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The Semiotic Hacking 
How to unleash the creative and inventive intelligences to favor innovation
The Semiotic Hacking by Thomas Bonnecarrere is licensed under a Creative Commons 
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0...
For Viêt, and for a universal Internet.
“Really good coders build entire universes out of ideas” 
Jamie Allen. 
“Life can be much broader once you discover one si...
“Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire C...
Table of Contents 
I. Introduction and initial reflections...................................................................
4.2.Analysis.................................................................................................................
5.3. The augmented reading...................................................................................................
5.3. Voluntary public domain.................................................................................................
I. Introduction and initial reflections 
The purpose of this theory is to develop a new paradigm based on the hacking phil...
“smart” and “deceptive” connected objects and the risks they represent for individual's rights and 
privacy, considering t...
operates a clear distinction between hacking and cracking, which refers to security breaking.2.”You 
can help correct the ...
Key texts structuring the Internet principles and the hacking philosophy are the Hacker Manifesto6, 
The cathedral and the...
approach toward the exploration, creative and inventive processes (i.e., ideology linked to 
amateurism), thus empiric exp...
does not mean he has an ethical commitment to treating other people properly. Some hackers care 
about ethics but that is ...
freedom. Beauvois (2011) states that “the only freedom in life is not the one to say Yes. It is the one to 
say No”. These...
“nonfree” one. Lee (2011), talking about this “free” concept, states : “Once you have heard that it 
refers to freedom rat...
control over it. 
The Free software philosophy thus largely rests upon trust in a community. If an individual or a group 
...
possible with Free software respecting the four fundamental freedoms) means mastering our destinies 
(not controlled by pr...
and the possibility for anyone to enter, quit and re-enter the communitarian process at any time 
without altering the glo...
- The “networked information economy” to describe a "system of production, distribution, and 
consumption of information g...
to speak about “Digital Restrictions Management”, for these technologies are designed to restrict and 
control the users' ...
further-reaching set of restrictions in service of that -- locking down APIs, shipping updates that 
downgrade the softwar...
continuing to grow the work that we have done for almost thirty years to promote and defend all free 
software.” 
A famous...
- Freedom 1 depends on the good's structure (e.g., open/Free or closed/depriving). The possibility to 
reverse-engineer in...
- Almost unlimited resources whose ownership is meaningless due to is abundant nature.. Example : I 
declare owner of the ...
study, modification and diffusion. The integration of DRMs in a digital program whose initial intrinsic 
nature is common ...
and legal paradigm opposes to “permissive culture”. Both these cultural and legal paradigms (as well 
as the Free software...
to his reputation via the alteration of the work likely to be interpreted as the reflect of the author's 
personality and ...
give legal advice on the copyright status of commandeered material. A clear example of copyfraud is 
the Warner exercising...
and enable creators to modify their copyright terms to best suit their needs. 
The Creative Commons thus does not try to f...
seriously." For Hughes (1993), the "punk" part of the term indicates an attitude : “We don't much 
care if you don't appro...
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Semiotic hacking thomas bonnecarrere

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Development of a new philosophical paradigm, based on Stallman's hacking philosophy and Peirce's semiotics, aiming at unleashing the creative and inventive thoughts.

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Semiotic hacking thomas bonnecarrere

  1. 1. The Semiotic Hacking How to unleash the creative and inventive intelligences to favor innovation
  2. 2. The Semiotic Hacking by Thomas Bonnecarrere is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Cover picture : Free Universal Construction Kit by F.A.T Lab and Sy Lab (2012), under a CC BY NC SA license. Semiotic Hacking logo : Thomas Bonnecarrere (2014) under a CC BY NC SA license. For more information about Creative Commons licenses, go to: http://creativecommons.org
  3. 3. For Viêt, and for a universal Internet.
  4. 4. “Really good coders build entire universes out of ideas” Jamie Allen. “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact : Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use” Steve Jobs
  5. 5. “Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat. I don't know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.” Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  6. 6. Table of Contents I. Introduction and initial reflections................................................................................................1 II. The hacking, Free and cypherpunk philosophies as core of the semiotic hacking..................2 1. The hacking philosophy...............................................................................................................2 1.1. Hacking and DIY philosophy...............................................................................................4 1.2. The spirit of exploration.......................................................................................................5 1.3. Ethics and hacking...............................................................................................................6 2. The Free philosophy....................................................................................................................6 2.1. Analysis of the freedom concept..........................................................................................7 2.2. Analysis of the Free software philosophy............................................................................7 2.3. Nonfree softwares and restrictive technologies.................................................................12 2.4. Material/immaterial goods and inherent characteristics in relation to the free software philosophy.................................................................................................................................15 2.4.1. Goods within the physical and digital worlds............................................................15 2.4.2. Common rival, non-rival and anti-rival goods...........................................................16 2.5. Free culture........................................................................................................................19 2.5.1. The colonization of the common culture....................................................................21 2.5.2. New legal tools to empower potential creators..........................................................22 3. Analysis of the cypherpunk philosophy.....................................................................................22 3.1. Encryption and privacy as core parts of the cypherpunk philosophy................................23 3.2. Datalove.............................................................................................................................24 4. Creative and inventive intelligences..........................................................................................26 4.1. Creative intelligence...........................................................................................................27 4.1.1. The exercise of freedom over the cognitive process..................................................27 4.1.2..Making unexpected connections................................................................................28 4.1.3. The framing - reframing process................................................................................29 4.1.4. The social dimension of the creative intelligence......................................................30 4.2. Inventive intelligence.........................................................................................................31 4.2.1. Strategic intelligence..................................................................................................31 4.2.2. Inventive thought........................................................................................................32 III. Analysis of the semiotic hacking process.................................................................................34 1. The complex observation...........................................................................................................34 1.1. From complex receptor to complex observer.....................................................................34 2. The context of observation.........................................................................................................36 2.1. The development of a favorable context to optimize the semiotic hacking.......................36 2.2. Groups of belonging and groups of reference....................................................................37 2.3. Intergroup relations, categorization and discrimination.....................................................38 2.4. Social representations........................................................................................................39 2.5. The group's cohesion..........................................................................................................40 2.6. Social influences as main threat for creativity and innovation..........................................40 2.7. Innovation within groups...................................................................................................41 2.8. The situations of group and creativity................................................................................46 2.9. Model matching of the task - network of communication.................................................47 2.10.Matching nature of the task - structure of the group.........................................................48 2.11. The matching nature of the task - social structure............................................................48 2.12. Matching between the representation of the task – nature of the task.............................48 2.13 Evaluation, competition and creativity within groups......................................................49 3. Synectics....................................................................................................................................50 4. The mastering of intelligence and ignorance in order to optimize the interpretation and the creative process..............................................................................................................................51 4.1. The network and the network strategy...............................................................................51
