Free or Fair Share?
Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe Me’. Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the Whole Sky. – Hafiz
Set limits and redistribute surplus would say the third Permaculture Principle!
Means that if we produce more that what we can consume or enjoy for ourselves would be better to share it with others. I'm trying here to give an pubblic answer to the ones who have addressed conserns about my blog and sources, expecially to my community fellows, because nobody else has complained before this present moment.
Is it ethical to share for free all the knowledge that I've learned all along my life? Does is ethical to sell my contents and still using them? Does is ethical to use other sources referring to them in the context of this blog?
This may seem like a weird post to have on a food health sharing site, but there’s been some questions regarding some of the recipes or contents I’ve been posting or selling and whether or not I’m breaking copyright law by including them here.
I'm facing those problems myself, and it seems I did that since ever, since when I've started my carrier as accademic papers' writer and as a journalist. And now differently from the past I can say: oooh there is a meaning in that! I'm glad now I can see it.
What is happening and debating here is about Gift Economy from my point of view. I'm not trying here to make up my own ethics. I'm not trying either to overtake by anybody or anything I'm just trying to spread knowledge in a friendly, not scientific environment, making a fusion between science and fun in the kitchen environment in this context. What would it be my secret agenda otherwise? Why would I do it? I'm not getting any personal advantages by that. If I would take advantages, I would sell my contents and my papers without rising all this dust, getting the money I need and avoiding to spread this knowledge in another context, and moreover without bothering anybody with this ethical questioning.
So I'm going to make the point... For me gift economy is that when everyone operates in the spirit beneath the greater benefit for the collective, deciding to give up to the little self in the name of evolving as collective. I believe that is what I'm doing here: spreading knowledge connecting dots that are not always in place... I do it in a scientific way but in a very basic and pratical level, so everybody can find the benefit and enjoyiment for this fusion. And for that I'm willing to take my risks, consciously and intentionally doing everything is in my power and that is required to be done to meet people’s knowledge needs gets done, because I have the dream that people could end up with greater access to all the resources they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives that are also healthy to the whole that sustains them, and not caring to the mentality of the self and scarcity that is central to the philosophy of monetary economics.
Referring to the CMSI, Centre for Media and Social Impact, for journalists, the copyright doctrine of fair use, the right in some circumstances to quote copyrighted material without permission or payment, is integral to getting work done and distributed. Journalists use it to quote sources and source material, refer to previous incidents, comment or critique, and to summarize, among other uses. The business of journalism is sustained in part by fair use, which enables appropriate, timely, unlicensed quotations and references to newsworthy material. Fair use incorporates journalists' free speech rights within copyright. But journalists like myself are facing ever-greater challenges to applying the doctrine in daily life. Social media, video, and user-generated content pose new challenges and unfamiliar choices. Online aggregators, bloggers and citizen journalists copy original material and further destabilize business models. I'm glad this is happening actually... it means that the economy of knowledge is changing face and it needs more congruency and integrity than money.
I strongly believe is really good this interest about free or copyright sources is happening and the fact that we feel the risk and the threat of that. This is about modelling gift economy in my opinion... it's happening when what we do is for the sake of knowledge, freedom and for the sake of many, and this changes the paradigm of our economy. In the type of gift economy I'm trying to work with, giving and receiving is done on a largely unconditional basis, which stands in stark contrast to the rather ironically named ‘free-market’ economy, which has very successfully managed to turn every aspect of our beautiful little planet, whose bounty was once indeed free to all, into an inherently meaningless set of financial valuations.
Back at the begininnig to Hafiz' quote I sometimes call this the nature economy, as this is the basis of what Nature works on. Personally I don't care anymore to the ones are taking advantages of my sources or work! The waves of knowledge are travelling and spreading and this is the gift I'm receving back. It is risky I know, but I strongly feel that the gift is taking place and it will return, perhaps not for myself in this life time, but the freedom of knowledge would effect the future in any way. Gifts may be given in return at some point down the line (and in most historic gift-based economies, almost always were), and they can strengthen such a society if they are. The key to this is that they are not a condition on the original gift, that they are not immediately returned, and that they are never exact.
However I strongly respect other opionions and point of views to discuss as a way to grow together and find new ways of prospective, so please let me know either if you might don't want to mantain my contents in your website because I'm still using them and I'll give you back the money you paid for my work or if you don't want to mantain your contents in my blog, even referring to the sources. As an adult, I'm a responsable being so I'll be more that happy to face the conseguences of my choices and believes and see what next. I'm not fearless, I'm just aware this is a threshold of a new model and I'm curios of the shape is going to take place because of this stand.
Again referring to the third principle of sustainability "we need to focus on what is appropriate for us to do, rather than what others should do. By finding the right balance in our own lives we provide positive examples for others, so that they can find their own balance."