Radio Berkman 135: The Quest for a Free Culture

October 29th, 2009

There are few subjects more potentially divisive as the Free Culture Movement. Free Culture activists believe in a future in which people will be free to remix and distribute creative works like literature, movies, music, software, and images. These are the folks who can toss around phrases like ‘Free as in Speech versus Free as in Beer’ to illustrate distinctions in legal code.

A world where anyone can feel free to edit a photo, remix a song or video, or modify a piece of software without the constraint of excessive laws or artificial limits – sounds great, right? But it raises more questions than you might think.

Gabriella Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University who has given a lot of thought to the role of genre and piracy in how we might build a Free Culture that works.

She sat down with our guest host Elizabeth Stark for a word or two on some of the toughest questions facing Free Culture.

Listen:
or download
…also in Ogg!

CC-licensed music this week:
Scott Altham – Hear Us Now (poptastic mix)
_ghost – Ice and Chilli

The Reference Section:
Free Culture 2009 Research Workshop
Some key sentences from the Free Culture 2009 Research Workshop
Gabriella Coleman’s blog and twitter
Free Culture Movement
Students for Free Culture
Elizabeth Stark on Twitter

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See a partial transcript after the jump.

Where does Free Culture come from and where is it going? Answers to this question and more on this week’s Radio Berkman.

==

There are few subjects more potentially divisive as the Free Culture movement. Free Culture activists believe in a future in which people will be free to remix and distribute creative works like literature, movies, music, software, and images. These are the folks who can toss around phrases like “Free as in Speech versus Free as in Beer” to illustrate distinctions in legal code. Seriously.

Even with entrepreneurial Free Culture initiatives like Creative Commons breaking into the mainstream, the movement is still very much in its infancy and there are many questions left to be answered:

How are creators motivated in a Free Culture environment compared to a traditional commercial market? Does private property still mean anything in a commons? Does a music file get treated differently than a piece of software? Is there any real difference between the act of “sharing” a music file, and the act of “pirating” a music file, or is it just splitting hairs?

These are questions without definite answers.

That’s why researchers, activists, lawyers, bloggers, coders, educators, and multi-hyphenate combinations thereof gathered at the Free Culture 2009 research workshop at Harvard University to debate the future of the Free Culture movement.

Gabriella Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University who has been both studying and assisting in the progress of the Free Culture movement.

She sat down this week with our guest host Elizabeth Stark to split some of the hairs of Free Culture, its origins, and its future.

Gabriella Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is currently completing a book called Coding Liberal Freedom: Hacker Pleasure and the Ethics of Free and Open Source Software. You can find her on the web at gabriellacoleman.org.

If you visit the reference section at blogs.law.harvard.edu you’ll find links to more of Gabriella’s work, background information on the Free Culture movement, and archives of the show.

This week’s episode was produced by me, Daniel Dennis Jones, with the help of the distinguished Elizabeth Stark, Amar Ashar, and the organizers of the Free Culture 2009 research workshop, from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, in Cambridge.

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REFERENCE SECTION:
Conference page: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/fcrw/Main_P…
 gabriellacoleman.org
Free Culture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Cultur…
 http://freeculture.org/
 http://www.law.yale.edu/intellectuallife…

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Quest for a Free Cult&hellip  |  October 29th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    […] Culture” und die Zusammenhänge von Open Content, Copyright Lizenzen und Piraterie: Radio Berkman 135: The Quest for a Free Culture There are few subjects more potentially divisive as the Free Culture Movement. Free Culture […]

  • 2. Freddie Vincent  |  February 5th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom to watch and listen.

    Yes !!

  • 3. 42stars » Blog Arch&hellip  |  April 16th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    […] To complicate the issue of people giving away their time and effort for free (or on the cheap), there is internet movement of Free Culture, Creative Commons, and Piracy. This post is already in the tl;dr zone. For a really interesting discussion about the legal ethics and issues, check out the Berkman Center for Internet & Society Podcast. […]

  • 4. MediaBerkman » Blog&hellip  |  April 26th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    […] to feature some of her work on Radio Berkman. Check out her interview with Biella Coleman on Episode 135, and a download from last year’s Open Video Conference on Episode 127. Share and […]

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