Leaning against a tree.

I Question Copyright (www.questioncopyright.org)

Karl Fogel

I usually work on Free things. "Free" doesn't just mean zero cost; it means the freedom to copy, to share, to modify and redistribute without arbitrary restrictions. For more details, see this article on the surprising history of copyright and the promise of a post-copyright world. Share the article with anyone — it's Free.

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identi.ca: @kfogel  ·  twitter: @kfogel  ·  blog: rants.org

Work

I am a partner at Open Tech Strategies, LLC. We help organizations — for-profit, non-profit, and govermental — launch and participate in open source projects.

I'm also a co-founder of Kersnootz, the steganographic kitten-placement service that leverages social network graphs to optimize feline overlays within a content-driven affiliate network. Check us out.

Non-profit: I work at QuestionCopyright.org, a U.S. 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes public understanding of the history and effects of copyright, and encourages freedom-based distribution methods that are appropriate for a networked world in which the cost of sharing information has gone to zero. I'm also an Open Internet Tools Project Fellow at the New America Foundation, a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative, a member of the Apache Software Foundation, and an advisory board member at the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom. You're probably beginning to detect a pattern here.

Writings
Open Source Projects

For detailed open source activity, see my account at the aggregator ohloh.net.


There is no blueprint for this Web site, but the overall plan is best described by this wonderful quote from architect Eliel Saarinen:

"There must always be an end in view, and the end must not be final."

He was applying that principle to architecture, but it's also the perfect philosophy for arranging a Web site... or an Internet.

I sometimes program computers (but please don't ask me if I can help you with your computer, because I probably can't).

What's so great about the Internet? Thomas Jefferson said it best in this 1813 letter to Isaac MacPherson:

"Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation."

Now you've almost reached the end of the page, and I'm running out of novelties. In a desperate attempt to change the subject, may I suggest you visit the Golosá web site, where is to be found excellent Russian choral music, both folk and liturgical? Or check out the web pages of some friends: Ben Collins Sussman (who has a most unusual receipt, but then so does Kate), Brian Fitzpatrick, Mike Pilato, Jim Blandy, or Noel Cragg.


Email: kfogel@red-bean.com

(You can send me GNUPG-encrypted messages using my public key.)