permaculture digest: June 06, 2000

Lance Roseman lanceroseman at
Wed Jun 7 16:30:27 EDT 2000

--- permaculture digest
<permaculture at> wrote:
> permaculture Digest for Tuesday, June 06, 2000.
> 1. Permaculture copyright
> 2. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 3. Re: potty-training cows
> 4. Re: PIJ - new web presence? & Re: flame-free list
> 5. Re: PIJ - new web presence? & Re: flame-free list
> 6. Permaculture as a career
> 7. Re: North American Permaculture Convergence
> 8. Re: potty-training cows
> 9. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 10. Re: North American Permaculture Convergence
> 11. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 12. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 13. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 14. Why have a copyright?
> 15. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 16. RE: Permaculture copyright
> 17. Re: Permaculture as a career
> 18. Re: North American Permaculture Convergence
> 19. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 20. Re: Permaculture conference Australia
> 21. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 22. Re: North American Permaculture Convergence
> 23. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 24. Re: Permaculture copyright
> 25. sheet mulch
> 26. Re: Permaculture as a career
> 27. Re: North American Permaculture Convergence
> 28. 
> 29. What's in a name
> 30. RE: Permaculture copyright
> 31. The Stuff of Dreams
> Subject: Permaculture copyright
> From: Pacific Edge Permaculture
> <pacedge at>
> Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 14:23:44 +1000
> X-Message-Number: 1
> To quote you"The issue was addressed in a letter by
> permaculture founder,
> Bill Mollison, in a recent edition of Permaculture
> International Journal. In
> that letter,
> Bill reasserted his rights as the owner of the
> copyright over the
> permaculture concept. Although he did not mention
> the fact, this right is
> enshrined in the Australian Copyright Act".
> May I qoute Bill's words in the PC Manual. p11
> A Policy of Responsibility (to relinquish power)
> The role of a beneficial authority is to return
> function and responsibility
> to life and to people; if successful, no further
> authority is needed. The
> role of successful design is to create a
> self-managed system.
> Permaculture started with Bill Mollison and David
> Holmgren but has since
> been shaped by the input of us all.  We where
> invited to be part of it. Now
> we see what was undeniably the work of many being
> asserted by an individual
> as their copyright. In the PC Manual it is not
> expressed as a Bill Mollison
> copyright . . . perhaps a little late to claim one.
> Time has seen PC shaped
> by many not steered by one.
> Perhaps the whole issue around maintaining standards
> could have been put out
> to a forum such as this which represents the
> collective efforts of the many
> who joined the founders of the concept and
> contributed to where it is now. A
> dictate from above to a network that has evolved to
> a level playing field.
> Why? Do we need a beneficial authority after more
> than 20 years? If so then
> PC as a movement was not a successful design, is not
> a self managed system.
> Permaculture is not very Permaculture??? If it is
> not a successful design
> why bother worrying about it being in decline. Let
> it go. . . or evolve into
> something more successful than any of us can even
> imagine.
> The copyright claim, whether well intentioned for
> the purposes of
> maintaining quality standards or for more self
> serving reasons, the effect
> is the same.  . .  a decline in PC. If pushed
> further it will see a  number
> of legal counter claims from those who have helped
> shaped it and it herald
> the widespread abandonment of the use of name in the
> activities of many
> more.
> Now we may be coming a bit closer to why
> Permaculture is in decline. I
> personally have operated as a business professional
> for many years
> independently of  using the name Permaculture.
> Firstly, I am then in control
> of my own corporate image and P.R. Secondly I have
> never wanted my ideas to
> be taken to be the ideas of a loose coalition only
> to be ultimately seized
> by an individual claiming Intellectual Property
> rights over them. Finally,
> PC has no management structure or standards. PC  has
> too loose a corporate
> structure for me to use as anything other than a
> part of my education and a
> networking opportunity.
> I think that all this points to a need to get
> organised . . . get a
> structure that is fair and democratic whilst
> honouring the contributions of
> the founders and the many who have since contributed
> to it. In other words
> get professional . . .  a democratic corporate
> structure.
> It would be a tradgedy to see so much good work
> decline and die.
I really am hoping I am replying correctly, perhaps
someone could privately email me if I am doing it
incorrectly but here it goes...
     Copyrighting an idea is garbage.  The most
impotant books in my life (The T.A.Z. by Hakim Bey,
and anything published by Autonomedia) are
Anti-copywritten.  If you have a good or novel idea
the only approach in this day and age is to Not
attempt to hold it.  Ownership of ideas, property,
'stuff' etc.  is the largest reason the planet is in
such bad shape.  
     Bill Mollison and David Holmgren may have come up
with the term "Permaculture" but it is far to large of
a concept to try and hold on to.  As far as "getting
professional, and maintaining a professional
democratic structure" goes I would have to say that we
are past the point where this is meaningful any
longer.  I for one have tried my entire life to avoid
doing exactly that.  I skipped high school and have a
spotty Unversity record.  "Professionalism" leads to a
narrowing of perspective, I don't think it was meant
to but it just does.  
    From my perspective it does not seem that
Permaculture is in decline.  It seems that everyone I
know is discussing some aspect of it most of the time.
And perhaps this is where it really gets
interesting...perhaps now, sans experts, Permaculture
can lose its 'professional' feel and become an Art. 
This is far more interesting to me personally than
seeing it become part of the IvoryTower of the
supposed 'academic elite'.  To heck with that.  The
Maya didn't need any 'expensive pieces of paper' to
create beautiful temples.  
     We are in danger of becoming known as 'The
Nuclear Waste and Landmine Peoples' to future
archaelogists.  This is unforgivable, and heinous. 
Whatever name we choose to try and make something of
functional beauty to hand on to the little ones of
tomorrow, I find it irrelevant who thinks they 'own'
that name.  What Permaculture seems to need from my
perspective is a few massive terraforming operations 
which incorporate art as well as function.  
     To create a large scale Permaculture model owned
by the community as a whole (not I, me , mine
bullshit) which incorporates art and spirituailty
(perhaps an open temple and some shrines to life ) and
food/fibre/fuel prodution.  That is what Permaculture
needs.  It is hard to sell a garden design but it is
fairly easy to get people into Art.  
May You Never Thirst

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