Leah Stella Stephens

@stellabelle

I Dare You To Steal My Art

Photo from unsplash

I wouldn’t be here writing freely on Medium, without financial stressors if it weren’t for open source projects.

I wouldn’t be here without the blockchain, either.

I’m now working within the Dash decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, and let’s face it, if the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, hadn’t made Bitcoin an open source project, Dash would not have been born. Dash is a fork of Bitcoin, which is a fancy way of saying that Bitcoin’s open source status gave birth to Dash. The founder of Dash was wanting to make improvements to Bitcoin, but the Bitcoin community was too divided, too unable to reach agreements on improvements. So the Dash baby was born from Bitcoin’s womb in order to make improvements to Bitcoin’s DNA.

In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct and separate piece of software. The term often implies not merely a development branch, but also a split in the developer community, a form of schism.[1]
Free and open-source software is that which, by definition, may be forked from the original development team without prior permission without violating copyright law. -Wikipedia

When I researched the Dash.org project and found that the people involved were adults and remarkably similar to myself, I decided to become a part of the Dash network and direct my energy towards its growth and development. I submitted a proposal to the Dash network which was approved last month. My proposal includes my economic requirements for sustaining me and my family, which means I don’t have to go looking for a “day job”. I am free to allocate all my creative projects towards the growth of the Dash ecosystem. This also means that the farther my message spreads, the more exposure I’ll bring to Dash. This means that the Dash currency I receive from the Dash DAO, will become more valuable in the future. Mainstream adoption of Dash is the end goal.

If people decide to “steal” my Dash art and writing, they would actually be doing me a service: spreading my message about Dash further than I could ever do on my own.

In this new paradigm of working for a digital currency DAO and the common good, there doesn’t seem to be a place for copyright (for me personally).

You might be asking why I think Dash is equivalent to working for “the common good.” You also might not be convinced of anything I say because I’m being paid by the Dash DAO. People are suspicious of anyone who is receiving economic benefits from an organization. In my case, I joined the Dash ecosystem voluntarily after doing a lot of research about blockchain and digital currency communities. I wasn’t getting my needs met in a different digital currency community, so I went looking for one that could utilize my skills, but more importantly, could positively support my creative contributions and visions for improving humanity. In short, I went looking for a tribe I respect and which respects me. I found that respectful community in Dash. It’s one of the few communities where humble people have a strong voice.

There are many reasons I could give you to explain why I think Dash is designed “for the common good”, but I’ll give you one:

The Dash team actually cares about making Dash accessible to regular, everyday people.

From my personal experience, I’ve noticed a sort of exclusive computer-anarchy club feel to most digital coin communities. The majority of them seem hostile, territorial and dissociated. There exists exceptions I’m sure, but I’ve noticed a lot of this behavior on Twitter, Slack and I think it’s mostly ridiculous. I have no qualms about expressing factual disagreement on matters, but the amount of personal attacks and 13 year-old behavior in the crypto space is f**king ridiculous. A really good novel could be written about this phenomenon. The problem with that idea is that no one would actually want to read a book about it. It’s too stupid and too last century.

pixabay

I’m getting distracted from the original point of this article: Creative Commons.

It hit me yesterday that I am a big supporter of open source projects and so I realized I have to be completely aligned with my core belief system and give my Dash For Newbies articles the Creative Commons license.

There are many reasons to do this, but here are the top two:

  1. People within the Dash community can translate my articles into foreign languages and publish them freely on other sites without needing permission from me.
  2. In the event that something happens to Medium (or me) in the future, the Dash community can copy my Dash articles to a different website without having to seek permission from me.

There was another reason I decided to announce the official Creative Commons status and that is because Steemit also cast off its proprietary chains and went fully open source two days ago. Prior to that, it had a license which forced developers to pay a fee when using its source code. I was never happy with this license status, and neither was Dan Larimer, the former CTO of Steemit.

Let source code and creative works be free to evolve into new forms in the future.

All photographs are from unsplash and pixabay, which are copyright-free sources.

About the author:

Leah Stephens is the editor of Dash For Newbies, writer and full stack artist. She has written one book, Un-Crap Your Life which is now available on Amazon. She wrote for Interesting Engineering before discovering the blockchain. She runs a zany YouTube channel and she’s now working within the Dash decentralized autonomous organization. Most days she can be found lurking on Twitter and in the Women of Dash Slack channel. She’s also a top writer in Steemit. Her favorite quote is by Rimbaud:

“I have researched the magic shapes of the happiness no one escapes.”
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