Proponents of pervasive licensing (or near-licensing) describe it as a way to embrace online cultures while generating a profit, instead of attempting in vain to suppress all unauthorized uses. But as one commentator on Kindle Worlds noted, “[e]mbrace is always enclosure! The industry’s arms are made of fences!” Once individual participants are penned in, they can be counted, marked, moved around, and cut out of the herd (to be shorn, or even to be slaughtered if they’re more trouble than they’re worth).

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Pervasive control and surveillance shape what people create and imagine themselves creating, and a dominant intermediary can harm
individual creators.

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