openDemocracy goes Creative Commons

13 June 2005

Most people have heard of copyright. It means you can't just pluck things off the internet and publish them on your own website. And that you shouldn't download Britney Spears music onto your iPod without paying for it. In many cases it also locks down science, scholarship, culture and development because someone needs to make a profit. Copyright is good. But sometimes it is used in bad ways.

openDemocracy wants to be good. We don't publish articles to make a profit. And most of the authors on this site write with no pay because they really care about the issues. The more people who read the things they write, the more hope we have for dialogue and understanding worldwide. So we've been thinking: it's time to change our copyright terms to make it easier for you to share the articles - and the ideas - with anyone you like. From today openDemocracy is publishing the majority of its articles (subject to author agreement) under Creative Commons licenses.

Today is a great day.

We're inviting you to visit your favourite article, check if it is licensed under the Creative Commons,  and then republish it in any non-commercial medium of your choice. Got a blog? Do it! Work for a non-profit organisation with a members newsletter? Do it! Are you the editor of the school newspaper? Do it! Want to read our articles aloud and podcast them? We want you to think of this site as a resource for your work. Free, simple, permission granted in advance.

But openDemocracy also wants to survive. We ask that you follow some simple guidelines for attribution. And commercial publishers must pay for the rights to republish just as before. If we see you are using our gift to enrich yourself, we will send you an invoice with the thundering speed of lightning. Newspaper editors, we welcome you here.

Siva Vaidhyanathan has written an article celebrating the Creative Commons and our decision to join. And you can browse through a selection of some of the hundreds of articles from the archive we have set free on openDemocracy's home page. I'm so excited about this move I could burst. If more scholars and writers, (and publications) had the courage to set their ideas free, the world would already be a better place. Congratulations to our generous authors, who have embraced this idea enthusiastically.

(If you like the idea too, consider making a small donation. I'm hoping to prove the people who would consider this commercial suicide wrong. Free thinking! Not free beer.)

Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics based on class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the need for protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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