Archive:General Purpose Pamphlet

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Nelson says: "You're not a real organization until you have a general purpose info pamphlet."

Just imagine nice graphics and a real layout on a bi-fold or tri-fold flier.

Free Culture...To Build Upon

The Free Culture movement works to build a bottom-up, participatory structure for society and culture. We believe in:

...Free as in Freedom. The freedom for all people to create, modify, share and be fairly compensated for their efforts. We're all creators: stories, songs, scientific papers, travel videos, slide shows, blog posts. But increasingly extreme copyright law is dramatically limiting our right to create.

...Culture as in the world around us. The slang, the tunes, the research, the news -- all the written, aural, and visual products that make up our daily lives are part of the cultural stew we live in. Free Culture believes that stew belongs to all of us, and all of us should be able to draw on it to create our own responses.

...And building, as in the ongoing conversations among citizens. [Need to cite examples - e.g. a play that was written in reaction to a real-life event? a song that was translated into other languages? etc.]

Free Speech

A long, proud American tradition. The right of citizens to speak their minds.

Free Software

A newer, younger sibling, and an extension of Free Speech. The practice of creating and distributing computer software with open source code and very few, very clear restrictions on how it may be shared.

Free Culture

The newest (and oldest) of the group. While the founders of the United States carved out a small section in the Constitution to make sure that copyright was available to protect "the progress of science and the useful arts," they surely never imagined the suffocating weight of today's copyright law. Today's Free Culture movement is the grassroots groundswell of support for our cultural commons.

New text drafted 1/23/05 Who are we?

We are:

PRO-Copyright. We support fair payment to artists and creators for their work, and a limited number of years of copyright to allow them to profit from their efforts. We do not support extreme copyright extensions that wind up providing decades of government subsidies to corporations.

PRO-Freedom. We support freedom to express ourselves while still at the same time having creators being compensated. Freedom to build upon the past. A free culture is a culture of freedom. Technical freedom. Understands these freedoms and how to live in a free society. Expansion of fair-use doctrine. freedom - every individual should have the right to know as much about the world as they want (DMCA infringes that freedom). If democracy depends on an informed and active citizenry, then you can say we are working toward a more democratic society. Beware laws that restict academic research. We support creative commons. We support privacy rights for students using campus computers.

PRO-Innovation. The founders had it right: The purpose of intellectual property rights is to encourage the progress in science and the useful arts. We are against extreme laws that lock down our ability to tinker with the products we buy.

PRO-Participation. The Free Culture movement encompasses everyone who wants to be more than a passive observer/consumer. If you want to participate in your government, if you want to be the media, if you believe that culture should be a two-way conversation and not just something that we absorb like so many sponges, then this movement is for you.

What Are the Goals of Free Culture?

We see a world in which sensible copyright law protects creators, allowing them to profit from their work, yet encourages cultural sharing by allowing works to become part of the public domain after a finite period of time.

We see a world in which the phrase "cultural commons" is as clear to ordinary people as "natural environment," and a world in which citizens recognize the benefit to all of us if that commons is not cordoned off from the many for the benefit of the few.

We see a world in which new and emerging technologies are treated like the works-in-progress they are, rather than simply denounced as evil by existing corporate monopolies. There is room for conversation about how peer-to-peer software may legitmately be used. There should be no room for immediately dismissing it as exploitative.

We see a world of two-way communication, not passive consumption.

We refuse to accept a future of digital feudalism where we do not actually own the products we buy, and are merely granted limited uses of them as long as we pay the rent. Instead, we see a world where __________________.

What Is and What Will Be Depends on What Was

We see a world in which the artifacts, documents, and media of the past are freely available; the artifacts of the present are freely and fairly exchanged; and the artifacts of the future are free to be born. In that spirit, we will make, share, adapt, and promote Open Content. We will listen to Free Music, look at Free Art, watch Free Film, and read Free Books. All the while, we will discuss, annotate, improve, improvise, remix, mutate, and throw yet more ingredients into the Free Culture soup.

Join us!

<find out more at, home of the international student movement for Free Culture>