  7. 7. 4.2.Analysis...............................................................................................................................53 4.3. Question – answer and prevision.......................................................................................54 4.4. The fight against the retention of information...................................................................57 4.5. The fight against disinformation........................................................................................57 4.6. The memory.......................................................................................................................58 4.7. The technical and legal dimensions of the memory...........................................................59 4.8. Internet network and strategic intelligence........................................................................60 5. Global evolved collective mind.................................................................................................64 5.1. The groups' design and functioning...................................................................................64 5.2. Groups of belonging and groups of reference....................................................................64 5.3. Clusters and networks........................................................................................................67 5.3.1. Clusters.......................................................................................................................68 5.3.2. Networks....................................................................................................................70 5.4. Technical infrastructure......................................................................................................72 5.5. Code...................................................................................................................................72 5.5.1. Global supra-ordinal goals and superordinate social identity....................................73 5.5.2. Culture of the network and collective intelligence.....................................................76 5.5.3. Ethics, sharing and fun as core values........................................................................79 5.6. Content...............................................................................................................................82 5.6.1. Viability and sustainability as main issues.................................................................82 5.6.2. The anticipation of potential abuses against the commons........................................83 5.6.3. Documentation and memory to favor the cognitive appropriation............................84 5.6.4. The promotion of the contents....................................................................................86 IV. The hacking of the semiotic process..........................................................................................87 1. The relation to the observed representamen..............................................................................87 1.1. Actual, virtual and virtualization – actualization dynamic.................................................87 1.2. The different kinds of observation.....................................................................................89 1.3. The different kinds of relation to the object.......................................................................91 1.4. The dimensions of the mind...............................................................................................91 1.5. The interpretamen in the semiotic process.........................................................................92 1.6. The representamen's design and design's model................................................................93 1.7. The complete observation and experience with a digital representamen...........................97 1.8. Metadata to enrich the interpretation of a digital representamen.......................................99 1.9. Deceptive designs and mental models of a digital representamen...................................100 1.10. Reverse engineering as mean to enrich the interpretamen.............................................101 1.11. Dark patterns..................................................................................................................105 1.12. Online lures....................................................................................................................107 2. The reading process.................................................................................................................110 2.1. Semantic fields, inference, mental models and reading strategies...................................110 2.1.1. Inference and mental models....................................................................................112 2.1.2. Code is poetry...........................................................................................................115 2.1.3. Inference and strategic intelligence..........................................................................118 2.1.4. Reading strategies.....................................................................................................119 3. The navigation process............................................................................................................122 3.1. The cognitive navigation within the semantic space........................................................122 3.2. Linear and hypertextual navigation..................................................................................128 4. Crystallized and fluid intelligence in the inventive intelligence process.................................129 4.1. Fluid intelligence in the creative intelligence..................................................................130 4.2. Crystallized and fluid intelligence in the strategic intelligence.......................................130 5. The right to read and write anonymously................................................................................135 5.1. Read-only VS read-write cultures....................................................................................135 5.2. The right to read anonymously........................................................................................140
  8. 8. 5.3. The augmented reading....................................................................................................143 5.4. Open work........................................................................................................................146 6. Wave – particle duality and observer effect as core parts of the complex observation and semiotic hacking..........................................................................................................................153 6.1. The increase of the observed representamen's momentum..............................................160 6.2. The cognitive conflict between wave-like, particle-like and wave – particle dual observations............................................................................................................................164 7. Serendipity and abduction as means to optimize the creative semiotic process......................166 7.1. Serendipity.......................................................................................................................166 7.1.2. Serendipity in the cyberspace...................................................................................168 7.2. Abduction as means to optimize serendipity and stimulate the semiotic process............169 7.2.1. Definition of abduction............................................................................................169 7.2.2. The “background theory” as necessity for abduction...............................................171 7.2.3. Abduction and observation process..........................................................................171 7.2.4. Abduction and explanation of the puzzling fact.......................................................174 7.3.5. Abduction and choice of observation.......................................................................176 7.2.6. Abduction and social context...................................................................................177 7.2.7. The potential negative effects of the social environment.........................................177 7.2.8. The potential beneficial effects of the social environment.......................................178 7.2.9. Abduction and representamen's design.....................................................................180 V. Branding strategies, intellectual property and their hacking................................................182 1. Intellectual property as mean to control the individuals' mind................................................182 1.1. Mental DRMs, cognitive silos and their effects on the creative process.........................184 1.1.1. Mental DRMs...........................................................................................................184 1.1.2. Cognitive silos..........................................................................................................186 1.1.3. The cutting-off the creative process.........................................................................188 1.1.4. The possible misinterpretations................................................................................192 2. Branding strategies and means to hack them...........................................................................195 2.1. The branded semiotic process..........................................................................................195 2. 1.1. Definition of a brand...............................................................................................195 2.1.2. Branding strategies...................................................................................................196 2.1.3. Advertising and sponsorship....................................................................................200 2.1.4. The colonization of culture.......................................................................................201 2.1.5. The semiotic loop.....................................................................................................204 2.1.6. The competition between brands..............................................................................205 2.1.7. Mergers and synergies..............................................................................................208 2.1.8. Brandscendence........................................................................................................212 2.1.9. Legal strategies to develop and protect the brand's power.......................................214 2.1.9.1. The identity as rivalrous resource.....................................................................214 2.1.9.2. The moderated legal strategy............................................................................218 2.1.9.3. The lack of legal strategy..................................................................................221 3. The hacking of the branding strategy and of the intellectual property....................................223 3.1. Hacking the trademarked representamens.......................................................................223 3.1.1. Neologisms...............................................................................................................223 3.1.2. Names of parody......................................................................................................224 3.1.3. IceCat........................................................................................................................225 3.1.4. Replicant...................................................................................................................225 4. Emulation as clear example of “cross-brand interoperability” in order to hack programmed obsolescence and preserve a cultural patrimonial........................................................................226 5. The hacking of copyright.........................................................................................................227 5.1. Creative Commons...........................................................................................................227 5.2. Copyleft............................................................................................................................228
