I guess you could say that I am a card carrying Creative Commonist. I just ordered the T-Shirt, so that makes it official. I also downloaded the CopyLeft Desktop – ahhhh shucks – i feel like such a GROUPIE! The name Creative Commonist popped up last week in response to Bill Gate’s suggestion that those who seek to enhance traditional copyright laws are “communists”. Bloggers were quick to respond that they were actually “Creative Commonists”, a reference to the Creative Commons license that many of us have been using to allow the re-usage of our material within reasonable guidelines. T-shirts with a Copyleft symbol and a Russian theme were created by BoingBoing’s Xeni to give us all another piece of blogging cultural capital.
Why did i buy the T-shirt? ( I am not suggesting you buy one.) Because in my heart of hearts i am totally committed to the sharing of valuable resources in an open source way. The Bible much has much to say on generosity and Jesus told us to freely give because we have freely received.
I made up my own little image here – based on what Jesus said. I am not saying that Jesus was into copyleft philosophy or would be a promoter of Creative Commons. Or even blogs. Nor am i slamming the traditional copyright system or the market economy.
What I am saying, rather, that I view Jesus’s words about sharing what does not belong to us (none of us owns the gospel) as highly appropriate to the current situation. Spiritual truth is given to us and it must be shared with others who need it. We dare not get rich off it. We are entrusted with the gospel, it is not our property. It belongs to everyone. I have more thoughts on the gift economy here.
Our spiritual walk should radically change the way we view money, and it should be no surprise if we seek to bring about justice and fairness and generosity in the economic systems of our world. Gift giving should characterize the emerging church. Amen?
Thats why this blog is free.
Thats why my articles are all free.
Thats why I have never “charged” a speaking fee in 20 years of conferences.
Thats why I bought the T-shirt . .
. . . . and also because it looks cool and may one day be an historical place marker for open source publishing.