I’m not afraid of the masses. We’re fourteen years out into a millennium where, for the first time in history, it’s possible to build things entirely by consensus. Script-laying joe schmoes who have never met each other can sidle side-by-side up a scaffold of code and build platforms that everyone in the virtual community can use, for free, to solve all categories of problems, from my homework to your enterprise.
My metaphor is about open source software, but in the broader sense I’m talking about copyleft licensing for many different varieties of creative work. Whereas copyright protects creative expression by limitation, copyleft preserves that protection while simultaneously making it possible for the work to become a wellspring for future creative expression by adding creator-selected exemptions for third-party use. Copyleft licensing is a kind of give-and-take for the creative community that builds incentives into the creative process.