Leaning against a tree.

Become a Conservancy Supporter!

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.

Are you having trouble sending me email? If I failed to respond to your message, it may be that it simply got lost in all the spam (or, perhaps, that my spam filters accidentally ate it). Click here to find out how to send me a message that will get through my spam filters and be noticed.

Fediverse: @kfogel@kfogel.org  ·  Blog (old school): rants.org  ·  Blog (via Fediverse): @kfogel@rants.org


I am a partner at Open Tech Strategies, LLC. We help organizations — for-profit, non-profit, and govermental — reach their goals through open source software collaboration and development.

I'm also a co-founder of Kersnootz, the steganographic kitten-placement service that uses machine learning to leverage decentralized social network graphs to help our users optimize feline overlays within a blockchain-based content-driven affiliate network. Watch this space for news about our upcoming ICO.

Non-profit: I founded 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 served a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Open Source Initiative and was for two years an Open Internet Tools Project Fellow at the New America Foundation (stepping down from both in 2014, in order to handle our growing business at Open Tech Strategies). I am a member of Software in the Public Interest and of the Apache Software Foundation, and served for five years on the Software Freedom Conservancy's Evaluation Committee.

Bio and photos: Here are some biographical blurbs and conference photos.


Time passed since I gratuitously copied this cool timer from Daniel Stenberg (who used it to time the 937 days it took for the U.S. government to issue him a visa — I cannot explain why our government denied Daniel permission to enter the U.S. for so long):

00 days, 00 hours, 00 minutes and 00 seconds

Open Source Projects

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 GPG public key.)