The democratisation of creativity

One of the key points made by Larry Lessig in his 23C3 speech is how code, once used solely to make things work, is now being used to make culture; as he says “the tools of creativity have become the tool of speech”.

When we hear statements like this, it’s important to experience them, not just read them. Take a look at the image on the right. It’s part of a wonderful set of creative digital works by someone called Chema Madoz. You can find it, as well as many more, at

How did I find out about Chema Madoz? Via StumbleUpon. Why did I do something about it? Because I spoke to my 15-year old son about it, and realised that for him, Chema, and for that matter, were as familiar, almost old hat, as Line Rider. As the saying goes, I should stay in more often.

If we do the wrong thing about DRM and IPR:

  • the wood in Chema’s background will have its own exclusive image rights
  • the matchstick will be copyrighted
  • Chema would have no tools to use
  • and even if there were tools to use, it would depend on the compatibility with someone’s particular content provider/connect provider/device manufacturer walled garden

So let’s keep on trying to do the right thing.

4 thoughts on “The democratisation of creativity”

  1. Bret Taylor: The Intersection of Social Features
    Web 2.0 Conference
    17 minutes, 8.2mb, recorded 2011-10-19

    There is this very interest statement by Bret Taylor beginning at the 10m 13s mark:

    “Our philosophy is that if we can give people … the level of granularity of control over [their] experience as much possible [then] the more [our] products will succeed because … people need to trust [the Facebook] service to rely on it and use it.”

  2. Copyleft seems to work best for tools. Copies are used for free, modifications contributed back to improve the original authors work, improving the value.

    As an example, Windows 3.1 took off. Same today. Windows Phone is 3.0 and ready. Windows 8 for JavaScript Apps is a version 1.0, requires 2 more versions before ready for primed. Probably means 3 more years.

    Compare to open source projects, developed under copyleft they evolve far faster during open betas and collaboration. Version 0.1, 0.2, 0.3….0.8 Node.js illustrates

    Tools adoption seems to be failing using copyright (Windows Phone)

    But if use copyleft for all works, how do the authors receive fair compensation, say for example is copied, attribution not credited, and some entity makes a bundle with blog content plus ads – that’s not fair play…

    Is the answer to patent and license core ideas to many people for wide adoption (I don’t know)

  3. @clive I tend to think that what Doc and I called The Because Effect comes into play. Once I’ve written my post and engaged in conversation with the commenters I’m done. I *want* people to take the content, use it, make it better. Attribution would be nice but it’s not necessary.

Let me know what you think

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