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Creative Commons: a user guide

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Simone Aliprandi

Preface

Carlo Piana

Texte intégral

1Simone is an artist and a fine lawyer. Frequently the outcome of this combination is a lawyer who ends up being an artist. On the contrast, Simone has chosen the hard way, the one that brings the least glamour. He has chosen to do good to humanity through being a lawyer and disseminating legal knowledge.

2His writing son copyleft and sharing the knowledge have been inspirational to many of us in Italy, and I have welcomed the opportunity to increase the audience by writing an English essay. I have been an enthusiastic reader of the Italian version, and this English one has undoubtedly more than met my expectations.

3In a down‐to‐business, no‐nonsense, practical attitude, Simone drives us through the intricacies of the Creative Commons licensing in the real world.

4It is a new and at the same time old topic, that years of “intellectual property” mono‐culture have hidden from sight of both lawyers and authors or developers, so much that we have to invent legal hacks to make ideas and software Free. Our ancestors did not worry about this: sharing knowledge was simple and straightforward, just as speaking, painting, playing music, building tools and things were natural. Nowadays, the same concepts seem to require a triple backward somersault to be put in practice in a legal framework that makes simpler to sell the unsalable –an idea– than sharing it. We have invented the most powerful instrument in history after the printing press to share knowledge – the Internet – and our entire legal system seems shaped only to prevent this knowledge from being shared.

5Artists and software developers are similar in that they frequently despise the law, sometimes not without reason. Both of them are in dire need of some accessible, coherent and correct guidance on the legal aspects because there is nothing worse than complete ignorance, barring imperfect knowledge. Simone’s book is precisely what an artist needs to read to know what needs to be done. Not that legal advice will be entirely avoided, if anything goes wrong. However wise decisions can help prevent most or all of the negative consequences.

6Readers will find all of the above in this book.

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