  9. 9. 5.3. Voluntary public domain..................................................................................................229 5.4. Copyheart and intellectual disobedience..........................................................................231 6. The hacking of trademark........................................................................................................232 7. Synectiction as mean to disrupt the branding strategies and unleash the creative thought.....234 7.1. Cognitive empowerment and disempowerment...............................................................238 7.2. The problem solving process...........................................................................................239 7.2.1. The management of constraints................................................................................240 8. The creative framework...........................................................................................................242 9. The search for interoperability as mean to disrupt the branding strategy and unleash the semiotic process...........................................................................................................................244 10. Cognitive capitalism as value through mental representations..............................................245 11. Cognitive commonism as mean to enrich the semiotic process............................................246 12. The Free Universal Construction Kit and the achievement of interoperability between conflicting systems......................................................................................................................247 13. Sustainability as core principle of the interoperability and Free philosophy........................249 VI. Conclusion.................................................................................................................................251 Annexes............................................................................................................................................256 Annexe 1......................................................................................................................................259 Annexe 2......................................................................................................................................260 Annexe 3......................................................................................................................................261 Annexe 4......................................................................................................................................262 Annexe 5......................................................................................................................................264 Annexe 6......................................................................................................................................265 Annexe 7......................................................................................................................................266 Annexe 8......................................................................................................................................267 Annexe 9......................................................................................................................................268 Annexe 10....................................................................................................................................269
  10. 10. I. Introduction and initial reflections The purpose of this theory is to develop a new paradigm based on the hacking philosophy, initiated by the community of hackers from MIT in the 1970's and theorized by Richard Stallman, which can be fully integrated within the creative and inventive intelligence processes. In other words, we are going to propose a new paradigm which aims at unleashing these two processes in order to not only stimulate innovation, but also favor the development of strong mental resistances against potential abuses likely to weaken it. Our initial interrogations are induced by several analysis coming from the fields of human sciences (philosophy, linguistics, information-communication, social psychology and economy), computing, law and quantum physics. These different but complementary domains will make us consider, throughout our analysis, the world (composed of the physical, digital and psychic virtual dimensions) as a “branded and legally framed semiotic system”. Here are some analysis that fed our reflections to develop this new paradigm : - Peirce’s theory of signs states that all modes of thinking depend on the use of signs. According to him, every thought is a sign, and every act of reasoning consists of the interpretation of signs. Signs function as mediators between the external world of objects and the internal world of ideas. Signs may be mental representations of objects, and objects may be known by means of perception of their signs. Semiosis is the process by which representations of objects function as signs. It is a process of cooperation between signs, their objects, and their interpretants (mental representations); - Some researchers like De Bonis (1996) state in their work that “everything is cognitive”, This paradigm is confirmed by Bohr (1935) and Heisenberg analysis, who demonstrated that the act of observation (whether by an individual or a group) necessarily has to be considered to meaningfully analyze our world; - Ferguson (2011) depicts in his film Everything is a remix the interconnectedness of our creations and how current laws and norms miss this essential truth. Lessig (2001, 2008) depicts the “remix culture” with the presentation of a new cultural paradigm born with the computer-era and technically inherent to the digital world, the “read-write” culture. “Culture is remix” is also one of the slogan of influent Internet advocacy groups such as La Quadrature du Net to defend remix as a fundamental right for the exercise of creativity; - Klein (2000), in her book No Logo, analyzes what she calls our “branded world” by emphasizing the omnipresence of brands within our societies and the control they exercise on the commons as well as on our relation to them. She also emphasizes the “brand, not product” economic paradigm ruling our corporate world; - Lessig (2001), in The future of ideas, analyses “the fate of the commons in a connected world” and the threats the increasingly depriving copyright laws pose to creativity and innovation. In Code and other laws of cyberspaces, he emphasizes the “code is law” paradigm”. Maurel (2014) demonstrates that this paradigm has now shifted to “law is code” . Thus, law is now deeply integrated in the code, and conditions the digital contents as well as the individuals' relation to them. Stallman analyzes the 1
  11. 11. “smart” and “deceptive” connected objects and the risks they represent for individual's rights and privacy, considering them as “tools of power” likely to alienate the individuals deprived of their fundamental freedom to exercise control over them. Finally, Assange (2013) states that “Internet has become the nervous system of our societies”, while Zimmerman (2014) emphasizes the fundamental importance of the network's “universality” in order to preserve this exceptional common good from control by private entities. Finally, our reflections are fed by Frasca's extended Peircean semiotic model which we will analyze and enrich. We will thus analyze throughout this work how technical and legal issues are conditioning/shaping the individuals' relation to the world, and will try to propose a new paradigm in order to “hack” it via the unleashing of the creative and inventive thoughts. II. The hacking, Free and cypherpunk philosophies as core of the semiotic hacking 1. The hacking philosophy The main literal definitions of the verb “to hack” are1: - To cut or hash with repeated and irregular blows; - To break up the surface. Richard Stallman (2002), creator of the GNU operating system, founder of the Free Software Foundation and one of the first hackers from MIT, defines this philosophy : “It is hard to write a simple definition of something as varied as hacking, but I think what these activities have in common is playfulness, cleverness, and exploration. Thus, hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness. Activities that display playful cleverness thus have "hack value". For him, hacking is an idea of what makes life meaningful. He adds that everyone's first hack consisted to walk in the wrong direction on an escalator : “That is not the way it's designed to be used, but can you make it work?” There are many definitions of the hacking philosophy but here are the ones which will structure our new paradigm. For Müller-Maguhn (2013), hacking means “not following the official rules but understand the principles and build something new with them”. Stallman emphasizes historical facts at the origin of this philosophy : “Hackers typically had little respect for the silly rules that administrators like to impose, so they looked for ways around. For instance, when computers at MIT started to have "security" (that is, restrictions on what users could do), some hackers found clever ways to bypass the security, partly so they could use the computers freely, and partly just for the sake of cleverness (hacking does not need to be useful). He however 1 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hack 2
  12. 12. operates a clear distinction between hacking and cracking, which refers to security breaking.2.”You can help correct the misunderstanding simply by making a distinction between security breaking and hacking—by using the term "cracking" for security breaking. The people who do it are "crackers". Some of them may also be hackers, just as some of them may be chess players or golfers; most of them are not. Jérémie Zimmerman (2014), co-founder of the advocacy group La Quadratiure du Net which specializes in the defense of the individuals' liberties in our digital society confirms this distinction, stating that “hackers are builders, not destroyers”. The “Mothership Hacker Moms” community (community of Californian mothers sharing “hack values”) define hacking in those terms : “Hacking is a general term that means modifying an object or idea to fit your own needs. You can hack a recipe, a computer program, or in our case, we hacked a hackerspace to suit mothers.” When asked about the definition of hackerspaces, they state : : “We’re a membership-based, community-operated creative space where do-it yourselfers share tools, intelligence and community. Hacker/maker culture and values support open source, peer-learning, shameless amateurism and unabashed dabbling, dilletantism, experimentation and healthy failures in hacking yourself and your subject.”3 Like Stallman, they operate a clear distinction between hackers and crackers. According to the Request for Comments RFC 13924, a hacker is “A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.” The Conscience of a Hacker (also known as The Hacker Manifesto) is a small essay written on January 8, 1986 by Looyd Blankenship AKA The Mentor. It states that hackers choose to hack because it is a way for them to learn, and because they are often frustrated and bored by the limitations of standard society. Jean Marc Manach (2012), journalist specializing in the Internet and digital technologies, states that one of the hacking philosophy's core principle is “act without asking permission” (i.e., acting without being afraid of potential negative consequences such as social sanction). For Harvey5, in 1986, the word ``hacker” is generally used among MIT students to refer not to computer hackers but to building hackers, people who explore roofs and tunnels where they're not supposed to be : “A “computer hacker”, then, is someone who lives and breathes computers, who knows all about computers, who can get a computer to do anything. Equally important, though, is the hacker's attitude. Computer programming must be a hobby, something done for fun, not out of a sense of duty or for the money. A hacker is an aesthete.” All these different concepts such as the taste for disobedience to official rules in order to explore new “creative paths” likely to trigger new opportunities and lead to potentially unexpected/ unintended discoveries, as well as the aesthetic dimension, will be fundamental in our analysis of the semiotic hacking philosophy. 2 “I coined the term "cracker" in the early 80s when I saw journalists were equating "hacker" with "security breaker". 3 http://mothership.hackermoms.org/about/faq/ 4 https://tools.ietf.org/pdf/rfc1392 5 http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~bh/hacker.html 3
