The Guardian have a couple of articles which have a relevance to the notion of creative openness. Cory Doctorow extends the copyleft argument to the recent agreement between ISPs and the BPI whilst Keith Stuart explores how the games industry have dealt with piracy.
Cory Doctorow‘s article uses the recent agreement between the ISPs and the music industry to point out that the real criminals will now find other outlets and go deeper underground, presumably further developing their own darknet for filesharing. All this agreement will do is to annoy/hack-off the very people who may share some tracks but go and buy a download later or go and do something creative with it. If the music industry (and quite possibly the film industry) were bothered with creativity and making a viable industry in the future, then they would be developing platforms and getting involved at the grass roots level.
Indeed this is what the flash games industry is doing for itself, according to Keith’s post on the Gamesblog. Rather than trying sue a set of shadows, they have explored ways of making these some money (not much unless you’re really popular) from the associated revenue streams, such as advertising or in-game items/levels. If a game is pirated, the creator can still get some revenue for themselves through these mechanisms.
It boggles the mind how one industry can so clearly get it and work with it, whilst another stumbles aimlessly around trying to justfiy its current existence.
However, if you go sideways, there are some intriguing parallels to this. Freeing data and knowledge sets allows an individual to come up with and explore new ideas. It also means that potentialy some revenue will be lost if there are charges involved. Well its going to happen any way but one might as well accept this and work on ways of making the original source more appealing and useful.