The Subsumtion of the Common within Capitalist Processes.

On Nettime, in repsonse to my association of the Creative Commons and Shareware, Nick mentions that several CC licences are usefull for Free Culture.


On 08.11.2011 21:58, Nick wrote:

Thanks for this Dmytri, I really enjoyed it. To me it highlights in particular how negative is Creative Commons’ preference to conflate their licenses under the heading “licensed under a creative commons license,” and refusing to take a stance as to the implications of license choice, as for example the FSF do. After all several CC licenses (BY, BY-SA, Zero) are all very useful to “free culture” people, but the issues of free culture, of seeking to break down the barriers between ‘consumer’ and ‘producer,’ are barely if at all mentioned.

Thanks Nick, if I ever return to the shareware/creative commons comparison, I would add something about the subsumtion of the common within capitalist processes, this is illustrated by what you describe above, that several CC licences allow a genuine free culture commons to exist within the framework of the Creative Commons, in the same way as Free Software meets the qualifications of “Shareware” as published by the Association of Shareware Professionals (now the Association of Software Professionals).

The Copy-Just-Right anti-commons forms of of Shareware and Creative Commons, have no issue with genuinely free works being included within it, it’s purpose is not to exclude such works, but rather to pass itself off as having simular common-cause with a “remix culture” as such free works. Yet, the freedom of being creative and productive with the work is actually antithetical to the “Some Rights Reserved” mission of protecting producers, while at the same time “granting” the limited rights of sharing, which function to promote and distribute the private property of producers, thus building value for the producers.

Many of the early pioneers of Shareware became millionaires by “allowing” their users to “share” their software, and this business practices was even taken up by larger software vendors at times, yet the practice was firmly positioned within a traditional capitalist market economy and unrelated to the gift economy of free software. Yet, the misleading name causes confusion between the two until today, with many people referring to free software as “shareware” or “freeware,” despite the quite different origin and definition of these terms.

The same is true of Free Culture, for which “Creative Commons” has become a surrogate term, despite it’s form and history having no more to do with Free Culture than Shareware has with Free Software. Best,


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