Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Safer Sharing

Since working with Safer Shirts I've learned a lot about what it is I'm actually doing.
I know it sounds odd, but when I started, and since I've started, I had an idea of where things were heading, but I was never really able to put my idea into words the way I wanted to. I knew it had to do with t-shirts, and marijuana, and spreading the truth and changing public policy. I knew it had to do with getting activists excited, and making it easier to be an activist, making it cool to be an activist. I knew it had to do with a lot of things. I've seen other important issues highlighted by the path Safer Shirts has taken. I see Safer Shirts clarifying things that have nothing to do with cannabis. When people see the way volunteers work, and the kinds of problems they run into and solutions they develop, these lessons help them get through situations that have nothing to do with marijuana. 
It works both ways, Safer Shirts helps people gain new perspective on non-marijuana causes, and non-marijuana causes help people gain new perspective on Safer Shirts.
Ever since my first shirt I was worried about taking attention away from the people who really deserve it:
Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, Mason Tvert, and retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper (The Authors of the book Marijuana is Safer so why are we Driving People to Drink?)
Part of the reason why I gave shirts for free is because I wanted to get the message out, and I didn't have the time to figure out how much of the money should be given to the Authors of the Safer Book.
So this is someone else's intellectual property in my mind.
My whole non-profit business is a copy of someone else's work.
I feel guilty for getting credit for this work. I try to make sure everyone is able to copy this work, because the message is more important than making sure the right people get credit. 
I don't believe we can really control copiers. 
The Authors of the Safer Book make their book available one day each year for free download. That day is of course April 20th, and I'm sure many people have had a chance to read this great book thanks to the Authors willingness to make it available for free, even if only for a limited time each year. 
I think it is silly to try to control plagiarism, but I will still give credit where credit is due every chance I get.
I try to let people know that this is not my idea, and I hope others will follow my lead and refuse to accept credit for work they did not do. 
As technology improves, the need for an intellectual property honor system increases. 

We all remember Napster? Well, you can Napster the Safer Book one day per year on April 20th.
One really good part in this Napster Documentary is where one of the creators says
"It was really wild to think that something so important to you, you could just trade so freely. It's hard to quantify how important it was."  

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