Knowledge and Culture is a COMMONs

In the moment something is created, it has a debt to society.
Society shares all this knowledge to the artists, so that they can share their work and get donations from fans.

Ideas are not original, they are built upon layers of knowledge accumulated throughout history. All creative works reassemble ideas, words and images from what has come before. [See Kirby Ferguson’s Everything is a Remix]. Trace back just 15 years ago, the artwork in the games today would not be possible, because the style has not been conceived, or that the technology or algorithms do not exist yet to draw like that. Similarly, today’s cost-efficient production methods for anime would not have even been developed yet, meaning that a vast number of today’s anime would not have been financially viable.

Knowledge and culture is a COMMONs. Like air in the atmosphere It is nobody’s property. When we create, we build on the progress made by those who have come before us. We borrow from the commons, possibly even profit from it, and then contribute it back into the commons. That is why before 1974, in the US the word “Public Domain” meant anything that was published at all, as opposed to the perverted definition we have today which is anything that is not held in copyright (Interestingly, the term “Intellectual Property” did not even exist before 1970). To teach that you can own a piece of writing or a piece of artwork, would be incredible nonsense because you would need to claim you invented all the language devices that you employed, or that you invented digital paint to paint with hence computers, electricity, discovered silicon, invented machinery and so on and so forth. For the 0.0001% that you add to the pool of human knowledge, profit from it if you like. But don’t be mistaken — because it’s not property.

  • “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton