[cc-community] Intellectual Highway Department

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Tue May 30 18:03:54 EDT 2006


On Tuesday 30 May 2006 03:28 pm, Greg London wrote:

This is long and instead of commenting point by point, I will just say a few 
things here at the top. Addressed to Greg, but some is meant to apply to all 
readers.

1. Some people still do not buy your whole gift economy = chunkable = copyleft 
theory. Restating it again and again does not help convince those of us who 
do not buy it imho.

According to your beliefs, NC is not a commons license, if we accept that (and 
I persoannally may) then Creative Commons has no business offering a license 
that has nothing to do with the commons under its banner. Start another 
organization to promote such non-commons licenses? As it is, it is a metter 
of confusion.

People are motivated by many things, not just money or profit in the economic 
sense. It is unclear in the "games" you bring up that you take this into 
account. Some might write a song for a political reason for instance. They 
may need to support themself, but they may rather have wider distribution 
over more profit once the goal of sustaining themselves is met.

I have not seen anything seriously discussed areound here which takes into the 
account the value of network effects and how this relates to the value of one 
work over another and how this offsets some of the ideas surrounding the 
free-rider problem.

I would like to see us discuss the use value versus sale value a bit more.

I think we might also want to consider and discuss the competition for the 
public's attention and money between Free works, old non-Free works and new 
non-Free works.

I guess I will comment some inline after all...

> > I am seriously disturbed by your continued (intentional?) conflation
> > of 'free license techniques' and 'gift economy'. Right here you rightly
> > point out that Linux succeeded over BSD Unix because of the nature
> > of copyleft licenses: proof that copyleft communities are not mere
> > 'gift economies'.  If that's not proof that copyleft != gift economy,
> > I don't know what is.
>
> linux and wikipedia worked because of the terrain it
> was built on, not because of some magic powers of
> the gift economy, not because of some magic in its
> licensing scheme. The terrain was chunkable.
> So many people could contribute their free time
> to the project without getting monetary compensation
> for it.

Yet one thing about linux, and if you think of it as gnu/linux this is more 
apparent, is that it had a hugh head start of all the gnu code developed by 
the FSF (is that right?) under the GPL and some LGPL and developed mugh more 
along the lines of a cathedral model.
>
> Change the terrain to where it doesn't chunk easily,
> and the process doesn't work anymore. At least not
> until you figure out how to make the terrain chunkable
> again. Try creating a floss web radio station and
> you'll see the terrain doesn't breakup so easily.
> Part of that could probably be fixed by some software
> tools like the music identification and searching stuff,
> and the like. But a license won't change the terrain.
>
> > >  So, when these same people see that the construction techniques
> > >  aren't working in new terrain, when they try to build a floss road
> > >  into the music world, they don't see the that they've just pushed
> > >  into a mountain range and the same construction techniques may not
> > >  work here.
> >
> > Yet, your answer to this is that we should keep using the same
> > techniques, but just 'try harder'?  *What* is your point, actually?
>
> My point is that when you look at something that
> currently can't be won by floss techniques,
> you have to figure out how to change the way
> the game is played so floss works.

This is not a bad idea/angle, it is just that I am as yet unwilling to think 
it is the only viable approach.
>
> If you find you're playing the Kobayashi Maru,
> you either lose the game or figure out a way to
> chagne the rules.
>
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-community/2006-May/001099.html
>
> > A 'commons' is material that can be meaningfully shared and
> > "remixed", to use the CC expression.  Regrettably, there is more
> > than one of these now.  Hence the complaint of "commons
> > fragmentation".
>
> CC-NC is not a commons. Nor is CC-ND.
> They are market economy licenses where
> the creator can give up some rights in exchange
> for something that might benefit him more.
> Free samples in exchange for possibly more sales.
>
> No one should be doing anything "commons" like
> with anything licensed CC-NC or CC-ND or
> any other market economy license.
>
> > Charging a 'toll' is a total irrelevance. A toll can be charged for
> > any of these licenses, or not charged.  I suppose you mean a
> > license fee as such.
>
> I mean charging a direct toll to pay for the road versus
> building the road, allowing people to travel on it for free,
> and then building a gas station and trying to make back
> your road construction costs by selling gas.

The option that is being left out is charging people to build the road in the 
first place. We should also keep in mind that these are not mutually 
exclusive options.
>
> If you have a small group of contributers to a copyleft
> project and they're working full time on the project,
> they need to get paid for their time or go hungry.

Is this a straw man or an irrelevant statement?
>
> Using a copyleft license doesn't change the fact that
> they need to get paid for their time. but they have to
> figure out indirect ways to make money while still
> using copyleft.

