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The propositions

These licenses have been suggested as the licenses that articulate the positions of what we can call, very loosely, the "anti-capitalist activist" ethics and the "hacker" ethics...


Some of the differences have been outlined on these threads:

  • ( I don't think there is any difference between the two as the difficulty of defining commercial is a problem. Anyway the viral nature of the share-alike makes the license particularly worrying to any corporation! -DMB)


In effect we are faced with a question about what "commercial" actually means in the CC language and how to relate to differences in commercial activities.

It seems that "commercial" might mean any kind of selling and trading where money is involved begging further "analytic breaking down" into categories that are about what kind of commercial activity. This may be defined by intentions, morals and values or code of the organisation performing that activity, since there is a big difference between Seeds for Change and IBM, for instance.

Consider this excerpt...

On Thu, 2004-07-08 at 22:28, ANON wrote...

""I have done so myself, by - for example - giving Roblimo/Newsforge permission to reprint my articles. They are doing it for profit; I know that. My default license is a non-commercial CC license. But when I give someone else written permission to use my work, they have a separate license. Is that prejudiced? Yes, it is. Is it fair? I think so. Is it ethical? I think so. Is it profitable? Sometimes.""

  • the response...

""So, we agree on the principal matters, I believe.

You also do like to be able to be prejudiced according to your own reason, but for you the switching of license is a possibility because you is only you. The co-operative or volunteer collective cannot practically sit in the fench like the Sovereign individual. A group, based on consensus decision making structures can by virtue of its nature not be expected to be able to incorporate everyone's sentiments without infringing upon others', and therefore compromises must be made sometimes by someone.

The collective must comprehend something common, something that gives the same peace of mind as you gain individually through the social organisation of your creative property. How can they do it if 75 people of whom 25 can be contacted have 50 different opinions about whether Newsagency XYZ should be allowed to spread their material for a meagre profit that was to be returned into local youth programmes? I should say yes. My partner in crime, a fellow member of the collective, might stand strong on her feminist anti-capitalist refusal to nurture bonds with hierarchical or non-horizontal organisations. If we're to share a project, and both our sentiments are to be realised we need either: (i) a more profound taxonomy that specifies what particular kind of "commercial activity" we want to exlude from our community; or (ii) we need a label for organisations that can accept and trust. By analogy we need a label reflecting the original ideas of "organic" or "ecologic" or really like "bio-dynamic", but as we know they are fully overrun by lobbyists and turned into a corporate white/green and blue sky wash. So those ideas are dead and gone, since state power = wall street + pentagon.

What is an appropriate, sustainable format for commercial activity? Is there such a thing as anarchist business?