Freedom or Copyright? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Matthias-Christian Ott ott at
Fri Feb 8 19:37:48 UTC 2008

Alex Hudson <home at> wrote:

> On Fri, 2008-02-08 at 19:47 +0100, Matthias-Christian Ott wrote:
> > But fighting against the culture industry - an industry that is
> > producing "culture" like a factory produces commodities - is a
> > difficult challenge.
> That honestly sounds like a very elitist view of "culture". I don't see
> why that "culture industry" needs to be fought against, some of the
> finest works have come out of commercial ventures.

It's not an elitist view of "culture" - it's the direct opposite. The
current "mode of production" of culture is very elitist and there's no
diversity. This diversity doesn't only refer to people, but also to
content, style etc.

> I agree with RMS's opinions on DRM and functional works. I'm not sure
> that the gift economy system he's espousing is necessarily a winning
> formula - if we work on the premise that people should be economically
> rewarded for their efforts, I don't see any compelling reason to say
> that one system of remuneration is better than another for cultural
> works. They seem like completely different arguments to me.

Richard Stallman also outlined a tax based system in his talks. But
I don't see a problem in such a gift economy, except that it requires
some kind of emancipation, because people have to voluntarily donate and
have to give up this trading paradigm of the direct exchange of money
and commodity.

Donating money works fine for Free Software projects - so why shouldn't
it work for "culture"?

> Cheers,
> Alex.


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