On the advent of Open Field‘s official start tomorrow, I thought I’d share two resources that demystify the complex nature of this subject. First, this charming, animated video outlines the basic concept of the commons, complete with cartoon owls and snappy quotes.
Second, if you have a bit more time to invest, is this fantastic radio interview by Francesca Rheannon of the Writer’s Voice program. It features commons theorist David Bollier talking about his book Viral Spiral and science fiction writer/technology blogger Cory Doctorow on his novel Makers. The two-part conversation starts with the history of the commons in early European society and lands in the current century with a discussion about:
- the internet’s birth of free culture
- the market and the commons (not necessarily adversarial)
- the dangerous expansion of copyright law
- anti-copyright activists who aren’t who you think they are
- how giving stuff away makes money, or a new way of looking at artistic value
- much more
As Doctorow says: “The problem [with the creative arts] isn’t piracy, its obscurity.” It’s well worth the audio hour.
So there you have it: dancing geese, remix culture, Disney, Girl Scout songs and file sharing, all in the time it takes to make dinner. Enjoy.