[cc-licenses] NC considered harmful? Prove it...
email at greglondon.com
Fri Mar 16 09:35:25 EDT 2007
> b) The only justification for the existence of the NC licence, is
> gratis distribution.
A good license creates some sort of leverage that changes
the possible strategic moves, and changes the nature of
the game (as in game theory sort of game).
The default game is all rights reserved. If that were the
only license, then the nature of the game is that works
are zero-sum-games and for someone to give away a work
would mean they'd have to lose something for someone to
gain something. Individuals have no way to collaborate on
a large scale but to have large negotiations amongst themselves,
and at most, you see a handful of co-authors to a book.
If you have a project that requires a lot, lot, lot of
contributers, then you'll see a corporation form around
the project, and the individuals will work together because
they're working for the company's good.
But All Rights Reserved doesn't allow for spontaneous
contributions from a wide source of people, nor does
it work well with many, many, many derivations.
The only way you see many derivations of a work inside
of All Rights Reserved is within a corporation working
on a large project, or over massively long periods of
time as each previous work entered the public domain.
Copyleft licenses change the stategic game.
contributions may now come from far and wide,
and derivations may be immediate and many generations deep.
It prevents competition between contributers by keeping
everyone equal as best as possible. (original authors
still have more rights than contributers, but that's only
because copyleft licenses can't take away copyright rights,
it can only license rights to the community.) And that's
only because copyleft wants the community to work together,
so disallows someone in the community from taking the
community work private. This removes any financial advantage
from trying to fork off a proprietary version of the project
and competing against the original project. Whatever version
you create and distribute, the community can use for free.
from a stategic game poitn of view, community projects
are a win-lose game using All Rights Reserved, and
become a win-win game using a copyleft license.
The choice of license can change the nature of the game.
And by changing the game to win-win, where individual
contributers win and the community as a whole wins,
copyleft licenses create a condition where people are
suddenly motivated to naturally contribute to community
projects that benefit them and the community.
The only justification for the existence of NonCommercial
is if it somehow changes the strategic game of All Rights Reserved
and allows authors and the community to leverage some advantage
inside this new game.
The advantage given to authors using NC is free advertising.
I'll give you an NC version of my work. You can pass it around
to your friends, talk about it on your blog, and so on, and
I'll get some free advertising about it, and maybe more customers
will come back to my site and buy my original work.
The advantage given to downstream users using NC is free samples.
You get to read, listen to, or watch my NC content for free.
All Rights Reserved is win-lose.
CC-NC is win-win. (free samples and free advertising are minor
wins on both sides, but still wins)
> b) The only justification for the existence of the
> NC licence, is gratis distribution.
If you want to disallow all money transactions,
even as little as one dollar, then your license
is a win-lose license. Authors get free adverstising,
but fans have to pay to host your content on your site.
As a fan, I lose all incentive to post your work on my site.
I may decide to point my readers back to your site where
they can view your work. But at that point, you might as
well post your work under an All Rights Reserved license,
and let people read it on your site for free.
A strictly gratis license would be a win-lose license.
Which means people will not naturally adopt it.
People naturally adopt a copyleft license because
it helps them and helps the community. win-win.
So, while I agree there are issues with CC-NC,
(that it is rather too fuzzy about what is allowed and not),
I believe it creates a win-win game that is a
measurable improvement over All Rights Reserved.
I cannot see how a Gratis license is better than
All Rights Reserved in any measurable, objective, way.
"Hunger Pangs" is back and
the second edition better than ever!
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