[cc-community] More discussion on NC
akozak at creativecommons.org
Mon Oct 11 14:56:46 EDT 2010
Well, I'll let Fred respond re: his framework if he feels inclined.
At this point I'm not really interested in debating the distinction between
software and art, and I'm not sure the question of whether NC should exist
or not hinges on this debate. It's interesting to me philosophically what
the differences and similarities are between software and cultural works
(and the definitions of those terms themselves), but I'm sure the
justification for an NC term is much more mundane.
On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 12:01 PM, Alan Cox <alan at lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk> wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 10:03:47 -0700
> Alex Kozak <akozak at creativecommons.org> wrote:
> > Great paper Fred, I really enjoyed it. I think it's a great way to draw
> > distinction between cultural works and software.
> > Within your framework, there is this interesting area where "cultural
> > bleed into the fungible (like Wikipedia) and there is this blend of
> > and non-fungible elements. I'm thinking here of OER, scientific
> > publications, ontologies, etc. In those cases the copyrighted work aims
> > towards some function or outcome, and maybe that is why certain licensing
> > norms are more common in those areas than in, say, music or video.
> Can you explain what you mean by "aim towards some function or outcome".
> I'm at a loss to see what doesn't fit this category except for
> randomness ? Cultural works seem to fit this too - whether its the
> Beatles (aimed outcome - new swimming pool), or something higher.
> I'll also throw another software/not software one in the mix
> Choose your own Adventure Books/Fighting Fantasy/etc
> It's a simple computer game except the software is run by the player and
> its written as a book. Several of them were also ported to a computer
> Now can you tell me if one is fungible why the other isn't. Only the
> object performing the execution of certain chores has changed.
> And if that matters suppose I take a puzzle book - does it really become
> fungible if I use a calculator on the problems ?
> I think from that and your comments on Wikipedia I now understand the
> key problem:
> Software in the way the paper is measuring it is an *implementation* of a
> work just like say printing. Software no more decides whether a work is
> fungible or not than whether acrylic or oil paint was used.
> The question should be about "What is the work that is implemented by this
> process". Being printed does not define whether a book is fungible (bus
> timetable) or not (the importance of being earnest) any more than being a
> web page would.
> So in a sense yes almost all software is fungible, but you need to be
> very careful that you don't confuse a work built out of software with
> software itself, any more than you'd confuse a literary work with the pile
> of paper and inkstains into which it has been encoded.
> Incidentally you can sort of measure the replacability of any work for
> which there is no supply constraint and competition. Economics says that
> the market capital of the business in this case is roughly the total cost
> of switching from that product to a free one. 
>  And yes you can in theory implement Linux using an awful lot of people
> and postcards. That would not be useful, or fast, but interestingly it
> might of itself be a work of art.
>  I'm assuming there is a small subset of turing machines for which
> there is only one sensible implementation. You'd have to ask a hardcore
> computability expert if there are any turing machines which have only one
> possible implementation and no equivalents.
>  Basically because
> The market capital of such a pure theoretical business is the
> amount it can earn
> The amount it can earn is the amount it can extract from
> customers minus the transaction costs
> If it ever gets to the point where the customers are charged more
> than the switching cost they would (rationally) switch
> Thus there is a price ceiling on what can be extracted which is
> the switching cost
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