Who owns what?

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I really should write on the General Assembly. But since the candidates anyway fill up most of the issue, well, enough is enough. Instead, this editorial will play around with being a little self-referential. I will in this article ask: who owns the words that I am right now writing?

The Ecosprinter is the publication of the Federation of Young European Greens. Still, FYEG has never asserted any specific ownership rights over what is published in the magazine. Nobody gets paid and all the work is voluntary, so somehow talking of ownership seems quite crass, materialistic even. Like property is something dirty, something we do not want to associate with. This attitude is quite common in the more radical political circles. I would also claim it is a false attitude.

In actuality, the fact that I do not know who owns these very words that you are now reading is a severe limitation on their usefulness. If you, the reader, would like to transmit them, carry them on, you would have a problem. What rights do you have in relationship to my words? Or any of the words in this publication? How about the images? The ideas behind the images and words? In this issue, still, all material belongs to their respective producers, and you have no rights to them what so ever, unless you specifically ask for permission from the author. But this is about to change.

From the next issue, the Ecosprinter will most likely include the following text: “This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.”
This simple addition will clarify that all the material published here can be used, and changed, by others, as long as they include a reference to the original author and do not make any money as a result.
And by thinking of ownership, we will have abolished it.

If you have objections, want to know more or would like to argue for an alternative form of licensing, please visit http://creativecommons.org/

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