Positions on Free CulturePosities in Vrije CultuurPositions sur la culture libre

Texts and interviews about Constant’s commitment to Free, Libre and Open Source software and Open Content Licenses. See also: http://constantvzw.org/site/Reading-list.html

Free Culture

“The best thing Free Software has to offer its user is conversations, (…) points at the difference that Free Software can make when users are invited to consider, interrogate and discuss not only the technical details of software, but its concepts and histories as well.”

“Creative work consists of so many different media, disciplines, activities and products that if even the smallest part remains closed and is unable to benefit from the free flow of processes, ideas and products, it is precisely here where cancerous growths start to develop.”

Free, Libre and Open Source Software

“As of 1 July 2021, Constant discontinues it’s membership of the Free Software Foundation. This withdrawal does not change Constant’s continued commitment to software released under conditions that invite users to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve.”

“We acknowledge the huge potential of F/LOSS software for artistic and educational purposes and engage in its production and use. The most important aspect of F/LOSS and the Internet is its cultural significance. How it has affected other spheres of culture and society.”

“Can we re-validate inefficiencies, glitches and detours as valuable ‘stumbling blocks’ which help us to remind that using software is neither natural nor a neutral act?”

“Our decision to use and produce Open Source tools is therefore as much political, as it is in line with the nature of our artistic and intellectual interests. As each tool is scripted with use, we very much enjoy to be immersed in a milieu (or in fact: a stockpile of milieus) which emanates collaboration rather than individual authorship, which builds on exchange rather than on exclusivity. A milieu which supports biodiversity; a rich mixture of programmes and approaches.”

Open Content Licenses

“The CC4r articulates conditions for re-using authored materials. It is inspired by the principles of Free Culture but tries to respond to a growing discomfort with licenses that remain bound to the idea of authorship as ownership and which rely on an universalist approach to openness.”

“We would like all kinds of users to have access to as much knowledge as possible, and to publish major collections as open content on-line seems a good start. We understand that digitisation can only happen through the combined effort of people, softwares and technological infrastructures. To trust commercial enterprises to take care of putting digital collections on-line, is a dangerous bet.”

“Often the Creative Commons licenses and other free licenses are communicated as the solution to the problem of Author’s Right. They are one part of the solution, it is true, and one that can get you started here and now. But they don’t solve the problem as a mathematician solves an equation. Because of their dependency on the Author’s Right Law, the free licenses cannot compensate all the failures of the system. Worse, they are affected by it. The challenge for the ‘free culture’ we are part of is to affect the culture globally. To do so, it has to inspire us the courage, desire and energy to reclaim a more subtle Author’s Right legislation. We have made the modules, let’s hack the kernel!”

“The ‘alternative’ licences give a vision of creative exchanges in society. In doing so they have a twin aim: to announce to the participants in a project, the rules of a game to which they are invited, but also to highlight through contras — and it is a worthy quality — the narration that underlies ‘traditional law’. What was considered as something that had been acquired, as a fact, suddenly is rediscovered as a project. We no longer have the law and what is outside the law. We have the law as a project and the world that the law creates by narrating it.”