The inspirationfor the title and for much of the argument of this book comes from the work of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation. Indeed, as I reread Stallman's own work, especially the essays in Free Software, Free Society,I realize that all of the theoretical insights I develop here are insights Stallman described decades ago. One could thus well argue that this work is "merely" derivative. I accept that criticism, if indeed it is a criticism. The work of a lawyer is always derivative, and I mean to do nothing more in this book than to remind a culture about a tradition that has always been its own. Like Stallman, I defend that tradition on the basis of values. Like Stallman, I believe those are the values of freedom. And like Stallman, I believe those are values of our past that will need to be defended in our future. A free culture has been our past, but it will only be our future if we change the path we are on right now.
Like Stallman's arguments for free software, an argument for free culture stumbles on a confusion that is hard to avoid, and even harder to understand. A free culture is not a culture without property; it is not a culture in which artists don't get paid. A culture without property, or in which creators can't get paid, is anarchy, not freedom. Anarchy is not what I advance here.
Instead, the free culture that I defend in this book is a balance between anarchy and control. A free culture, like a free market, is filled with property. It is filled with rules of property and contract that get enforced by the state. But just as a free market is perverted if its property becomes feudal, so too can a free culture be queered by extremism in the property rights that define it. That is what I fear about our culture today. It is against that extremism that this book is written.
Book year: 2004
Book pages: 352
Book language: en
File size: 2.48 MB
File type: pdf
Published: 24 September 2022 - 15:00
29 November 2022 - 23:27