[cc-community] Benjamin Mako Hill on Creative Commons
robmyers at mac.com
Mon Aug 1 16:21:55 EDT 2005
OK, last bit of spam for today, I promise. :-)
On 1 Aug 2005, at 20:28, Mark Havenner wrote:
> Actually what you said clears some things up for me. The question I
> and perhaps this is the real core of the matter, how does a license
> what is an appropriate level of providing a source?
It's probably easier if we substitute "necessary" for "appropriate".
For the GPL, this is quite clear-cut. You must provide sufficient
materials for the user to be able to compile the program or
derivatives of it. If you are GPL-ing cultural work, then I believe
that the ability to re-make or derive from the work does require a
structured, full-quality version.
For the FDL, source is not required, just a transparent copy. So I
can provide an HTML version of the original LaTeX file and this is OK
For CC, the only requirement is that the work not have DRM
("technological measures"). So I can provide ASCII of my original PDF
and that's OK.
> In my book, as long as the JPG is available, that is enough. A
> license can't
> say quality must be .TIFF, .PSD, or .EPS. For one, some of those
> formats are
> proprietary and the license would be inadvertently promoting a
> piece of
> software and additionally not everyone has access to that software.
> are many JPGs that are a higher quality than poorly rendered TIFFs.
> GIF or JPG are universally readable, but can be lower quality.
If professional artists want a PhotoShop file or a Reason file rather
than some XML that cannot represent the full quality of the original
data, what do we do? If we are Richard Stallman, Freedom is more
important than Quality, so the answer is clear. But culture is not
code, and we are not all RMS.
So this is an open question.
I think one answer is that we must work to remove the need to choose
between quality, accessibility, and Freedom. Which means those of us
that can must work on open file formats, and format translators.
> And what if I imbed my images at a high resolution in Quark or
> This is a required source for most printing presses and publishers,
> certainly not everyone has those programs (just money-blowing
> designers like
> myself), so how would that, in any way, promote intellectual freedom?
You can provide the Quark file in PDF and PostScript as well,
certainly from the (proprietary :-) ) MacOS X print dialog.
> And what about text? A popular source would be MS Word, but again
> you are
> requiring a proprietary piece of software. If it's txt, then what's
> difference between .rtf and say copying and pasting off an unlocked
AbiWord can read current word files IIRC, and there are programs to
convert the file.
This isn't ideal, but as I say, full-strength free formats are
something we need to work towards urgently.
> If that is truly the distinction and where CC falls short, I don't
> see how
> CC or anyone else can apply those concepts to creative works, apart
> simply requiring that 'a' source be available.
As it stands, CC cannot even demand this as it seems to be about
"freedom of contract" rather than "free as in freedom". But a more
general commitment to creative freedom would demand transparent,
structured, open-format source, and would place CC alongside the Free
Software movement, with a requirement for strong free/open formats to
ensure the ongoing freedom of creative work.
But for the moment a JPEG with quality 9 is a good start. :-)
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