You can use a copyleft license and yet still get paid for every hour you work 
if you so choose. People do this now.
>
> > But the real point is that you are kidding yourself if you continue to
> > believe that a system which encourages toll roads has no impact on
> > the creation of free roads.  I grant you that it is not a true zero-sum
> > game -- but there is a definite question of mindshare among artists.
> > More artists using one license or another means a preference for
> > the commons they select.
>
> This is complete fallacy.
> You're saying that All Rights Reserved creations somehow
> prevent the creation of new works. By that argument, I should
> be able to look at the new works being distributed on the net
> and on the TV and radio and see a noticable decline as time
> goes on, since the terms keep getting extended.

I humbly submit that it is not a complete fallacy. With the trend to 
copyrights that do not expire we are going to see this more and more and I 
especially think it is going to become apparent with melodies.

It may not be as visible as quicky as I would expect as so much music 
copyright ownership seems to be concentrated and them may pull something like 
the patent cross licensing deals we see in that area. (BTW, why do patents 
last so much shorther than copyrights. Is it rally so much harder or of such 
a greater value to mankind to make a song versus some useful invention? 
Anyone? Anyone?)

I think it is important in all of this back and forth to remember the common 
ground we do have which is that the implementation of the copyright system as 
it stands is broken wrt the deal the public gets.
>
> All rights reserved prevents the creation of *derivative* works.
> But you are free to create anything new that you wish.

I wrote a program, it was very simple, that would churn out every possible N 
note melody (might have been N bars and not notes) using whole, half, and 
quater notes and the corresponding rests. (I may have gone down to 16ths, I 
do not remember. (Based on major keys perhaps.)

So, we could write a little distributed app. Churn out all the possible 
melodies up to a certain length and submit them all to the copyright office 
as a collection of melodies. Then leave it up to anyone who has one of the 
collection copyrighted already to make that claim and then we could have all 
of the other possible melodies under a copyleft license.

3. ???
4. Profit.

(Couldn't resist the reference...)

> This is yet another problem with the commons "pasture"
> metaphor. The commons area is "fenced in". and the fence
> of All Rights Reserved works that surround it prevent
> anyone from expandign the commons, EXCEPT TO
> tear down the oppressive and restrictive fences of the
> all rights reserved folks.
>
> Try the bounty hunter metaphor. Disney catching
> a bunch of bad guys doesn't prevent you or anyone
> else from catching a completely new and unrelated
> bad guy. Even that metaphor fails to some extent,
> but that's the problem with metaphors.

With an unlimited number of bad guys and an unlimited amount of reward money, 
OK. Is that the real world though?
>
> > When we speak of 'fragmentation' of the commons we are referring
> > to the fact that multiple bodies of material under different,
> > incompatible licenses, makes combination impossible.  This of course, is
> > based on the idea that if there were one agreed-upon license, that all
> > the material would be released under it. This is not totally true, of
> > course, but neither is the converse idea that each license communities is
> > so attached to their terms that they would only choose their license or
> > no license.  I seriously doubt that for the simple reason that people
> > choose commons licensing specifically to support some kind of
> > sharing community.
>
> Again, CC-NC is not a "commons" license. Using CC-NC doesn't
> fragment anything because CC-NC is not a license to use if you
> intend your work to be part of something bigger. CC-NC is used
> by people who want to keep the work under their specific control.
> CC-NC is an individual license for individual works. It isn't going
> to create any sort of pool of works that you would want to do any
> group work with. Since there is no "commons" in CC-NC, putting
> a work under CC-NC doesn't fragment anything.

And yet as I mentioned above... CC BY-NC is a Creative Commons license. hence 
the trouble. And hence some of the issues.
>
> CC-NC is a Cathedral license, to keep the work under the
> original author's control. Using CC-NC does not fragment
> the Bazaar because it's not a Bazaar and never was.
>
> > Why does an artist choose NC at all? For most purposes -- especially
> > to other artists -- the NC offers nothing of value.  Unless you're a
> > communist, this is no help at all: 'I can use your work, so long as I
> > can prove that I didn't gain any financial value from it.'
>
> Artists use CC-NC as a market economy license.
> They trade some of the rights to their work,
> using it as free samples and free advertising,
> in exchange for teh potential for more sales.
> It's a loss leader.
>
> > Now *that* is a 'gift economy'.
> >
> > The problem is that the artist trying out this new "CC-By-NC-SA"
> > concept is (IMHO) trying to get the benefits of the commons, but the NC
> > creates a poor commons.
>
> CC-NC isn't a gift economy. It isn't a commons.
> It doesn't create anything that is a community benefit.
> It surrenders some of the righst to the work in exchange
> for possibly helping the original creator. It isn't a poor commons,
> it's not a commons at all.

