LIS-3353 - Freely Available Information

Created Tuesday 19 October 2021


Freely Available Art, Knowledge and Culture

read all the FSU rules and follow them...
--or maybe not..

Morals, Ethics, Law?

Morals, Ethics, Law?

I start here because, in this realm, there's a very very huge disjoint...

Morals, Ethics, Law?

Ideally: Morals → Ethics → Law.

Really, it's all over the place.

Influencers (there may be more)

needs, etiquette, psychology

Economics, religion, sociology

Morals, Ethics, Law?

“The Lambchop Machine”

Morals, Ethics, Law?

“The Lambchop Machine”

When X is free, when is it appropriate, if ever, to deny X to someone?

Ownership /Property

- Simple, intuitively; 3 year olds understand it.


Ownership /Property

But, consider the law(s) of:
Personal Property
Real Property
And later Intellectual Property


STILL, fundamentally about exclusion.
Which makes sense for “limited” stuff; but could be likened to a state-sponsored monopoly

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

“Intellectual” “Property”

Rewarding creators is a means to an end, not the end itself.

Intellectual? Property?

The words.

Intellectual Property

Consider the theory vs the practice;

What people THINK it is:

"I own that idea" or
"That idea is mine because I came up with it"

What people THINK it is:

"I own that idea" or
"That idea is mine because I came up with it"
technically has NO BASIS IN LAW, unless it fits the below

Remember, the law only sets in:

When someone takes time out of their day to SUE YOU;

(Or perhaps to try to inform and/or scare you into some compliance)

For better or worse.

Intellectual Property

The weirdos

(not governed by the IP clause)

Trade Secret


Trade Secret

“Privately held info that confers economic advantage or benefit”
Different from the others because ITS A SECRET. (think about it, the others are PUBLICLY KNOWN)
Must “make efforts to protect”
Something like a corporate right of privacy


Different from the others in that it's not (theoretically) inherently valuable, but only symbolically
“Expresses Source of Origin”
Potentially perpetual
Can be a very wide range of “things”
(names, phrases, logos, even sounds, smells and colors)


Mostly not too controversial, except:
Unfairly scoped and/or wielded (e.g. Sam Bucks Coffee?)
Weirdly Deceptive? (Famous Amos Cookies?)
And wait – what is FSU doing?


Broadly, what is the relationship between TRADEMARK and BRANDING?
(weirder than you think)

Definitely Intellectual Property


Patent (theory)

Protects inventions and ideas

Must be:

Theoretically Non-patentable

Naturally occuring things like – plants and algorithms.


Simply patent the “process”

Reverse Engineering v. Stealing?

Patent don't care.

This is why a lot of people oppose them CATEGORICALLY

Design Patent?

Weird, and you'll see them more soon, because of a shift from

- Deep descriptions
- General perception


Automatic (Berne Convention)
but, must be registered to sue
“Expression of an idea”
Not infinite, but almost-- (70+life)

Fair Use

Fair Use (is weird)

(weird b/c “parody/satire”)
Effect on “value”

+ The “5th” measure. Is it icky or weird?