CC-BY webseries about copying issues


Thanks for posting this. I noticed the copy-me crowdfunding a couple years ago and didn’t contribute because although they said (IIRC) the series would be free (and they followed through, everything seems to be CC-BY, great) I figured it would repeat the standard liberalizing reform mantra, including:

  • calls for “balance” and corresponding criticism of “over protection”
  • assumption of beneficent purpose (“progress”) and
  • related grant that IP used to work
  • and presumption that it needs to change for the digital world rather than because it is a fundamentally bad policy that harms freedom, equality, and security at any level of technical development
  • genuflection to spectacle
  • and most importantly, lack of calling out free/open/libre/commons production and commons-favoring policy and funding
  • fawning over the artist/creator and critiquing publisher arrangements rather than attacking the godhead myth and commercial entertainment glut
  • all of the above enabling and making necessary strawman criticisms of IP and support of piracy that fail to account for non-marginal regulatory regime changes (better authorized distribution is of greatly limited use for monopolist revenue protection if regime fully allows organized gratis distribution, even if organization limited to “non-commercial”) and dynamic production, particularly capital requirements for such

Copy-Me is much better than I expected, though still deeply flawed in some usual ways.

By far the best work in the series is Early Copyright History. It’s mostly abut the censorship origins of copyright, and only briefly slips up on the point of digital changing things toward the end (but I’ll have to watch it several more times).

The rest of the series is more disappointing, particularly by using strawman arguments and totally lacking note of commons-based production or commons-favoring policy. But I didn’t notice any genuflection, which is great!

The production values seem pretty good. Overall I’m happy that Copy-Me exists and will recommend it to others.

I was also somewhat disappointed by the sorts of things you list, as I have been before. We need more solid explanatory videos that really take a commons perspective.