  13. 13. Key texts structuring the Internet principles and the hacking philosophy are the Hacker Manifesto6, The cathedral and the bazaar by Eric S. Raymond7, the declaration of independence of the cyberspace by John Perry Barlow and Code : Version 2.0 by Lawrence Lessig. The hacking philosophy is based on the culture of amateurism and the learning through experiment and failures to feed the memory and optimize knowledge of observed systems. Coupled to Müller-Maguhn's definition, hacking will often denote in our work the action of deconstructing a sign, analyzing and understanding its principles and building something new with it in order to stimulate the creative and inventive thoughts as well as the semiotic process. Our new paradigm, which aims at hacking the semiotic process to unleash it and stimulate the creative and inventive thoughts in order to optimize the exercise of freedom over these processes, will also be strongly inspired by Zimmermann's (2014) definition of the hacker culture : "The hacker culture is about the power humans have over their creation””8. 1.1. Hacking and DIY philosophy We will integrate in the hacking philosophy the Do It Yourself (DIY) one, for these two philosophies share common core values and are, as we consider, intrinsically bound. According to Wolf & McQuitty (2011), the Do It Yourself is the method of building, modifying something without the aid of experts or professionals. They describe DIY as behaviors where "individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g., landscaping)". A DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness). According to Wikipedia9, “The DIY ethics refers to the ethic of self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of a paid expert. The DIY ethics promotes the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists. The DIY ethic requires that the adherent seeks out the knowledge required to complete a given task. Central to the ethic is the empowerment of individuals and communities, encouraging the employment of alternative approaches when faced with bureaucratic or societal obstacles to achieving their objectives.” These two philosophies thus share in common core values such as : - The search for creativity fed by empowerment, autonomy via self-sufficiency and independence from private entities likely to exercise a closed and centralized control; - A sense of initiative similar to the “act without asking permission” paradigm as well as a disinhibited 6 http://www.phrack.org/issues.html?issue=7&id=3&mode=txt 7 http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/ 8 https://twitter.com/SurSiendo/status/461894447299457024/photo/1 9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIY_culture 4
  14. 14. approach toward the exploration, creative and inventive processes (i.e., ideology linked to amateurism), thus empiric experience as true source of knowledge and value within the creative and inventive processes; - They both thrive in a favorable creative framework10, i.e., in openness and freedom. Free technologies and common goods (as core parts of the Free philosophy we are about to analyze) are thus considered, both for lots of hackers and DIYers as a good mean to favor autonomy and independence (i.e., self-sufficiency) and favor the individual or collective exercise of freedom, creativity and inventiveness. They also both contribute to stimulate the individuals' creative and inventive thoughts. 1.2. The spirit of exploration Patrice Franceschi (2013), French explorer and adventurer, defines the true meaning of the exploration spirit11. For him, what defines it are the taste for freedom and knowledge, a will of non-conformism and an ability to take risks (which inherently induces, from our point of view, the ability to endorse and accept their responsibility). This spirit can animate philosophers, such as Kant who never left its city of Königsberg but who achieved a copernician revolution of the thought by writing its Criticism of the pure reason. The spirit of adventure is thus not synonymous with exoticism. The courage necessary to think and tell the world the great philosophers invent does not have to be underestimated, as well as the spirit of adventure they demonstrate. He then emphasizes the concept of arété 12, intrinsically bound to the spirit of adventure and exploration, whose virtues are : the taste of freedom and knowledge, a willingness to nonconformity and a risk capacity. Brought together, they define the spirit of adventure that drives both sailors, mountaineers or philosophers. Finally, he then states that in ancient Greece, the highest human potential was knowledge (or wisdom). All other human abilities derive from this fundamental one. If the arété's highest degree is knowledge and study, the highest human knowledge is the knowledge of oneself. In this context, the theoretical study of human knowledge, which Aristotle called "contemplation", is the highest human capacity and the means to achieve the highest degree of happiness.13 The spirit of adventure and exploration thus fits perfectly the hacking philosophy as defined by Stallman, based on the love of exploration of the possible, of uncertainty and originality. Our paradigm will also place these values at its core. We will thus consider that knowledge is necessary for the exercise of freedom, which is necessary for true creativity to be expressed. 1.3. Ethics and hacking Stallman's analysis always refer to “ethical hacking”. For him14, “Just because someone enjoys hacking 10 We will aanlyze this concept later. 11 http://ragemag.fr/patrice-franceschi-lesprit-daventure-ne-rime-pas-avec-lexotisme-38177/ 12 From the greek word ἀρετή, virtue 13 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrice_Franceschi 14 The Hacker Community and Ethics: An Interview with Richard M. Stallman, 2002 5
  15. 15. does not mean he has an ethical commitment to treating other people properly. Some hackers care about ethics but that is not part of being a hacker, it is a separate trait. (...) Hacking is not primarily about an ethical issue. (…) Hacking tends to lead a significant number of hackers to think about ethical questions in a certain way. I would not want to completely deny all connection between hacking and views on ethics. The hacker ethics refers to the feelings of right and wrong, to the ethical ideas this community of people had—that knowledge should be shared with other people who can benefit from it, and important resources should be utilized rather than wasted.15.” However, he considers that it is something really important for communities, by thinking of ethical issues in these terms : The way I reached my conclusions about which freedoms are essential for using software, and which kinds of license requirements are acceptable, is by thinking about whether they would interfere with the kinds of use of the software that are necessary to have a functioning community.” We will consider ethics as a fundamental part of the semiotic hacking philosophy, for we consider that its integration within the creative and inventive thoughts optimizes their respective processes as well as the mastering of the collective intelligence, which is a fundamental process to irrigate them. Let's now analyze the Free philosophy Stallman refers when he talks about “ethical hacking”. 2. The Free philosophy “Freedom has two enemies : oppression and comfort. The second one is the most dangerous” Pierre Bellanger 2.1. Analysis of the freedom concept Freedom will refer, in our work, to several definitions coming from different fields of knowledge : - The Free philosophy : First defined and developed in the computing field by Stallman, starting from 1983 with the development of the Free software movement; - Social psychology : Joule (2011), co-inventor of the “compliance without pressure” theory, states that the psychosocial knowledge emphasizes that the subjects declared as “free” behave the same way as those who have not been declared free or who have been declared “constraint”16. However, the simple “declaration of freedom” significantly increases the probability to see these subjects “submit” to the experimenters' requests, in a laboratory as well as in the street. The effects of rationalization (a-priori adjustment of the ideas to the acts) and of commitment (resistance to change, tendency tpo action,...) are more pregnant among the subjects declared free than the others. Most of the time those effects are not observed among the subjects who have not been confronted to this declaration of 15 http://memex.org/meme2-04.html 16 http://www.psychologie-sociale.eu/?p=203 6
  16. 16. freedom. Beauvois (2011) states that “the only freedom in life is not the one to say Yes. It is the one to say No”. These concepts will be fundamental in our analysis of the branding strategies as well as in the psychological defense strategies, at the core of the semiotic hacking philosophy; - Assange (2014), on Information as flow and power, states: “For self-determination - either as a group or as an individual - you need true information. The process of being and becoming free is the process of collectively and individually learning new information about the world and acting on it. The same process is one of the foundations of civilization. In communities, that means we have to be able to communicate among ourselves - to pass on our knowledge and to receive that of others. Information is fundamental for our position of power toward the world around us. A knowledgeable public is an empowered public is a free public.” This paradigm will be complementary to the Free philosophy which rests upon cognitive, technical and legal empowerment, collective intelligence and exercise of freedom to transform the world; - Chomski (1990) states that freedom necessarily requires opportunities to be exercised. We will try to propose in this work possible means to create new opportunities allowing the individuals to enjoy freedom by actually exercising it. 2.2. Analysis of the Free software philosophy According to the GNU.org website17, “Free software” means software that respects the users' freedom and the community. It thus means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “free” is a matter of freedom (“free as in free speech”), not price (“free a in free beer”).18 According to Matt Lee (2011), campaigns manager at the Free Software Foundation (FSF), “Stallman’s model for software freedom was the 1970s MIT AI19 Lab. The social contract of the AI Lab embodied the principles and benefits of free use and development of software. It is important to recognize that this is the historical emergence of an (approximately) ideal model rather than a historical accident or contingency. It is also important to recognize that Free Software is reform with a definite model in mind rather than radicalism with an unknown trajectory.”20 Stallman makes a clear distinction between the “Free” and “open-source” concepts, whom he considers as an ideological conflict. Thus, while open-source software refers to the individual's choice of commodity (via the possibility for anyone to improve and correct the software in order to benefit from collective intelligence), Free software refers to the individual's choice of freedom over commodity. In other words, freedom is a matter of principle, a personal “ideology”. A Free software defender will consider, unlike an individual supporting “open-source” softwares for their intrinsic qualities that a Free but not rich/powerful program will still be preferable than a rich and powerful 17 https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html 18 In order to waive all ambiguities, we will always use a capital “F” standing for the Free philosophy. 19 Artificial Intelligence 20 https://gitorious.org/foocorp/foo3/source/ff66568bfcc4691575aeb723e6191da4bf709023:exploring-freedom. lyx#L782-3177 7
  17. 17. “nonfree” one. Lee (2011), talking about this “free” concept, states : “Once you have heard that it refers to freedom rather than price, it calls to mind freedom. The word open never refers to freedom”. The four fundamental freedoms composing the Free philosophy are, according to the Free Software Foundation21: - The right to use the program, for any purpose; - The right to access and study its source-code; - The right to modify it and adapt to one's needs, without restriction; - The right to share it without restriction. Stallman summarizes the Free philosophy using France's famous devise : “liberty, equality, fraternity” : - Freedom : Via individuals' cognitive, technical and legal empowerment to transform the programs they use; - Equality : The FSF states that “Free software developers guarantee everyone equal rights to their programs.” This equality is ensured by the “universal” nature of these programs, i.e., with the same potentiality of access and participation in their collective open, decentralized and non-discriminating process. Their development thus rests upon an inclusive philosophy : any skill can be useful for being part in the communitarian process. - Fraternity : Via solidarity at the core of the collaborative communitarian development. Alexis Kauffman (2013), co-founder of the Framasoft community dedicated to the promotion of the Free philosophy in the French-speaking countries, thus emphasizes that according to the Free philosophy, an individual using a Free software de facto becomes a member of the community gravitating around a specific project. A Free program's intrinsic nature/core design thus encourages the unrestricted sharing of knowledge and solidarity. Stallman states that the four freedoms granted by a Free software are fundamental to exercise freedom over it. They are thus necessary for the individuals' empowerment (cognitive, technical and legal dimensions) via an unrestricted control to prevent abuses and enclosure/alienation to a closed and centralized source owned by a private entity. This control can be freely exercised both individually and collectively. The community of users and developers are thus encouraged to work together to control the programs they use. This collective, open and decentralized control is necessary for the community to exercise to ensure and sustain the program's viability and sustainability. Stallman thus emphasizes certain limitations in the individual exercise of control over Free programs. Thus, most individuals do not know how to program and programmers do not have time to study the source codes of all the programs they use. They thus need a collective unrestricted control in order to favor the exercise of freedom. The two first freedoms thus empower the individuals with the right to exercise individual control over the programs, and the last two ones empower them with the right to exercise a collective 21 Stallman voluntarily started by “Freedom 0”, in reference to the binary code. 8
