Why the Freedom Feens use a Creative Commons license

Why the Freedom Feens use a Creative Commons license…even though we’re anarchists.

Neema Vedadi and I put out all our liberty media under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This includes our Freedom Feens podcast, the Anarchy Gumbo podcast, the movie “GUNS AND WEED: THE ROAD TO FREEDOM”, and my “Gun Training With The Non-aggression Principle” DVD series. We will likely use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license for anything we do going forward. I wanted to explain why we do that.

And I’ll get to kill two birds with one stone, because I will also show the silly types of e-mails and questions I get all day long, every day, 365 days a year, from people who don’t do their research before bugging me.

The other night a newly-minted voluntaryist who listens to the Freedom Feens instant messengered me, and without so much as a “Can I ask you a question?” or even starting with “Hello”, jumped into asking me a rather accusatory questions.

Below are the highlights of our chat. Let’s call him ” FEEN FAN:” (I asked his permission to post this, and he was cool with it, but I’m not including his name)

10:27 pm FEEN FAN: Hey Michael D. I was just wondering what you figured the justification for using creative commons licensing was. I know that things are hard. But if we are not supposed to give the state legitimacy through voting, running for office, being cops, military ect. Than maybe we ought not to participate in licensing. Now, please don’t block me bro lol

10:33pm MICHAEL W. DEAN: I know Creative Commons rests on the back of Copyright (something most people don’t know about it), but I operate under the premise that it gives people clear-cut legal “rights” within the current legal system. Calling something “anti-copyright” has no legal definition in the current world.

I’m not going to block you, I’m going to tell you that you questioning my motives with using Creative Commons is like a statist saying I’m not a real anarchist because I drive on the roads. There is no option for widespread private roads, just as there is no option for widespread non-copyright that doesn’t ride on the back of copyright.

10:35pm FEEN FAN: I was partly being funny with the blocking part lol

10:35pm MICHAEL W. DEAN: Do you know exactly what Creative Commons is and do you understand exactly what the Attribution 3.0 license we use allows? Most people don’t really understand Creative Commons.

10:35pm FEEN FAN: All I know is that people are supposed to include who the work is from or give credit but can use it in any other way they want. I think they can’t sell it?

10:36pm MICHAEL W. DEAN: People can sell the derivation work with the license we use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

I wouldn’t use the CC non-commercial licenses, because they don’t allow for the widest propagation possible. There are something like 18 different CC licenses, you should read up on them before dismissing them collectively.

I think by your first question you don’t know what CC is.

10:43pm FEEN FAN: cool. um, so are you saying that your CC prevents fraud by giving you a case against it in court? or that aggressive force is used so that people have to say “Michael W. Dean”? And your (sic) right. I talk out of my ass once in a while. I thought my point about the roads was more along the lines that- look, using the roads has no consequence on liberty.

10:45pm MICHAEL W. DEAN: I think you’re not clearly stating what your beef with me about CC is about. I really don’t get what you’re saying.

10:49pm FEEN FAN: attribution right? What does that mean. Does it mean someone can’t say, “this work is mine” when it is yours. Or does it mean, some must say “by the way this is from feens incorporated” (sic). Because you are right that I don’t know about CC. You can educate me dude. :)

10:49pm MICHAEL W. DEAN: It’s pretty plain in the license. Did you click on that link on our site where we talk about using Creative Commons? Someone cannot put it out as is and say they created it. That would be fraud, and not legal even in LibPar.

But they can make derivative works and list the author as them plus who they used as source material, as long as they do it in a way that doesn’t imply the source material creators stand by the final product.

Here’s my reasoning for using it, and using the license we use. We want as many people as possible to spread our stuff as far and wide as possible, forever. Using the Creative Commons attribution 3.0 license is not about stopping people from using our stuff, it’s about ALLOWING more people to use our stuff. Especially companies. No company that has their shit together (as far as not getting sued) would ever use source material in a remix if that source material is labeled “no copyright” or “anti-copyright”, because that has no legal designation in America or any other country. If it’s labeled “Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license”, it’s clear that they will NOT get sued, and clear what they can do with it. It’s about inclusion, not exclusion. We’re not going to sue anyone for using our stuff like that, but they won’t use it without being TOLD they’re free to use it. The option is to say “no copyright, contact us for use permission”, but then you make people jump through a hoop to use it, and people are less likely to use it.

10:57pm FEEN FAN: That’s cool. I agree with that. I just thought it must use some type of force. And it’s still not clear to me if it does. But I agree with the justification.

10:57pm MICHAEL W. DEAN: I’m glad you approve of the way I work 80 hours a week for decades and give it all away. lol.

10:59pm FEEN FAN: Your a funny guy. I like the cast cause it’s fun. It’s not like sitting through an hour Mises podcast.


So, we use Creative Commons to SPREAD our art, not to limit it from spreading.

And the above thread is indicative of the conversations I have with fans all day long. (And that doesn’t even include the actual “haters”, we’re talking people who LIKE what Neema and I do!) Dealing with these questions is a lot of work, and it’s usually based on the person not doing research. And it’s usually coming from people who aren’t working their ass off to make anything, they’re just complaining about how we make things. And they’re getting it wrong.

I’m a busy guy. If you want me to keep making great stuff, do a little research before you start in with “HEY MAN, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!!!!!” Because explaining that takes a lot of time that would be better spent with me MAKING stuff!


–Michael W. Dean

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5 Responses to Why the Freedom Feens use a Creative Commons license

  1. Michigan Escapee

    You may have to use short and less than articulate phrases for the
    Twitter generation. Something like, “This says if you credit me as
    ‘Mikey Mike Feen’ on your burned copy of the DVD that I get to violate
    the non-aggression principle and kick a puppy, preferably yours!”

    I think they might understand that. Dunno, didn’t count, is that under 127 characters ? lol

    • MWD



  2. Mark

    I’ve wondered about the Creative Commons thing, though I wasn’t going to lambaste anybody for it. Thank you for explaining it, I think I understand it now.

    If I’m following you correctly, you want your media to spread far and wide without restrictions, but you can’t just leave it blank, you have to have something there, and this is the best solution that fits the real world.

    We can speculate about Lib Par until we’re blue in the face, but for now, we have to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.

    I appreciate the work the Feens do to produce liberty media, on top of the day job. Or night job, or whenever that happens!

    • MWD

      Mark, this is EXACTLY it: “If I’m following you correctly, you want your media to spread far and wide without restrictions, but you can’t just leave it blank, you have to have something there, and this is the best solution that fits the real world.”

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