Shamed into action by my imminent presentation on the topic at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, I’ve finally got around to licensing the blog under the Creative Commons (it’s at the foot of the page – the layout still needs a bit of work). The license I’ve chosen is Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.1 Australia, which pretty much sums up the standard expectations for a blog. Anyone can use as much as they like for a non-commercial purpose, as long as they allow others to do the same with the derivative work, and acknowledge my original authorship, either by name or with a link back to the original post.
The Creative Commons is a crucially important initiative. The most important innovations of the past twenty years, those associated with the rise of the Internet, have been driven primarily by bottom-up creative collaboration and not by intellectual property or centrally planned research. On the whole, patents have actually obstructed the process. Government funding for research has helped a bit, but it has been a secondary factor.