Generation @ – inspired by @smarimc

I think Smári McCarthy, a fellow transnational citizen, Uberhacker and admired activist, touched a special nerve when he recently twittered:

Ours is a world where @ is replacing ©. Attribution, not restrictions.

Spot on. Hence I propose we start calling ourselves Generation @ to indicate that we prefer decentralised attribution over monopolistic, old-school and restrictive, centralised systems like Copyright, patents.

It makes a lot of sense. But it lacks the most fundamental element at this moment – a decentralised, secure, reliable and open system of identity. How can we make sure we put attribution to the right person or entity? See the whole pinterest discussions and the realname policies at Google and Facebook.

Hence we need an open, decentralised, neutral identity layer on the net and in the real life – #freedentity. Let’s start working on that.

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

7 thoughts on “Generation @ – inspired by @smarimc”

  1. I trust we won’t become confused between the power provided by the privilege of copyright to demand attribution (qv Lessig’s CC Attrib) vs the individual’s natural/moral right against misattribution.

    1. Yes. It should be about shifting control to the author. A system where data/content becomes attributable and interactions are broadcasted so the original author can “follow” his content and be in control according to his rules (which include giving up control).

      1. ‘Control’ sounds a lot to me like a euphemism for ‘power’.

        When it comes to ‘should’, I suggest the most ethical arbiter is nature, i.e. the power individuals have by nature – in equilibrium. Individuals do not naturally have the power to burden others with duties such as to give credit, respect, or attribution, nor do they have any power to control what others may do with their work.

        By all means remove the ‘control’ legislatively shifted from the public to copyright holders (to prohibit copies), but do not take copyright as moral sanction to legislate any other unnatural law – even if you believe shifting ‘control to the author’ must be a priori good (paths paved with good intentions lead to…).

  2. Could not an open system of digital signatures and certs be used to create a means to attribute reliably?

    1. Yes, exactly. But it needs to be standardised, open, free to use and accesible to all. #freedentity 🙂

  3. So what about a new HTML tag that stores pgp signatures and displays a warning that something’s signature doesn’t match, coupled with an author’s-server-side signature generator for quotations? So, I want to quote you with verifiable attribution using a “quote” tag, your site detects a quote pingback and detects if you actually wrote something matching the quote within certain paraphrasing limits. If it passes, I get a verified attribution mark (a “gold @”?). If not, it renders a warning instead. Either easy, users don’t see ugly signatures; they’re hidden in tag metadata.

    Couple that with personal spiders to detect misattributions, or a dedicated universal spider that we can use to detect plagiarism or misuse of our names to false quotes. Call out offenders, offer easy standardised honest/transparent system for online journalism/bloggers, see if it works.

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