  18. 18. control over it. The Free software philosophy thus largely rests upon trust in a community. If an individual or a group does not possess the cognitive skill to fully exercise a power/control over a program (e.g., power to read and analyze a source code, whatever its language), he can trust other individuals possessing and exercising it to control the program's viability and sustainability. The open and decentralized collective intelligence process around the program thus allows to develop a global “social regulation”, as anyone can potentially read the program's source-code and correct, thanks to this total transparency, potential attempts of abuse (e.g., via the integration of “malicious features” in the code) likely to be socially sanctioned. Social influences are thus efficiently integrated in the program's design in order to regulate potentially abusive behaviors toward it, i.e., making it impossible for private entities to corrupt it. Moreover, the possibility to copy, share and fork the program at any time makes the attempt of private control/abuse inefficient and useless. Mohit Kumar (2014), Founder and Editor-in-Chief of “The Hacker News”, Cyber Security analyst and Information Security researcher, gives the example of the Firefox software : “Firefox is completely open source, which means its source code is available to everyone and anybody can verify it and can detect flaws. Anyone can verify the official Firefox executable (available on the website for download) by comparing it with the compiled executable version from the original source code (also available for download).22 Brendan Eich (2013), inventor of the Javascript language and CTO of the Mozilla Foundation, states : 'Through international collaboration of independent entities we can give users the confidence that Firefox can not be subverted without the world noticing, and offer a browser that verifiable meets the users' privacy expectations.” Chopa & Dexter (2007) analyze the “FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) phenomenon: “The FOSS phenomenon is the subject of numerous political, economic, and sociological studies, all reacting to the potential for radical change it embodies. These studies focus mainly on four claims. (…) FOSS is a novel technology for producing software : it "represents a new mode of production-- commons-based peer production" (Benkler, 2002) and is "a critique of existing laws, contracts, and business practices . . . with the potential to explicitly change the 'political-economic structure of society” (Kelty 2002). Therefore, it is supported by new microeconomic, political, and personal dynamics that may shed light on other areas of economic productivity and modes of collaboration. This new mode of production serves as the basis for examinations of its historical antecedents, parallels from other (sub)cultures, and potential application to other domains of inquiry and cultural and scientific production (Ghosh 2005). (…) From the perspective of software engineering, FOSS's proponents tout the superiority of its bazaar-like development model over the rigid cathedrals of proprietary software houses (Raymond 2000).” For Zimermann (2014), Free technologies constitute fundamental “common goods of the humanity” and are made to last thanks to open standards, open source code favoring the permanent improvement and creation of derivative versions,... unlike the closed/depriving ones which are designed to be obsolete in order to favor their users' consumption and dependency. Mastering the technologies (only 22 http://thehackernews.com/2014/01/Firefox-open-source-browser-nsa-surveillance.html 9
  19. 19. possible with Free software respecting the four fundamental freedoms) means mastering our destinies (not controlled by private entities) in the digital world. This philosophy thus rests upon the individuals' cognitive sustainability, via the preservation of the pertinence of all the knowledge, experience and skills acquired with the observed and used object (with manipulation, reverse-engineering,...). Zimmermann adds that the sustainable design of a Free software allows its users to develop a rich experience (favored via its unrestricted use) and to keep exploiting/enriching this knowledge. He thus describes his own personal experience, by saying that he started using Gnu/Linux as operating system in the 90's and that the different conventional “inputs” to be entered in the terminal in order to “give commands” to the system and get specific “outputs” are still the same and have never been changed. This sustainability thus makes him feel “gratified”, for the useful knowledge he acquired through his past experience with the system is still valid today. Moreover, the interoperability between the operating systems based on Gnu/Linux allow the users to switch from one system to another and still exploit their knowledge and experience acquired with the use of a specific one. Let's now analyze the concept of empowerment. Yochai Benkler, in The wealth of networks, states that “Internet leads to an empowerment of citizens”. This opinion is shared by Benjamin Bayart, who states that while printing allowed people to read, the Internet allowed them to write”. Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Pirate Party (world-wide political movement engaged in the defense of the fundamental liberties in our digital societies) states that“Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently. We define empowerment as letting this power out." We will distinguish several interconnected definitions : - Cognitive and behavioral : “In” and “out” phase of Paley's “informational flow”23, via the ability to access information and knowledge and enrich it via personal interpretations, as well as benefiting from an open and decentralized collective intelligence. For Bayart, Internet forms true citizens, able to argue and defend personal points of view and point out mistakes committed by others. In the same time, its intrinsic nature favors the development of humility, as the open and decentralized nature of the network can give anyone the possibility to copy, share and archive data, thus potentially anything an individual can do and say within online public spaces such as forums or blogs. This power can be used against the criticized individual, who can see his previous public online interventions re-emerge and be exploited to compromise or contradict him with new public expressions and actions produced. The Internet and the digital world in general (in correlation with the development of powerful creation tools) thus generated new possibilities of expression, whether through writing, creating from scratch or transforming/remixing existing elements/objects, i.e., contributing to develop a new form of culture : the remix culture (Lessig, 2009). Finally, Stallman (2012) states that Free softwares, by granting the individuals the four fundamental freedoms, are designed to allow him to modify it without requiring permission/consensus24; - Social : With the possibility for anyone to “take the lead” with personal initiatives (DIY philosophy) 23 We will analyze this paradigm later. 24 http://www.creationmonetaire.info/2010/11/dialogues-avec-richard-stallman.html 10
  20. 20. and the possibility for anyone to enter, quit and re-enter the communitarian process at any time without altering the global functioning (P2P structure). The individuals can thus, via these new social configurations, change position without compromising the social structure's stability and sustainability, and adopt new identity using pseudos likely to favor their disinhibition via the encryption of their identities and actions produced online. These specificities are likely to enlarge the individuals' cognitive system by considering new behavioral, social and cognitive possibilities, i.e., favor their disinhibition and the production of new behaviors. This disinhibition will also be fed by phenomena such as social support and social recognition (favored by the Internet open and decentralized structure and the possibility for anyone to easily find other individuals, groups or communities that share same interests); - Technical : Via the freedom to access the source-code of the programs and modify it without restriction; - Legal : Via legal licenses granting the individuals the four fundamental freedoms necessary to exercise their creativity, inventiveness and control over the programs used and favoring disinhibition in order to optimize the “out” phase of the informational flow; - Responsibility: Inherently induced by the freedom and the necessity to preserve other's freedoms (e.g., via the share-alike term). All those dimensions composing the Free philosophy are intrinsically bound (e.g. the technical empowerment dimension requires a specific legal framework and contribute to enlarge the individuals' cognitive system by making their virtual psychic reality richer, vaster and more complex. Diversity (with inherent choice) and empowerment are also at the heart of the Free philosophy. These core values thus strongly encourage the divergence of opinion likely to induce a cognitive conflict and thus innovation, as well as the possibility to choose between different Free programs in order to allow anyone to select, choose and fits his personal needs (adapted to everyone's needs). For example, an individual appreciating the use of the Ubuntu program is offered a wide choice, depending on his personal needs, between a large variety of “derivative version” such as Kubuntu, Lubuntu (for old computers), Ubuntu Studio (for multimedia tasks),... Choice, necessary to exercise freedom, is thus fundamental for it empowers people and makes them decide (i.e., be active) which programs best fit their needs and personal values. For example, an individual can choose a Replicant mobile OS (administered by a community of developers) instead of Android (administered by Google), LibreOffice (administered by a foundation) instead of OpenOffice (administered by a corporation), Firefox (Mozilla Foundation) instead of Chromium (Google) etc. Benkler (1996) emphasizes two key-concepts which constitute core parts of the Free philosophy development : - The “commons-based peer production” : Defined as the collaborative efforts based on sharing information 25; 25 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/magazine/the-internet-we-built-that.html?src=dayp 11
