brhfl.com

Licensing

I’ve long believed in open licensing, in sharing, in letting content be free. Warhol, Negativland, Paul’s Boutique… Culture jamming produces new culture, it moves culture forward. I’ve always tried to open up my own work to the world to use as it sees fit. Creative Commons has been a valuable resource for years when it comes to readymade1 licenses for open cultural texts.

But I will admit to not being a huge fan of viral licensing, though it is a staple of the ‘free’ community. For the most part, my ‘real’ photos and my illustrative work are licensed noncommercial. Noncommercial has its issues, like the notion of commercial usage being rather vague, or the incompatibility with content providers that rely on other CC licenses (such as Wikimedia Foundation). But the notion that this restriction vs. the (supposed non-) restriction of a viral license like ShareAlike somehow determines whether or not content is truly free is absurd to me, and indicative of the tendency for those with vested interests in the free community to redefine terms to suit their needs.

Yet, I’m placing the majority of the content on this site under CC Attribution ShareAlike. Why? To try something new, essentially. The incompatibilities, the vagueness issue… these are real concerns. The idea of opening up content in a different way, offering a different set of rules and restrictions… it’s interesting. One doesn’t have to agree with all the fundamental ideas behind a thing to see that it might be worth exploring.

So, the default for content on this blog is CC-A-SA. The license info is in the footer of every page. All posts can optionally contain their own license (in the Hugo frontmatter), which would be reflected in the footer for that post. If this variable is set for a post, a note explaining that it is uniquely licensed shows up in the initial note section with a link to the footer. Hopefully this affords me a bit of flexibility without making things too complicated.


  1. See what I did there? ↩︎