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Students for Free Culture in the news

Timothy Vollmer, October 12th, 2007

This week the New York Times ran an article about Students for Free Culture, a national student organization that promotes engagement and activism in various areas of digital technology: creativity and innovation, communication and free expression, public access to knowledge and citizens’ civil liberties.

Many active Creative Commons affiliates appeared in the article, including students Cameron Parkins and Fred Benenson. Former CC intern and Liblicense lead Scott Shawcroft contributed thoughts in an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In the Times piece, Harvard Law student Elizabeth Stark said that while file-sharing has thrust copyright into the public consciousness, Students for Free Culture work on a diverse range of issues related to freeing creativity and culture.

In a follow-up letter to the editor (licensed CC-BY), Stark disassociates the organization from portrayals of it as a group that champions piracy:

We deeply believe that authors and creators should be compensated for their work, and we are eager to promote ways to do so in an environment where the world can build upon their creations. . .We stand for a culture where everyone has the right to participate and where works are made available for all to legitimately access, share and remix. This is a culture that is “free as in speech” — not necessarily one that is free of charge.

While technology continues to evolve faster than the law, it’s important to support student activism that pushes back against restrictive copyright regulation that smothers innovation, expression and learning. At the same time, organizations like Creative Commons continue to offer viable alternatives for content sharing that enable others to use creative works that support a more free culture.

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