Posted by & filed under Pirates & Politics, Publishing and Publishers. 4 comments

When I first used CC0, the public domain “license”, on Stories About Things in 2011, I’d only ever seen it in two places: (the blog of the Pirate Party founder – no surprise there!) and Your Face is a Saxophone (yeah, that’s as awesome as it sounds.) No basic googling turned up any big time indie writers using it. Not even small-time folk like myself wanted to touch CC0 – most weren’t even aware of  it. But it still sounded like a hell of a cool idea, so I went for it.

Turns out I’m not crazy.

Or, well, at least, I’m not alone.

CC0 Heroes: Who’s Afraid of the Big Nice Wolf is the first in a blog series by Leo Kirke on CC0 artists who choose to make art free of the Copyright lockdown. This segment covers the accomplishments of Piti Yindee, illustrator, comic artist and creator of Wuffle: The Big Nice Wolf and how he’s maneuvering the free world of art.

“…Yindee even makes it possible to download Wuffle: The Big Nice Wolf at no cost in one large archive zip file. His website even includes a “Free License” page (declaring “Wuffle Has No Copyright”) in which he explains, in his own words, his reasoning for using CC0. It’s definitely worth reading, as it is a very succinct and direct explanation of why an artist chooses Free Culture. In particular, I love this statement:

‘For arts to become a culture, you have to let it go free.
Let it be shared and copied. A language dies if nobody speaks it.
Same goes with art.

It dies if nobody share or talk about it.’  

Read the whole post here…

It’s happening. Culture is opening.

Be ready.

4 Responses to “I’m Not Crazy! Others Break Into The Public Domain”

  1. Leo Kirke

    This comment is a little late, but I just wanted to say thanks again for the signal boost for my post about Piti! I’m glad I’m not the only one getting the word about his work out there, especially while his IndieGoGo campaign is still active.

    I very much hope the recent work of artists like Piti (and you!) are signalling this shift to the sort of wider acceptance of Free Culture you allude to here. I’m planning another blog post soon-ish about something I’ve been mulling over recently, the “spiritual” or “philosophical” (whichever term you or anyone prefers, I don’t mean to associate it with a particular ideology or belief system per se) aspects of the Free Culture worldview. I feel like this is an area not widely written about yet (or if it is, I haven’t noticed) and I think it’s worth exploring. So much said of Free Culture focuses on the practical aspects, namely “how can I still make a living without copyright?” and etc. Such issues are important, but I think it’s worthwhile to consider why people respond to Free Culture one way or another on a personal level, and how it relates to the values they consider important in life. Of course there are articles about copyright-as-censorship, which does look at the moral implications of the copyright system, but I haven’t seen much yet about how people view copyright in terms of their values. It seems like a discussion worth having.

    Keep up the good writing, Aelius!

    • aeliusblythe

      No problem! I’m always glad to learn about and share other CC artists’ work.

      Are you planning on covering Kopimism in your Free Culture spiritual/philosophical explorations? As far as I know that’s the only attempt to articulate the deep spiritual need and compulsion to share and copy. But it definitely needs more exposure!

      • leokirke

        Certainly, I’m up for exploring just about any of the beliefs and values that form the basis of Free Culture views among different people. Ideally I’d like to talk to a few artists who release things with CC and CC0 and just get a sampling of how different people view the worth of Free Culture. I began to think about this recently reflecting on nonviolence, actually; I find it fascinating to compare the motivations of people like Gandhi and King with those of people like Gene Sharp. Gandhi and King considered their spiritual beliefs and religious faith as an important foundation for their commitment to nonviolence; Sharp supports nonviolence for simply pragmatic reasons (he simply believes it to be more effective, in the long run, than violence).

        After Nina Paley “re-released” “Sita Sings the Blues” on the basis of a commitment to the Gandhian concept of ahimsa, I began to wonder if similar differences exist among Free Culture supporters. I certainly view Free Culture as something important within the context of my own values, regardless of the practical side of things, and I’m curious as to whether it’s the same for others. I have read things from and about some CC artists who seem to support Free Culture, or some level of it at least, that have given me the impression that their stake in it is simply practical. In other words, “I had better get with the times now or it will hurt my career in the long run.” I wonder if that is the norm among artists who embrace some level of Free Culture, or if it is more common to have a specific value system tied to the decision to encourage sharing.

        I should note that I don’t mean to ask this question with the intention to invalidate one view, or make one sound more noble than the other, or to accuse people of being less sincere. Everyone has their own set of standards and views. I respect both Gandhi and King, and I respect both the “philosophical” Free Culture supporters and the Free Culture “pragmatists.” Being a new concept, too, I think most people are trying to experiment with the concept cautiously, to figure out what works in a practical sense, and I totally support that.

        As for Kopimism, thanks for mentioning that! I actually hadn’t given that much thought in this context, but I have been reading a bit about it lately and I find it fascinating. I’ve been vaguely aware of Kopimism for maybe a couple of years, but I confess despite all my other explorations of Free Culture issues I’ve scarcely scratched the surface of that as a movement and religion. I’ll definitely be including that as I write about the motivations to pursue Free Culture practices.

        I may take a little break from blogging, though, as I get my book formatted for Smashwords. You know, once in a while, I have to take a break from all the moral/philosophical/political issues and actually start creating stuff again. :) Plus it’d help me call myself a “Free Culture” artist if I actually had more than one eBook-type-thing online.

  2. Lakhveer

    Thank you so much for including my link. I will be sure to get in on time next week. I was in Ireland last August and loved it. We were in Dublin, Balleyknocken in County Wicklow, Kinsale and Galway. I would go back in a hatarbeet.


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