Ming the Mechanic:
The Earth in the Public Domain

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 The Earth in the Public Domain2004-04-30 17:40
14 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Doc Searls:
I believe the Earth has a public domain dedication. More or less.
OK, maybe he means that the picture of the Earth is in the public domain. But what if we meant that the Earth itself were in the public domain? Wikipedia has this to say about the public domain:
Internationally, the public domain is the body of creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest (typically a government-granted monopoly such as a copyright or patent). Such works and inventions are considered part of the public's cultural heritage, and anyone can use and build upon them without restriction (not taking into account laws concerning safety, export, etc).

While copyright was created to protect the financial incentive of those doing creative work as a means to encourage more creative work, works in the public domain just exist as such, and the public have the right to use and reuse the creative work of others without financial or social burden.
Doesn't completely fit, or does it? Is the Earth a creative work? Either way, imagine if the resources of the Earth were liberated from proprietary interests and couldn't be monopolized. Or does it need a stricter license, that ensures that not only can nobody own the resources for themselves, but nobody is allowed to misuse the resources? Like, you can only use resources that you replenish, and any added value that you've developed must be given back as well.


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14 comments

1 May 2004 @ 12:01 by Natalie @82.35.44.52 : public domain
This is always a difficult question. On one hand, I'm all for sharing and more often than not, I do give away my work, experience and abilities for no reward except to see others benefiting from them. However, there's another side to allowing all of one's creative work to be in the public domain. It means that what you have put your mind, heart, soul and perhaps months or years of effort into can be abused, distorted, turned into the opposite of what you intended and also, become a source of profit for someone while you yourself struggle to survive.  


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