  21. 21. - The “networked information economy” to describe a "system of production, distribution, and consumption of information goods characterized by decentralized individual action carried out through widely distributed, nonmarket means that do not depend on market strategies." Michie, researcher in artificial intelligence, highlighted the importance of ethics and Free culture in the control of computers : “Computers are becoming powerful and versatile assistants. (…) We understand the past, to understand the present. We understand the present, to understand the future. (…). The past is the key to the future. This information and cultural revolution has roots in the free culture and computing movements of the last decades. A few dedicated men had foresight to understand the capabilities of the machines they were building. Thanks to their legacy of an ethical framework for computing, we find ourselves in this empowering position.” When asked about globalization, Stallman says that “the world-wide free software community is an example of beneficial globalization : people share knowledge with the whole world.” (…) He adds that “My goal is that we help each other to live better together. Advancing human knowledge is a part of this; making sure it is available to everyone is a part of this; encouraging the spirit of cooperation is a part of this. Those goals apply to various parts of life, but in the area of software they direct one towards free software.” Joi Ito defines the ‘sharing economy’, in which unrelated individuals, often in remote parts of the world, ‘work’ together to produce private and collective goods. These definitions thus emphasize the necessity for collective intelligence, which is a core principle of the Free philosophy and the semiotic hacking. 2.3. Nonfree softwares and restrictive technologies "DRM fails completely at preventing copying, but it is brilliant at preventing innovation" Cory Doctorow The Free software movement opposes the “nonfree” softwares, i.e., proprietary programs whose source-code is not accessible and whose legal license do not grant its users the four fundamental freedoms to exercise a control over them. As “nonfree” softwares are both technically closed (the individuals do not have access to the source code of the program) and legally depriving (the individuals are not granted the four fundamental freedoms), we will always refer to them as “closed/depriving” softwares. This will thus emphasize both their technical and legal nature. These closed/depriving softwares forbid the users to exercise a control over the technology they are using t is thus legally impossible to audit/check or modify the source-code. Okhin (2013), hacker and member of the Telecomix “collective”26, thus states that these programs require for their users a “blind trust” to use them, and can not be trusted. This opinion among closed/depriving softwares is widely shared among the hackers and the Free software communities. Stallman emphasizes an important reason for this lack of trust toward these “depriving” programs : they can integrate in their source-code DRMs, for “Digital Rights Management”. However, he prefers 26 We will analyze their complex nature later. 12
  22. 22. to speak about “Digital Restrictions Management”, for these technologies are designed to restrict and control the users' experience “malicious features”, without them being aware of them (for hidden in their closed source-code). For him, “Digital Restrictions Management is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media. When a program is designed to prevent you from copying or sharing a song, reading an ebook on another device, or playing a single-player game without an Internet connection, you are being restricted by DRM. In other words, DRM creates a damaged good; it prevents you from doing what would be possible without it. This concentrates control over production and distribution of media, giving DRM peddlers the power to carry out massive digital book burnings and conduct large scale surveillance over people's media viewing habits.”27 Stallman qualifies these programs as “defective by design”as well as “treacherous”28, for they both restrict the users' experience with them and their designers are exploiting the necessary “blind trust” toward these “tools of power” to exercise a control over them (e.g., via monitoring or censoring contents). He also analyzes the main issues induced by this “free compliance” toward treacherous programs, which can be considered as “digital handcuffs” controlling the users, and as a “threat to innovation in media, the privacy of readers, and freedom.” DRM only works if the "I can't let you do that, Dave" program stays a secret. Cory Doctorow (2012), EFF Special Advisor, states : “ Once the most sophisticated (…) attackers in the world liberate that secret, it will be available to everyone else, too. Certainty about what software is on your computer is fundamental to good computer security, and you can't know if your computer's software is secure unless you know what software it is running.” In fact, Stallman talks about “treacherous computing” in order to short-circuit marketing strategies which emphasize a new term, “secure computing”, in order to favor trusted relations toward their closed/depriving systems. For him, it is “the proponents' name for a scheme to redesign computers so that application developers can trust your computer to obey them instead of you. From their point of view, it is “trusted”; from your point of view, it is “treacherous.” Closed/depriving hardware is thus not secured for its owner (official design) but against its owner.29 (officious one). These “malicious features” integrated in closed/depriving programs can thus be used to spy on their users, restrict them or even attack them with the presence of “backdoors”. Backdoors integrated in a program can allow the program's designer/rights holder(s) to exercise a total remote control over it. Any malicious features that is not already integrated in the program today can thus be potentially tomorrow. The FSF (2006) uses clear examples to describe the issues raised by DRMs : “Would you ever shop at a book, video, or record store that demanded permission to send employees to your home to take back movies, novels, or CD's for any reason? Would you buy something that broke when you tried to share it with someone else?” Doctorow (2013) analyzes the DRMs integrated in the Apple products : “Apple, having committed itself to preventing users from using their computers in certain ways, must now take on a further and 27 http://www.defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm_digital_restrictions_management 28 http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html 29 http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html 13
  23. 23. further-reaching set of restrictions in service of that -- locking down APIs, shipping updates that downgrade the software, exposing user privacy, breaking core development tools. No end in sight -- not until Apple decides that what you do with your computer is your own business.” Maurel (2014) describes the “DRMs” not only as “digital handcuffs” but mostly enforcement systems of automatized application of Law. These programs thus allow the privatization and potentially abusive censorship, with possible mistakes (e.g. Youtube's ContentID and its several arbitrary censorships). In other words, they constitute a major threat for the individuals' fundamental rights like reading or writing. For Ertzscheid (2013), the DRM is the acceptance of a right of control (i.e. inspection) by the machine. We will deepen these two analysis further in this work. We will also choose throughout it to qualify closed/depriving and “DRMized” systems (and considering their intrinsic characteristics emphasized by Stallman) as both “defective by design” and “deceptive by design”. Lessig (2001) emphasizes the revolution the Internet network produced for creativity and innovation thanks to its intrinsic design : The Internet revolution has produced a counterrevolution of devastating power and effect. The explosion of innovation we have seen in the environment of the Internet was not conjured from some new, previously unimagined technological magic; instead, it came from an ideal as old as the nation. Creativity flourished there because the Internet protected an innovation commons. The Internet’s very design built a neutral platform upon which the widest range of creators could experiment. The legal architecture surrounding it protected this free space so that culture and information–the ideas of our era–could flow freely and inspire an unprecedented breadth of expression. But this structural design is changing–both legally and technically. Intellectual property can thus constitute a major threat in the development of these “common goods”. Stallman thus created, in order to “hack” intellectual property30, a brand new legal license, the GNU GPL, based on the possibility to benefit from the four fundamental freedoms but also forcing the users to not deprive others from these same freedom (i.e., share-alike license). “Finally, every program is threatened constantly by software patents. States should not allow patents to restrict development and use of software on general-purpose computers, but in those that do, we wish to avoid the special danger that patents applied to a free program could make it effectively proprietary. To prevent this, the GPL assures that patents cannot be used to render the program non-free.” As we said, Free softwares make, by essence, these attempts of corruption/privatization difficult or impossible. Their design thus allows their respective communities to protect their common goods against potential attacks from private entities, desiring to exercise a control over them. As the Gnu.org website states : “Because it is transparent, free software is hard to use for surveillance. This makes it a crucial defense against invasions of privacy by the NSA and the world's big Internet and telecommunications companies. The FSF is building a movement to develop and expand the existing library of free software tools that everyone can use to make the NSA's job harder. In addition, we are 30 We will analyze this practice in detail later. 14
  24. 24. continuing to grow the work that we have done for almost thirty years to promote and defend all free software.” A famous technological paradigm, always highlighted by Free software activists, is “Whether you control technology or be controlled by it”. More precisely, the individuals can choose whether to exercise their freedom via Free technologies, or “freely comply” to closed/depriving deceptive and “defective” ones. For Zimmermann (2014), we are now at a crossroad, with two possible scenari involving the Free Vs. nonfree technological paradigms and already defined by our actual technological and legal framework : - A techno-totalitarian society where technology is used to control people; or - A Free utopia, based on the individuals' empowerment and freedom via the use and mastering of Free technologies which respects their four fundamental freedoms to exercise creativity and inventiveness without restriction on an open and decentralized way. 2.4. Material/immaterial goods and inherent characteristics in relation to the free software philosophy 2.4.1. Goods within the physical and digital worlds Soudoplatoff emphasizes the fundamental principle of the digital world : “When we share a material good, it gets divided but when we share an immaterial one, it gets multiplied”. Schneier (2010) confirms this analysis by stating : “trying to make digital files uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet.” The physical world, however, possesses inherent constraints making it really hard for a good to be completely non-rivalrous : physical constraints thus make the acts of copying and modifying goods hard or impossible (e.g., if complex structure and composition with rare elements,...). According to Stallman (2012), a digital object, unlike a physical one, is easy to modify if the individual knows the languages used to code it. The only barriers likely to restrict/prevent this action are the technical enclosure of the code and a depriving copyright license. Maurel (2012) states that a physical good (i.e. “rivalrous” nature), once digitized, enters a logic of “non-rivalry” and “economy of abundance”. However, technical restrictions integrated in their code such as DRMs can contribute to “recreate scarcity” among these goods A physical good is usually owned and controlled by the user. Its designer can thus hardly restrict the users' experience with it (e.g., a pen maker can not prevent an individual having purchased one of his product from writing what he wants). However, other constraints apply to it. A simultaneous decentralized sharing is totally impossible for physical constraints (atoms' characteristics) that the digital world (made of bits) does not possess. He then analyzes the difference between digital and physical goods in accordance to the Free software philosophy and its four fundamental freedoms : - Freedom 0 is generally possessed by physical objects, via their ownership; 15
