Hal Abelson's avatar image.

Founding Director of Creative Commons & Free Software Foundation

My name is Hal Abelson, Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT

Anonymous profile image
  • How important is free media?

    I love the creative commons and have submitted some of my work to it via wikipedia, but I also know that free media can pose a threat to indie artists and creators. Why pay for something when you can get it for free? This is a problem that many traditional publications are facing. And they're often combatting it by leveraging ad space. Is free media the future for everything? And, if so, are advertisements the way to monetize media and for creatives to make money while maintaining a free environment for consumers? Is this a problem, ethically?

    Hal Abelson's avatar image.

    I don't want to predict and I certainly don't know the answer. I do know there's an enormous lost opportunity for shared creation that comes from overly restrictive copyright laws. Also, as Richard Stallman has emphasized with software, there's a difference between saying that things should be cost-free, versus saying they should be rights-free (free as in speech versus free as in beer). The fact that society would like creators to be rewarded does not mean that the way to do this is by a long-term government imposed monopoly over the works (which is what copyright is). We have to all be creative in finding other approaches. Hopefully the Internet can help bring this about.