Rhea Myers

The White Elephant Economy

If you cannot chareg to support the making of your art, and people cannot charge for keeping or sharing your art, that art is a financial burden. The more involved the creation of your art and the larger it is as a resource copy, the greater the burden. This burden can be great enough to prevent the creation of work, and may effect the distribution of it as well. Fortunately CC wrote an exception for the new generation of media corporations into the NC license, but that doesn’t apply to creators.

People relying on NC to make a reputation for themselves, or people trying to create an ideologically pure anti-corporate culture will find it hard to compete as anything other than amateurs if they must work to support the creation or distribution of their work rather than being free to profit from it.

An ostentatious, destructively burdensome resource is commonly called a white elephant. NC creates not a reputation or gift economy but a white elephant economy. And in popular culture white elephants always bankrupt their owners.