believe that there is a united front on free or open licences. I would claim that there is clearly a wider philosophical movement dedicated to the generation of digital conservation spaces protected through legal instruments enforceable in court. However, the movement is not a legal movement as such, it simply uses copyright licences as an implementation tool.

This is why the reason why the underlying philosophy is so important. Yochai Benkler agrees that there is a counter-movement exemplified by an opposition to IP maximalism, which is clearly opposed to software patents, increased copyright terms, criminalisation of infringement, new sui generis rights, and other important issues.

Those are worthy causes, but does joining a cause make one a movement? I keep thinking that we need some strong direction, a manifesto for the digital age.

Off to catch a plane now.



David Berry · June 20, 2007 at 6:19 am

How about The Libre Manifesto?


Andres Guadamuz · June 20, 2007 at 9:30 am

Hi David!Yes, I should have stated that there are already such manifestos available 🙂

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