[cc-community] Making money with By-SA

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Fri May 26 06:19:28 EDT 2006

Quoting drew Roberts <zotz at 100jamz.com>:

> On Thursday 25 May 2006 11:01 pm, Terry Hancock wrote:
>> The trouble is, the result is still going to be an "NC" license, and it
>> will still be fundamentally incompatible with the By-SA.  The license
>> proliferation issue is a serious problem, not just because of the
>> conceptual limitations, but also because even two licenses which are
>> conceptually identical (or similar enough that no one cares about the
>> difference) -- at least w.r.t. a particular work -- e.g. the GPL and the
>> By-SA -- are nevertheless *legally* incompatible.
> I know, and if we can get his done with pure copyleft while people can still
> find ways to earn a living, I would prefer that route, but we may need to
> take some funny paths to get there.

We have some ways mapped out already and a few people trying them. We 
just need
to distract a few more people from the siren call of NC.

>> What I'm saying here is that if I have an "artistic" work which is under
>> the GPL license and another which is under the By-SA, I can't combine
>> them and release them under either the GPL or the By-SA.  Because,
>> even though the authors probably wouldn't object (two licenses with
>> very similar intent -- namely 'copyleft'), the legal language doesn't
>> specify
>> that hte
> This is indeed a problem. It remains to be seen if it can be fixed.

People should not be licensing cultural works under the GPL (and they
*certainly* shouldn't be licensing software under NC, which I saw for 
the first
time recently). End of story in theory. :-)

>> Well, actually, there is something "wrong" with the service model: It's
>> labor-intensive.  And so it puts a pretty firm cap on how much money
>> you can make with it.
> Some actors seem to do pretty good selling their labour. On top of that. I
> have no great desire to push a system where the goal is that some be able to
> get super rich. I prefer to push one where many can earn a decent living. If
> some can get super rich while not really harming the ability of the many to
> earn their decent living, that is their problem and I will not worry about
> it.

The promise of unlimited riches is a seductive one and works very well to keep
people from making what little money they can. Very few artists, authors or
musicians make a living by exploiting copyright.

>> It also suggests patronage pricing systems -- e.g. the most requested
>> artists get scored and the top 100 or so get paid more for their work
>> than others, hence there is competition to be the most popular work,
>> encouraging quality in the work developed (but leaving entry wide-open
>> nevertheless).
> I have some ideas for a business along these lines that if I can ever figure
> out how to effectively do business online from here I want to have a go at.

Patronage is always not a good idea culturally, because then you can get the
taste of the patron dominating. And it's undemocratic.

>> So from a raw-materials point of view, they are all the same. The CL
>> commons, however, is your "edge" over proprietary works.
> Bingo. Something the commons players can use that the non-commons players
> cannot. this does bring up the thought though if the "mere aggregation"
> clause should be halted, at least for a time in oder to increase this edge?

BY-SA seems to be more similar to LGPL than GPL. The way you can use 
BY-SA work
surprises many people in my experience. But mere aggregation is there in the
GPL. And requiring that a CD (say) with a BY-SA track on or a magazine with
(say) a BY-SA article in be all BY-SA is coercive and a barrier to entry for
BY-SA. That said if BY-SA tracks couldn't appear on non-BY-SA CDs that would
reassure a lot of people about getting "ripped off" by having their 
work widely
distributed professionally by recordi- well you get the idea.

- Rob.

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