Talk:Wikieducator tutorial/What is free content

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Free speech, free access201:55, 6 June 2008

Free speech, free access

Edited by author.
Last edit: 08:02, 23 October 2007

The Canadian Oxford defines 'free' as 'not restrained' and 'not restricted'. In the context of this discussion, I take it to mean unrestricted access to materials and software, and unrestrained use of these.

The context of the sign in the photograph is ambiguous: it says that one can express one's mind restrainedly and unrestrictedly in this place, but the permit to do this is given by some authority which presumably can also rescind that permission.

The sign also implies by its very nature that expression of views elsewhere, other than at that location, is restrained and restricted.

I think it needs to be said that freedom of speech can in practice be very hurtful, scandalous, or otherwise damaging: it does not necessarily mean the assertion of humanity, truth, and justice.

The question about protection from appropriation by publishers for their own profit of materials written in the Commons, is a risk contributors have to take. The corollary of that is publishers claiming materials written in the Commons being close enough to published materials to constitute copyright infringement. A determined Monsanto-like publisher possibly could bankrupt the foundations supporting the free licences.

Tippen (talk)14:41, 23 October 2007
Edited by author.
Last edit: 14:41, 23 October 2007

Hi John,

When I first saw this photo - I couldn't resist including it in our tutorials. I'm fascinated by the notion of paradox in our "modern" world. At face value the "freedom of speech" area seems like a good thing, yet as you point out, it's ironic that we need a designated area to practice "freedom of speech"!

You should Google the college about the history around this sign. If I remember correctly there are specified requirements around free speech of students at pubically funded colleges (now I'm not sure if this is a state or federal requirement) - which is paradoxical given the constitutional support for freedom of speech that is enshrined in the constitution.

I'm far from being an expert on the American constitution and its relationships to freedom of speech at publically funded institions.

Futhermore - you're very right about freedom of speech being hurtful or scandalous - which brings into the conversation the philosophical relationships between freedom and responsibility.

All up - a fascinating image.

Cheers Wayne

Mackiwg (talk)14:41, 23 October 2007

Hi John, Wayne,

When I look at this image it brings to mind an issue that arises time and again in asynchronous discussion forums that I moderate or contribute to. Freedom of speech often leads to inappropriate speech in postings that are emotive, destructive and/or libellious.

What happens then is a detrimental effect on the community members who may either:

retaliate, over react, over condemn, or shy away

Ultimately it leads to some decision making about how the admin team should handle such wayward posters. So one thing needs to be clear about what we deem to be appropriate speech not just free speech.


CoachCarole (talk)01:55, 6 June 2008