  25. 25. - Freedom 1 depends on the good's structure (e.g., open/Free or closed/depriving). The possibility to reverse-engineer in order to analyze its structure and constitution is however usually respected; - Freedom 2 (freedom to change and adapt the object) is not easy to exercise, for physical goods do not have “source-code”. They however possess a specific “constitution” or “recipe”, but it can be not easy to change if the good's architecture/composition is complex. Moreover, some objects, like a chip, are not transformable without being destroyed. This, unlike digital goods, is not necessarily due to anybody's malice or fault, but to practical constraints inherent to the physical world's characteristics; - Freedom 3 is meaningless for physical goods, for the act of copying them is impossible (due to the physical world's inherent constraints), even if it has been successfully modified. 3D printing : from bit to atom The digitization of a physical good processes the transformation of atoms into bits (i.e., entering a logic of abundance and “non-rivalry”) while the 3D printing aims at transforming bits into atoms. A digital CAM31 file can thus be freely shared and copied (unless designed to not be via a DRM) and be potentially printed anywhere in the world, as long as the creative framework is favorable (e.g., 3D printer capable of printing it by respecting its characteristics). The digital file can thus be considered as an anti-rival common good (especially if Free legal license and open format) but the printed physical files will necessarily constitute a common rival ones (due to their inherent constraints). 2.4.2. Common rival, non-rival and anti-rival goods Samuelson (1954) in The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure, defines a public good, or as he calls it a "collective consumption good", as follows : "goods which all enjoy in common in the sense that each individual's consumption of such a good leads to no subtractions from any other individual's consumption of that good.” In other words, it is both non-excludable and non-rivalrous in that individuals cannot be effectively excluded from use and where use by one individual does not reduce availability to others. Rivalry is an economic paradigm describing the characteristics of a good. A good can be placed along a continuum ranging from rival to non-rival. The same characteristic is sometimes referred to as subtractable or non-subtractable (Ess & Ostrom, 2006). A rival good is a good whose consumption by one consumer prevents simultaneous consumption by other consumers (Weimer & Vinning). A good is thus considered non-rival if, for any level of production, the cost of providing it to a marginal (additional) individual is zero (Cornes & Sandler, 1986). Non-rivalry does not imply that the total production costs are low, but that the marginal production costs are zero. According to Crouzet (2014), common goods are divided into two broad categories32: - Limited resources whose ownership equals to a spoliation through space and time. Example : when I burn oil, I deprive future generations while imposing pollution; 31 Computer-Aided Manufacturing 32 http://blog.tcrouzet.com/2013/11/26/amis-commonistes/ 16
  26. 26. - Almost unlimited resources whose ownership is meaningless due to is abundant nature.. Example : I declare owner of the air in a bottle makes no sense because everyone can imitate me. Physical (i.e., tangible) goods, due to the physical world's inherent constraints we have already defined, are rival goods and can be whether durable (e.g., a hammer) or nondurable (e.g., food). More globally, private ones (which inherently induce property, i.e., potential theft) can be considered as rival goods, even from the digital world. For example, some digital goods such as domain names can also be considered as rival ones and induce techniques such as cyber-squatting. A Few goods are thus completely non-rival, as rivalry can emerge at certain levels. For example, the use of a road or the internet network is non-rival up to a certain capacity. If overloaded, its use by new individuals can thus decreases speed for others. Rivalry is thus now more and more viewed as as a continuum, not binary category (Fuster Morell, 2010), where many goods are somewhere between the two extremes of completely rival and completely non-rival. Fuster Morell (2010) proposes a definition of digital commons as "as an information and knowledge resources that are collectively created and owned or shared between or among a community and that tend to be non-exclusive, that is, be (generally freely) available to third parties. Thus, they are oriented to favor use and reuse, rather than to exchange as a commodity. Additionally, the community of people building them can intervene in the governing of their interaction processes and of their shared resources". Wikipedia and Free softwares can thus be considered as digital commons. The Internet is also often qualified as “global common”33. However, Maurel (2014) states that the integration of technical restrictions in its “code” layer (Benkler, 1996) tend to threaten this nature, as the Free nature of the code layer is necessary to consider it as a common good. We will analyze this “law is code” paradigm further in this work. For Raymond (2012), “The Internet is technically rivalrous in the sense that the computer networks on which it depends (its “physical layer”) accommodate a finite amount of traffic. At peak usage times, especially in congested sections of the network, users may receive a degraded experience; that is, bandwidth-intensive use by a large number of users may mean that many receive lower-quality service.” Leung (2006) quotes from Weber (2004) : "Under conditions of anti-rivalness, as the size of the Internet-connected group increases, and there is a heterogeneous distribution of motivations with people who have a high level of interest and some resources to invest, then the large group is more likely, all things being equal, to provide the good than is a small group.” Free digital common good can thus be considered, due to their intrinsic technical and legal characteristics, as non-rivalrous and “abundant” (i.e., evolving in the economy of abundance), for can be potentially infinitely owned, copied, modified and shared without altering. Digital common goods can however be privatized, considering both their “content” and “code”. Thus, a public domain good can be, as we will analyze further, “absorbed” by a private one34, enclosed within silos (i.e., closed/depriving ecosystems) and “damaged” via DRMs in order to prevent their use, 33 http://www.cigionline.org/publications/2012/10/internet-global-commons 34 We will analyze it later. 17
  27. 27. study, modification and diffusion. The integration of DRMs in a digital program whose initial intrinsic nature is common and non-rival induces, for Maurel (2012) an “artificial creation of scarcity” in a world whose intrinsic characteristics/principles rest upon the economy of abundance. We will consider closed/depriving and “DRMized” softwares as “rivalrous” and “non-durable” goods, for they are designed to be : - Bound to one single individual or one single device : via “personal code”/commercial license necessary to use it in order to prevent its sharing and collective use/consumption (e.g., if has to be used within a silo where the individual is clearly identified and controlled via DRMs). The activation of the license thus makes it impossible for someone else to use it on another device/account. - Obsolete : for example, it can be designed to “lock up” after several uses such as a limited payable demo of a videogame35in order to stimulate the individual's consumption and the commitment toward the product or the brand it is designed to be interpreted as standing for36. DRMs thus not only damage digital goods (according to Stallman's analysis) but also subvert them by transforming their initial intrinsic non-rival nature, as part of the economy of abundance, into private goods as part of the economy of scarcity, in order for the rights holders to “artificially” exercise the same rules they apply in the physical world, based on the economy of scarcity. Weber developed the concept of anti-rival good, which refers to the opposite of a rival good : the more individuals share an anti-rival good, the more utility each person receives. An anti-rival good can be considered as a public good because it is freely available to all (i.e., non-excludable) and non-rival (its consumption by one person does not reduce the amount available for others). According to Lessig (2006), a particular natural language meets the criteria as language is an anti-rival good.37 Free softwares can be considered as anti-rival goods for the more these common goods are shared, used and studied (via a collective audition of the source-code), the more valuable they become for its users, via the development of an open and decentralized collective intelligence process enriching both its intrinsic nature (e.g., via the writing of code,...) and its “informational environment” (via the documentation produced to favor its appropriation and use by individuals,...). These two parts are thus fundamental for the Free software philosophy (Okhin, 2013) and can only be optimal via a wide open and decentralized use. For example, the Krita (Free drawing software) core development team states about the contribution by the Krita community in order to track bugs via an open and decentralized audit of the program : “ This work is an ongoing process and thanks to your bug reports we spend less time finding them and more time polishing and creating features.” 2.5. Free culture Free culture is a concept mainly defined by Lawrence Lessig (2004) in his book Free Culture : How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. This cultural 35 For example, the Rayman Legends payable demo was limited to 30 trials, after what the program got “locked”. 36 We will analyze it later. 37 http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n16/lawrence-lessig/do-you-floss 18
  28. 28. and legal paradigm opposes to “permissive culture”. Both these cultural and legal paradigms (as well as the Free software philosophy we have analyzed) are based on copyright. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “a copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.38Betsy Rosenblatt (1998), from Harvard Law School, states that “the copyright in a work vests originally in the author(s) of the work. The author(s) may transfer the copyright to any other party if she(they) choose(s) to do so. Subject to certain limitations, the owner of a copyright has the sole right to authorize reproduction of the work, creation of a work derived from the work, distribution of copies of the work, or public performance or display of the work. This right lasts for the life of the author plus fifty years; or in the case of a copyright held by an entity, for seventy-five years.”39 Stallman (2012) emphasizes three broad categories of work, that contribute to society in certain ways as well as his personal opinions about what their legal nature should be : - Works you use to do practical jobs, i.e., “functional works” : They can be aesthetic, but this aspect is secondary. They include programs, recipes, educational works, text fonts, patterns for 3D printers to make useful objects,... These resources have to be free (i.e. respects the four fundamental freedoms); - Works that present certain people's thoughts, view and testimony : These do not necessarily need to be free, for they are not used to do a practical work, but to see what certain people think. To publish modified version without the author's permission can misrepresent the author (unless makes sure it represents his opinion accurately); - Artistic and entertainment works : Their primary function is aesthetic. He states that there are valuable arguments on both copyright and copyleft sides. Thus, artistic integrity (i.e., moral right) is likely to be threatened by the work's modification. On the other hand, modification can be a contribution to art (i.e., “remix culture”), if the author makes a clear distinction between his derivative version and the original work. For example, Shakespeare and Mozart's work which would have been forbidden with our current copyright laws. His view about “works of opinion” and “artistic works” has however been criticized by Masutti and Jean (2013). For them, “Never a free license (which deals only with copyright - expression, form) will authorize a change implemented so that this change affects the integrity of the work. As part of a work conceived by its author as open and collaborative, modification by a contributor is fully respectful of the work's integrity. However, if the work was focused on a clearly improper modification to the representation that was its author, it would be quite valid for an author to stop it on the basis of his moral right (the same way he could do in the absence of free license), especially if the work was used to convey messages clearly contrary to the intent of the author.” Thus, according to Rosenblatt (1998), moral right protects the right of any creator to be correctly interpreted as the author of the work by the public and to not be compromised in reputation and honor by any “harmful” alteration. It protects against wrong identification of the work's author and attempts 38 http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/definitions.jsp 39 https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/property/library/copyprimer.html#anchor4198064 19
