A short video on Commons Based Reciprocity Licenses

Work on developing Commons Based Reciprocity Licenses (or CBRLs, for short) continues apace here at the P2P Foundation. When speaking of these types of licenses, we often find it hard to explain how they fill a niche in the alt. license spectrum, falling somewhere between the straight up copyleft and the popular Creative Commons Non-Commercial License.

To that end, I asked Michel Bauwens to condense his thinking on CBRLs into a short (5 minute) video we could share with people, which you’ll find below. It was filmed by our associate Kevin Flanagan and recorded at a break during the Open Everything Convergence held in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Tipperary, Ireland.



Are CBRL’s perfect or will they work? We don’t know, but we believe that we’ll only arrive at an answer by creating them and testing them out. Whatever their viability, they represent a statement that Free/Open Culture shouldn’t be appropriated by capital while the Commons withers, unable to ensure it’s own social reproduction. We’d like to thank Dmytri Kleiner, for his pioneering work in this area, not just for providing a critique of Creative Commons, but for actually getting his hands dirty (along with John Magyar) and creating the first working CBRL, the Peer Production License, which can be adopted right now. In fact, the PPL has already been adopted by a number of collectives, such as Sharelex, Infrastructures.cc, En Defensa del Software Libre and the other  organization I regularly work in: Guerrilla Translation.
I’d also like to acknowledge Primavera De Filippi and Miguel Said Vieira for their excellent critique of the concept in their must-read article: “Between Copyleft and Copyfarleft: Advance reciprocity for the commons“. The P2P Foundation is now working along with Primavera, Annemarie Naylor, Karthik Iyer, Joel Dietz and others to develop new CMRLs partly based on Primavera´s and Miguel’s recommendations.

1 Comment A short video on Commons Based Reciprocity Licenses

  1. AvatarBob Haugen

    I and some other open source software developers have been seriously considering the PPL for our work, and are happy to see more work being done to improve the license or create variations.

    One variation we request is to augment the types of work being covered. The current PPL is so specific about applying to literary and artistic works and phonograms that it seems to exclude software. Or open hardware designs, for that matter. And in each of those other domains, particular aspects of derivative works arise that are different from those described in some detail by the PPL for the works it covers.

    If we can help, please describe how in this comment thread. And maybe other software developers who are interested could register their interest in these comments, or in the described method for collaboration.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.