26 September 2006

Creative Commons Made Clare

...Each little tyrant with his little sign
Shows where man claims earth glows no more divine
But paths to freedom and to childhood dear
A board sticks up to notice ‘no road here’
And on the tree with ivy overhung
The hated sign by vulgar taste is hung
As tho’ the very birds should learn to know
When they go there they must no further go...

Any pamphlet that begins with a quotation from John Clare about the first enclosure movement is clearly doing something right. As it happens, Rosemary Bechler's Unbounded Freedom, nominally "A guide to Creative Commons thinking for cultural organisations", does just about everything right. It is probably the single best short introduction to intellectual monopoly issues I have ever read. It is well written, accessible, packed with good examples and surprisingly comprehensive.

What's even more amazing is that it comes from the British Council, a body that used to be even stodgier than the British Library. Clearly - or Clarely - stodge ain't what it used to be. (Via OpenBusiness.)

Update: There's now a blog for discussing this book and its ideas. Sadly, there are already some rather obtuse comments that wilfully misrepresent the idea of open content. We've still got a long way to go....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's the quiet ones you should watch out for....

(British Council employee)