[cc-community] [cc-licenses] Intellectual Highway Department

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Tue May 30 08:41:38 EDT 2006

Moved to community.

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

> On Monday 29 May 2006 11:52 pm, Greg London wrote:
>> CC-NC doesn't "break up the commons".
> Perhaps, perhaps not,

It does, you know. Look at all that NC content on Flickr that could be used to
illustrate Wikipedia articles. That certainly looks like fragmentation to me.

> what the different CC licenses do is create seperate
> "commons" areas where works in each area are not necessarily free to move
> from area to area and that have the unfortunate, to my mind, attribute that
> most mixing from the area results in taking out of the more free areas and
> moving to hte less free.

You cannot move SA to NC, so if you mean moving BY to SA, this is not a
reduction in freedom since it will protect freedom, so in fact it is an
increase in freedom. :-)

> That is, not all people have commonage rights. Npt even all citizens. I could
> have misunderstood some things I have read though so those with more definate
> knowledge are encouraged to contribute.

Commons are managed community resources. This is why the traditional 
"tragedy of
the commons" pleading for proprietary management is bogus:


>> If that person decides to use the CC-NC license,
>> they have decided to allow more free access to
>> their land without charging for it than they
>> could have, given their rights as landowner.
>> They lowered the fence for some people and let
>> them graze for free.
>> doing THAT does not break the commons up, either.

It does since they are denying an area of the commons to a particular use. The
commons is not an allotment, you can sell your sheep. NC breaks this.

>> The commons is not fragmented.

It is terribly fragmented.

> Obvioulsy, you look at things differently. I doubt that you are going to
> convince me though. I can use PD, BY, and BY-SA for what I want to do. (And
> anything compatible where I can end up with a copyleft work.) The rest may as
> well be all rights reserved as far as I am concerned. Fragmented. And there
> is a fragment that is of no use to me. YMMV.

And if we take the idea of a commons that can be used for any end as 
long as it
does not harm the comons, NC and ND are simply not commons licenses.

>> CC-NC can be used by creators as a way to give
>> up some rights in exchange for getting more sales,
>> and more sales allow them to keep creating new works,
>> and eventually those works go into the Public Domain.
> Are you sure about that?

Disney would certainly beg to differ.

>> This process doesn't "fragment" the "commons",
>> it expands it.
> Not if the current never expiring copyright game keeps being played.

And if we end up with more and more incompatible works.

>> You keep using the word "commons",
>> but I don't think it means what you think it means.
> To use your definition, Creative Commons is wrongly named. Only the Public
> Domain is the commons and there is very little of that being produced around
> here if statements I see are correct.

The public domain is not the commons, see the flash animation above, and


"The fact that land is common land does not mean it has no owner—all land in
England and Wales is owned by someone."

Commons are not wildernesses waiting to be (over-)exploited.

But I agree this may be a matter of terminology.

- Rob.

More information about the cc-community mailing list