January 13, 2010 AT 11:51 am

Open source is terrifying!

We’re catching up on some news from last week, here come the open source culture = terrifying piracy articles… from CNN.

“With the open-source culture on the Internet, the idea of ownership — of artistic ownership — goes away,” Alexie (novelist and poet Sherman Alexie) added. “It terrifies me.”

It’s more terrifying when someone groups open source with piracy. In our experience as artists and biz owners open source and open source hardware actually gives the maker *more* control and more artistic ownership.

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  1. Another reporter who has no clue what they’re talking about, decides to throw together a few terms that seem similar, to push another scare story. Good thing I no longer had any faith in the standard Media outlets.

  2. Here is something positive to even out the balance

    Prosperity or the commons : http://shareable.net/blog/web-of-life


  3. People like this strike me as incredibly arrogant. He writes in English, making reference to popular culture and in a style that draws on hundreds of years of previous work. The idea that an individual can have exclusive ownership of something which is just as much the product of society as it is of his is nonsense.

    Lady Ada, you are the perfect example of someone who makes a living while still giving away all their intellectual property for free. To listen to people like Alexie you would think that all authors has been destitute since the invention of the public library or the photocopier. People with real talent, like you, don’t need copyright to “protect” their income, and that has been demonstrated over and over again throughout the history of intellectual property.

    I too make all my hardware open source and still cannot make it fast enough to satisfy demand.

  4. Ignorance is indeed scary. It blows my mind that a literate person with a vested interest in Open Source–especially if it’s as terrifying as they say it is–wouldn’t learn about it before going on record with such a face-palm worthy quote. And then place it in an article where it’s completely out of place.

    To be fair I had similar thoughts when I heard about open source. The elevator pitch is counter-intuitive, especially compared to copyright and the intellectual property law that’s taught to writers. But after seeing so many smart and successful people embracing it, people who had lots to loose if it really was awful, I realized that I must be missing something. I was. But educating myself was remarkably easy.

    Maybe someone can send them ‘Dummy’s Guide to Open Source’.

  5. Simply a confused, and unfortunate, interpretation of the concept of open-source.

    @Al: Interesting article. Thanks for sharing

  6. I read Sherman Alexie’s book ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian’, and sort of attended his commencement address at my school, and it’s quite surprising to me that he made that statement — I guess he didn’t drop by our computer labs and see what we do with open source.

    Since his book has artwork from another artist in it, would he entirely “own” his book?

    Plus, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t “own” the entire story line of his book. ‘Open source’, or the concept of spreading knowledge and ideas, is needed in literature for authours to keep making books! DUH!!!

    If he is serious about this statement, he will still continue to write books, but leave them unpublished and in a secret ‘code’ so that he will “own” his artwork. I hope he proves me wrong! 😉

  7. It is unfortunate he is spreading FUD about open source knowingly or unknowingly.

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