<body> Public Ad Campaign: Learning From Our Mistakes-Apologies to UK Street Art
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learning From Our Mistakes-Apologies to UK Street Art

UK street art masthead

This may seem a little absurd, but I have been reading a lot about the gift economy and am becoming hyper aware of the social benefits of "sharing" or creating community through exchange without expectation of return.

As this site is a continual learning process, sometimes we make mistakes and they need correction. A while back we "stole" the entirety of UK street art's recent interview with PosterBoy. In the comments on that post they said, "You could have just linked to our post rather than just rip it directly!" My obnoxious response read "sorry. I just want content to be readily available. I think most people know about how awesome UK street art is. If you would rather we not post your stuff I will make sure we don't in the future. If this is about hits, let me tell you we are an anti advertising site and don't give a hoot about those." I was clearly equating "hits" to economic capital for potential advertising revenue, and was not respecting the nature of the UK street art site as a creative entity to be respected.

Tonight I was having a conversation about the creative commons concept with another media awareness advocate from LAMP (Learning About Media Program) when realized I had made a mistake that needed correction. There are guidelines to abide by when sharing creative content which can allow the free flow of information and creativity without the need for monetary compensation. A few simple rules surround the concepts of attribution, commercial use, distribution, etc. I had taken the license to attribution, which in this case I'm sure they were fine with, but I had also taken a license to distribution. Not only do I think this was unfair, but obviously they did also.

If UK street art was a commercial institution profiting directly from their interview with PosterBoy I don't think I would be making this apology outright, I'd probably be hearing from their lawyers. (He also probably would never have given the interview) Given UK street art is not intent on controlling the spread of this wonderful information they created, I should have respected the rules of the creative commons and posted only the first paragraph, then linking to their site. (As we often do) They had gone through the trouble of creating this thing that they were willing to share, and I had taken the gift without returning the favor.

I was not intent on stealing so much as I did not think hard enough on the concept of the creative commons and how that idea, through continued respect, creates a community that goes beyond even the information and creativity. This community is an important part of being a cultural producer, and the development of mutual relationships within that community, an important part of being a cultural producer. For this I would like to openly apologize to those at UK street art and promise from now on be to more aware.

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Blogger markjenkins said...

Hi Jordan,

I wasn't leaving a comment to have a go, was merely pointing out that by using our content it would be nice to have a mention where the original article came from.

We weren't expecting anything in return, but we always like to do this whenever we're using content from another site and cite the original source.

We're more than happy that you used to the content to spread the word, appreciate that a lot.

thanks and keep up the good work

UK Street Art


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