There’s a new and remarkable supply for people interested in free software and its philosophies, licences, and operative devices: the brand-new Informatics Freedom and Open Culture Brief by Simone Aliprandi, published by Prima Ora and freely available online in pdf format. It is an anthological collection of informative articles and official documents (explained and commented).
The author is also responsible for the first Italian survey on the juridical aspects of copyleft. Among the extracts included there are some texts chosen by Emmanuele Bello , the curator of the brief and some extracts taken from digests written by well-known authors such as Bruce Perens, Alessandro Rubini, and Richard M. Stallman. Undertaken themes are copyleft, new models for copyright, GNU/Linux systems and diverse distributions, free documentation and various Italian translations of different documents such as GNU GPL and GNU FDL licences . Texts are brief and simple, very useful to explain what software is, how it is created, the importance of the source code, and the licence to distribute it without technical details.
Through this book Simone Aliprandi develops the theme of his Degree thesis delving into hacker culture, without forgetting the turning point represented by Linux and the free software use as a standard for business. Then he gives detail on “free” software licences (GPL, BSD, Mozilla Public Licence, Open Source Definition etc.).
The main part of the work is represented by the application of similar processes in the non-software world, that is, the artistic-cultural dimension. As a matter of fact copyleft is also known as copyright (note the wordplay between left and right ).
Nowadays copyleft is largely used for documents, instruction booklets, compiling texts (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, data bases, and Wikipedia too), and artistic-expressive works, where Creative Commons are gaining more and more consent. The end of this brief is dedicated to the complicated juridical implications, copyleft perspectives and the review of various Italian texts on different licences.
This is a divulgating but not simplistic work. Says Aliprandi: “I’m fascinated by the fact copyleft re-designs copyright model which has remained the same for two centuries without changing the regulation asset at all: everything is based on authors’ freedom of choice and managing autonomy of their copyrights. This is an essential element for the spreading of digital creative contents.”
Devices available to every author (or artist) are presented here with all the necessary documentation to support the spreading of the works beyond copyright, which is investigated by current media by now, though majors are still trying to save the situation. Explanations are very relatable even if the juridical aspect is still controversial because there is no harmonization among international disciplines. This balance could be reached through coordination between the European concept of individual property and Common Law legislative policies.
The same author also wrote Informatics Freedom and Open Culture Brief , published by Prima Ora February 2006 ( www.copyleft-italia.it/compendio ) and Copyleft Theory and Practice Guide for the Use of NDA Opencontent Licences – Press, May 2006 ( www.copyleft-italia.it/libro2 ). So, if you want to know something more about Open Source and copyleft or free digital culture, this is the book you ought to read.