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What does a free culture look like?

A free culture is one where critics don't just vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down on a movie but seriously discuss how a movie could be improved -- and then someone reads their critique and goes out and does it. [1] [2]


A free culture is one where being a cover band doesn't lose you any street cred compared to doing your own music from scratch -- and where it starts to become hard to tell the difference. [3]

A free culture is one where bad old TV series and movies turn into brilliant remakes and fan fiction on a regular basis -- and bad remakes and fan fiction themselves generate brilliant ones after a few years.

A free culture is one where making a tribute to your favorite book or speculating on a logical continuation of an existing book is just as legal as mocking and satirizing a bad book you don't like. [4]

A free culture is one where anyone who wants to can try to build a better mousetrap -- and the world beats a network of paths connecting everyone's front door.

A free culture is one where everyone thinks of themselves as a voice in a huge choir whose power and beauty comes from its size and diversity, rather than shutting up and sitting in the congregation while only the best voices sing alone on a bare stage -- where the many don't bow to the few and the few aren't responsible for the many.

A free culture is one where there are no intellectual property crimes -- because to steal art is as silly as stealing the air we breathe, and to vandalize it is as silly as cutting off your own nose to spite your face.

A free culture is one where people see the nature of their work as a reflection of their character -- rather than seeing the market value of their work as a reflection of their worth.

A free culture is one where fraudulently putting one's name on another's work to make one appear a better artist is an utterly petty and ridiculous crime -- as silly as putting one's name on another's photograph to make one's face more attractive.

A free culture is one where artists are paid for making art just as farmers are paid for making food -- and where for an artist to control her art's evolution and growth is as unnatural as a farmer dictating how people may eat the food they buy from her.[5]

A free culture is one where sacrificing wealth and comfort for the sake of knowledge and creativity is as noble as sacrificing wealth and comfort for the sake of family and friends -- and where both choices are increasingly seen as avoidable ones.

A free culture is one where everyone decides for themselves which art is great and which art is mediocre, where the cultural consensus can change at a whim rather than letting the voices of the past decide what will pass into the future -- and where those who choose to ignore the cultural consensus can and will.

A free culture is one where I can write, sing, paint, dance or just talk however I please, and anyone who wants can watch or listen, where the spark of creativity in every human soul holds the reins, rather than the clamoring voices of conformity, inferiority and doubt -- and it's coming, bit by bit, voice by voice, word by word, life by life.