[cc-community] Making money with By-SA

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Fri May 26 07:44:23 EDT 2006

On Friday 26 May 2006 06:19 am, rob at robmyers.org wrote:
> 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.

Can you let us in on any of them at this time?
> >> 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.

Indeed it is as is the lure of great fame. Again. I am not out to design a 
system to actively work against great wealth. Just one with an important of 
letting "artists" earn a living from their art if that is their wish and they 
have the talent to do so. (While still retaining the "ownership" of their 

Like you say, the present system doesn't seem to do that very well, at least 
for certain forms of art. Especially if the criterion(?) is earning enough on 
residuals and not current work. Not that I see that last part as necessary 
for the system I am thinking of.
> >> 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.

Well, isn't that really what you have in a large many of the current systems 
that people point to as the successes under the current system?

So, all of these sorts of things are a bad idea:


I am not so sure. Now, perhaps all of the common ways of patronage end up with 
the patron calling the shots, but is that really the only way to go about it?
> >> 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. 

This is an interesting statement. Would you give some illustrative examples?

> 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. 

Could be, but it might (only might mind you, and if so, I think it would be a 
shame) be necessary to get something more copyleft like going full tilt for 
art. (If it is, perhaps that part should be sunsetted.)

> 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.

Bingo. And in other similar situations really. There are some thorny issues 
around these thoughts that it would be better not to have to deal with if 
BY-SA could take off as is.
> - Rob.

all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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