[linux-elitists] Content and its discontents

D. Joe Anderson deejoe@raccoon.com
Sun Mar 7 11:30:50 PST 2004

On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 09:54:44AM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:

> The term "work", while not losing the fungible appelations,
> has at least the existing, positive connotation of "creative
> work".

That's the one.  It also has the meat-and-potatoes connotations
of "honest work" and "hard work".  And we're already well
accustomed to worrying over the conditions under which one can
create "derivative works".

"Work" has a more monosyllabic, direct-to-the-gut, Anglo-Saxon
punch, compared to the more classical "create" or "creation". 
"Working on" something already carries the idea that the
"something" already existed (perhaps in the commons) and that it
is being refined, improved, or customized, whereas "creating"
something carries the idea of de novo production.

There's probably little net benefit from a direct juxtaposition
of "work" with adjectival "free" (elitists need no recap of the
arguments here).  

Interpose a conjunction, though, and one retains all the
"liberty" goodness while drawing a nice parallelism to a term
familiar and comfortable to those hard cases who might otherwise
be susceptible to the typical red-baiting on the subject:
Erstwhile "content creators" are now people who are "free to
work".  They are free to work in their particular field with the
tools and raw materials of their choosing, free from the jagged
snags of the broken parts of patent and copyright law.


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