I decide to “give away” most of my rights to my digital content in the hope that someone will find it useful and re-use it to tell their story. No need to ask, just be polite and give me attribution. — Mike Seyfang
Mike Seyfang is an Australian education consultant and advocate of open systems, emphasising opportunities for innovation and creative thinking enabled by Creative Commons Attribution licences. Drawing on over 25 years of ICT experience, the last nine spent with Microsoft, Mike has been strongly influenced by Lawrence Lessig’s lectures on Read/Write Culture (as transcribed here). So impressed was Mike by Lessig’s talk of ‘free culture’ that he made a mashup ‘Downes vs. Lessig’ as a demo to the net2blazers group, incorporating podcasts, Flickr images, and web 2.0 artefacts with the aim of showing ‘how remixing many elements is both powerful and tricky to license appropriately’ (hosted on blip.tv).
Mike’s edublog ‘Learning with the Fang’ regularly engages with issues of content distribution and re-use. The most recent post ‘Soccer with Stephen’s CONTENT Cat’ on 4 June 2008 deals with the question of the most effective license scheme for ensuring open access to free content, with Stephen Downes arguing for CC BY-NC-SA and Mike advocating CC BY as ‘more open.’
Objecting to the removal of NC conditions, Stephen comments:
In conversation with Leigh Blackall from Otago Polytechnic, it has been suggested that the NC term be migrated to a ‘NRC: No Restrictions through Commercialisation’ to clarify educators’ concerns with enclosure.
Calling upon Clay Shirky’s acknowledgment of the need for certain prominent projects to avoid commercially-driven harm, Mike characterises these as belonging to the ‘short head’ of the power curve distribution, as below.
In response, Mike positions himself within the ‘long tail’ of this curve:
This builds on a post from 7 May 2008 in which Mike discussed why he licenses under CC Attribution. In response to Richard McManus’s reuse of Mike’s image ‘ReadWriteCulture-FangMix1’ on Read/Write Blog, Mike observes: ‘This is why only work that is freely licensed with continue to be relevant in future culture.’
As parent to teenage children who will most likely make their living from creating digital content, Mike is ‘keen to influence law reforms that will help them along the way.’ Mike’s children are responsible for the Wholesale Meat Media Blog.
As discussed above, Mike is a strong supporter of the Creative Commons Attribution licence, making his blog posts available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence. His Flickr photographs are licensed under CC BY 2.0. Mike notes derivative uses of his images here:
Adopting the Creative Commons Attribution licence as the representation of ‘free culture,’ Mike discusses his decision at several points across his blog. Most recently, he expresses the following opinion:
In commenting on the reuse of his work even for commercial purposes, Mike observes:
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