  29. 29. to his reputation via the alteration of the work likely to be interpreted as the reflect of the author's personality and opinions. Using a restrictive “depriving” legal license for works of opinion thus seems meaningless, for copyright law already protects the creators' integrity via the fundamental and inalienable moral right. Let's now analyze the opposition between permission and free culture. Permission culture is a cultural paradigm resting on copyright, where the rights holders' permission is required any time an individual wants to share or modify a copyrighted work. This can lead to serious restrictions and constraints exercised on potential creators and strongly leash creativity, by “cutting off the creative process” (Seemel, 2014). According to Lessig (2004), “The Internet has set the stage for this erasure and, pushed by big media, the law has now affected it. For the first time in our tradition, the ordinary ways in which individuals create and share culture fall within the reach of the regulation of the law, which has expanded to draw within its control a vast amount of culture and creativity that it never reached before. The technology that preserved the balance of our history—between uses of our culture that were free and uses of our culture that were only upon permission—has been undone. ” Copyright thus leads, for Stallman (2012) a “war on sharing”. This statement is shared by other lawyers such as Maurel or Lessig. According to him, copying and sharing is easy, but they [the right holders] want people to strop doing it, by proposing many restrictive methods such as DRMs and sues. This constitutes, according to him, an unjust horizontal and centralized power. Sharing thus has to be legalized to end this war. Davis Guggenheim, film director, thus states to illustrate the consequences of permissive culture on creation : “I would say to an 18-year-old artist, you’re totally free to do whatever you want. But—and then I would give him a long list of all the things that he couldn’t include in his movie because they would not be cleared, legally cleared. That he would have to pay for them. So freedom? Here’s the freedom : You’re totally free to make a movie in an empty room, with your two friends.” 2.5.1. The colonization of the common culture Copyright and permission culture can generate abuses from rights holders, based on the exploitation of their “intellectual properties”. One clear example of copyright abusive use is the “copyfraud”. Mazzone (2006) describes it as: - Claiming copyright ownership of public domain material; - Imposition by a copyright owner of restrictions beyond what the law allows; - Claiming copyright ownership on the basis of ownership of copies or archives; - Attaching copyright notices to a public domain work converted to a different medium. He argues that copyfraud is usually successful because there are few and weak laws criminalizing false statements about copyrights : there is lax enforcement of such laws, and few people are competent to 20
  30. 30. give legal advice on the copyright status of commandeered material. A clear example of copyfraud is the Warner exercising an abusive legal control over the “Happy Birthday to You” song, and which has always succeeded in legally preserving its rights on it, each time obtaining the condemnation of the accused entities infringing this “property”.40Copyfraud is thus, in a nutshell, a strategy of preservation of control over copyrighted material via the claiming from private entities of stronger rights than the ones they are actually legally granted. Lessig (2001) also emphasizes the privatization of the commons before the democratization of the technologies allowing anyone to easily copy, modify and share cultural works : “Before the computer era, the culture belonging to the public domain (common goods) was vast and rich, but could only be really copied, modified and shared on a large scale by rich individuals or organizations who could afford to purchase or rent technologies to copy, modify and diffuse it. The common culture thus could be truly appropriated by a minority. That induced a massive colonization of the common culture by private organizations and brands such as Disney, whose first successes where all based on the creative interpretation of public domain tales.” Stallman (2013) confirms this analysis, by emphasizing the fact that the privatization of culture is exercised by closed and centralized powers. The individuals are thus, according to Lessig and Stallman, technically empowered by more and more powerful technologies facilitating their creative expression, but also more and more disempowered from a legal point of view, with increasingly depriving copyright laws protecting the intellectual properties against “infringements” (i.e., exercise of creativity) by being used as source of inspiration for future works. This statement is shared by Jed Horovitz, businessman behind Video Pipeline, who says : “We're losing [creative] opportunities right and left. Creative people are being forced not to express themselves. Thoughts are not being expressed.” These strong restrictions and aggressive legal strategies based on copyright protection against infringements can favor the individuals' internalization of restrictive laws, and generate cognitive phenomena likely to leash or prevent creativity. We will analyze these phenomena further in this work. Maurel (2012), thus proposes a change of legal paradigm toward digital goods in order to “end the war on sharing” : consider all digital goods as common goods. We will pursue this analysis later, by emphasizing creative means to hack the abuses from intellectual property. 2.5.2. New legal tools to empower potential creators Considering this serious threat for the future of creativity and innovation, Lessig co-founded in 2004, with Elric Eldred, the Creative Commons licenses. According to the official website41, Creative Commons enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.” Their free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved”. The Organization however explicits the fact that their licenses are not an alternative to copyright : they work alongside 40 http://boingboing.net/2013/06/13/lawsuit-happy-birthday-is.html 41http://creativecommons.org/about 21
  31. 31. and enable creators to modify their copyright terms to best suit their needs. The Creative Commons thus does not try to fundamentally reconsider copyright (we will analyze some attempts later), but to propose what he considers as complementary tools necessary to empower creators and stimulate creativity and innovation, while sustaining the “future of ideas”. He thus tries to develop a new kind of economy called as “hybrid”, where copyright and copyleft harmoniously cohabit. Talking about his personal opinion about free culture, Lessig states :“The free culture that I defend is a balance between anarchy and control. A free culture, like a free market, is filled with property. It is filled with rules of property and contract that get enforced by the state. But just as a free market is perverted if its property becomes feudal, so too can a free culture be queered by extremism in the property rights that define it.” Free culture, based on Free legal licenses granting the four fundamental freedoms, thus aims at empowering individuals and “ensures that anyone is able to create without restrictions from the past” (Lessig, 2004) and more specifically civil society, toward “intellectual properties” whose rights, owned by their creators or by the entities having acquired their “patrimonial rights” have been extended in a way which makes it hard for new creators to exercise their creativity based on these proprietary resources. The Free culture movement, as well as the Free software philosophy, both aim at “hacking” copyright in order to give more power (i.e., more freedom) to civil society in order to favor their creative and inventive expression. We will also deepen this analysis further, by analyzing the cognitive issues induced by intellectual property and the possible means to hack it in order to unleash the interpretative and semiotic processes and earn back “psychic sovereignty”. 3. Analysis of the cypherpunk philosophy Eric Hughes (1993) defined the basic ideas of this philosophy in A Cypherpunk's Manifesto : Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. … We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy … We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any. … Cypherpunks write code. We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and ... we're going to write it. ... According to Julian Assange (2013), “This movement covers many domains, from reform to copyright to sharing of information. The cypherpunks thought most of these problems in the 1990s by setting an early goal to prevent States to monitor communications between individuals. At this time, the movement was still in its infancy and hardly seemed significant. Now the Internet has merged with our society, to the point of becoming its nervous system, somehow, this movement is taken very 22
  32. 32. seriously." For Hughes (1993), the "punk" part of the term indicates an attitude : “We don't much care if you don't approve of the software we write. We know that software can't be destroyed and that a widely dispersed system can't be shut down42. Levy (1993) states that "Crypto Rebels"This is crypto with an attitude, best embodied by the group's moniker : Cypherpunks. 3.1. Encryption and privacy as core parts of the cypherpunk philosophy Encryption constitutes, for cypherpunks, a necessity to preserve the individuals' privacy and exercise of freedom. For Assange (2012), "A well-defined mathematical algorithm can encrypt something quickly, but to decrypt it would take billions of years – or trillions of dollars' worth of electricity to drive the computer. So cryptography is the essential building block of independence for organisations on the internet (...). There is no other way for our intellectual life to gain proper independence from the security guards of the world, the people who control physical reality."43 Cypherpunks also strongly defend the usage of Free technologies, for they are the only ones which can really be trusted, via their possible audit at any time by anyone. Zimmermann (2014) emphasizes that mathematics (necessary to develop encryption algorithms), possesses the characteristics of a common : no copyright or trademark can be deposited on any theory or language. This particularity, coupled with the development of Free encryption softwares such as GnuPGP constitutes, for Zimmermann, a “light of hope” within the globalized surveillance society.44We will emphasize the fact that the cypherpunk philosophy shares strong connections not only with the Free philosophy but with the hacking one. Thus, one of its core principle is to understand how the network works and what its weaknesses are in order to optimize the protection of personal data.45. Its main attitude is also based on disobedience to official rules and on creation as form of expression and protest. According to Okhin (2012), encryption is necessary, for only way to ensure secure communications by guaranteeing that only the emitter and receptor can open it and know it is a message (instead of random numbers observed by an external individual, who do not have the possibility to meaningfully interpret it). He thus emphasizes the necessity to encrypt communications, and use open and documented protocols (i.e., Free technologies/standards) in order to be sure of what the programs we use can do46. He then gives clear examples highlighting the need for encryption in order to protect the individuals' fundamental privacy : many political dissidents from countries like Syria have been arrested by authorities after having used closed/depriving softwares such as Skype to communicate with foreign journalists. The only way we can trust a program is thus for him to clearly know what it is and what it can do. Closed/depriving programs, requiring a “blind trust”, thus can not be trusted. Zimmermann also emphasizes the importance of encryption for freedom of expression and the exercise of the hacking philosophy. The level of privacy granted by its use can thus favor the 42 http://www.activism.net/cypherpunk/manifesto.html 43 http://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/dec/07/julian-assange-fugitive-interview 44 https://www.laquadrature.net/fr/ventscontraires-jeremie-zimmermann-nous-nen-sommes-quau-tout-debut-de-laffaire-snowden 45 http://owni.fr/2012/03/04/hackers-forment-journalistes/ 46 http://vimeo.com/37860186#at=49 23

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