[cc-community] Benjamin Mako Hill on Creative Commons

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Mon Aug 1 21:03:38 EDT 2005

On Monday 01 August 2005 03:57 pm, Greg London wrote:
> > Before last week I had no idea there was a difference
> > between 'open' content and 'free' content and am still
> > struggling to ascertain exactly what the real difference
> > is between GFDL and the Attribution-ShareAlike, save that
> > the source code is required on GFDL and a certain
> > transparency in work that is not really applicable on
> > creative projects.
> There isn't much differnce but the labeling.
> both open and free are terms used to describe
> gift economy licenses. "Free" was a term used
> by Stallman, with all of its political conotations.
> There was a "manifesto" written that even talked
> about "free as in free speach, not free beer"
> and other such stuff. Basically, free software
> became more and more combative towards proprietary
> works at least in the "rhetoric".
> The "open" source movement was started, in part,
> to distance itself from the soapboxing that was
> happening around the "free" software movement,
> but to keep "gift economy" licenses alive.
> Actually, "open source" was adopted in part for
> teh specific reason that proprietary vendors
> would be more likely to use "open source" software
> than "free software", simply because "free"
> wasn't something that you could easily convince
> a businessman to adopt.

While this is correct historically, I never bought the need. Business men seem 
to claim to like the Free Market allright.
> Both terms describe the same licenses, just
> with different rhetoric around it to explain it.
> In fact, the acronym "FLOSS" is short for
> "Free Libre Open Source Software".
> There are some variations that may or may not
> include teh "Libre" part or the "software"
> part, but basically, the acronym attempts
> to capture all teh different rhetorical terms
> that mean the same thing into one word.

Correct, I have seen FOSS used as well which, as you say, omits the Libre.
> As for specific licenses, some people are
> adamantly in favor of some types of FLOSS
> licenses while adamantly against others.
> Copyleft licenses are actually the most restrictive
> of teh FLOSS licenses. Other licenses such as the
> BSD license are one step away from putting the
> work in the public domain, and therefore have almost
> no restrictions.

Indeed, this is the old and still current argument wit hte GPL vs. the BSD. I 
actually come down on the GPL side. While it may be more restrictive than 
BSD, I would think that the average freeness of all the code based on/derived 
from GPL code is greater than the average freeness of all the code based 
on/derived from the BSD.
> Within the various copyleft licenses,
> GNU licenses require source and CC licenses do not.
> Pretty much, I think that anything more restrictive
> than GNU-GPL is considered to be a non-free license.
> CC-NC is not FLOSS
> same goes for ND, Sampling, and sometimes BY.
> You don't have to require source to be free.
> On the other hand, some attribution requirements
> are considered to be not-free. Whether "attribution"
> as a whole is free or not is subject for debate.
> I don't know if the CC-BY license has been certified
> by the open source initiative as meeting the open source
> definition.
> If you're confused, that means you have probably
> been paying attention.

Aint that the truth. Will we ever see NC cleared up in the CC world?
> Greg
all the best,


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