Let me set this up so that we may all be able to see a possible win-win and 
commons enhancing possibility for the sunsetting module on the NC and ND 
modules.

I am a big BY-SA copyleft fan. That said, I can understand how people not 
having experience with Free Software and its benefits may be reluctant to use 
a copyleft license. I can also see how it may be harder to figure out ways to 
make money from copyleft music versus copyleft code. (We should note thought 
that very similar arguments get made against the possibilities of making 
money with copyleft code.) We will grant that it is harder for the sake of 
this discussion. This means that they may want to use a copyleft license, but 
need to support themselves and this is as stipulated, more difficult with 
music than code.

So, I would be willing to use another possible modure T3 - (take 3) which 
would let someone turn my BY-SA work into a BY-SA-NC-3Y (3 year sunset back 
to BY-SA)

BY-SA-T3 -> BY-SA-NC-3Y -> BY-SA-T3 Some deal like that.

So, the benefit offered is that you can build on the work of others and close 
it off for a short time, then it goes back into the pool to be reused.
>
> > It impedes sharing and cooperation, because
> > it messes with the underpinnings of the mechanisms that surround
> > copyleft and free-license communities.
> >
> > IOW, the person using NC is trying to foster a community, but is
> > being guided (wrongly, IMHO) towards the NC model.  That happens
> > largely because of CC's framing of the licensing issues and the
> > choice to provide "NC" and "SA" licensing options.
>
> CC-NC isn't for sharing and cooperation. It isn't a commons.
>
> But CC-NC doesn't "mess with" copyleft or the community,
> because it isn't even in that category. It is a cathedral license.
> A market economy license. It's operating on completely
> different terrain with a completely different economic model.
>
> > So we agree, that sometimes, the right thing to do is to charge a fee
> > for licensing, and prevent certain kinds of use (which the artist would
> > prefer to charge a toll on).  The artist wants to find a way to protect
> > this income, but he also wants 'commons' leverage (if he didn't he's
> > going to use 'all rights reserved', so he's outside the CC space).
>
> It isn't "commons" leverage. It is a loss leader.
> It is giving up some rights in exchange for an individual
> benefit. Free samples in exchage for potential for new sales.
>
> > What mystifies me is your opposition to voluntary options to
> > smooth the boundaries between commonses.  Even if it fails
> > to have the effect I want, how can it possibly hurt you?
>
> It won't hurt me. I'm just telling you that you're license solves
> a different problem than what you're saying it solves. CC-NC
> doesn't cause any problem as far as fragmenting the ocmmons,
> because no commons exists in that space and no commons was
> ever intended to exist in that space. CC-NC is NOT a commons
> license. It is a market economy license, a Cathedral license,
> that allows the creator fo a work to exchange some rights
> for some possible free advertising and sales. That isn't a
> problem.
>
> What's the problem is that you're relating to CC-NC as if
> it should be a commons or it should put works into a
> commons area. It doesn't. But then, it was never meant
> to do that.

Again, it is the Creative Commons people themselves who equate NC stuff with a 
commons, not use "end users" of the CC licenses. Is it your words that it was 
never meant to do that, is theirs?
>
> So the problem you are proposing that CC-Sunset would fix,
> doesn't exist. as long as the license is being propsed to fix
> a nonexistent problem, I have an issue with it being approved.
>
> The last thing I want is for a license to be rolled out with all
> sorts of promises to create new possibilities and solve all
> sorts of issues, only to have it, well, not do any of that,
> because it was designed to fix a non-existent problem under
> the premise that there was some connection between the
> "problem" and the new license.


If license proliferation and the resultant incompatibilities were not such big 
problems, this would be a non-issue and we should be running experiments with 
various options to see which work best in practice.

>
> I also think that were CC to create a sunset license that
> started out as CC-NC and switched to CC-SA, then the
> people who would adopt it would be fence-hangers to
> CC-SA, not CC-NC. That's a fundamental problem.

What is the issue with making a license for people who want to make BY-SA 
works but can see no other way to support themselves in doing so but by 
adding an NC option and yet think that they would garner more goodwill if 
they could build in a sunset to straight BY-SA?
>
> If people are on the fence and decide to go with CC-SA,
> Great. The commons gets something contributed to it.
> If the person sees CC-Sunset, they may be more apt
> to go with CC-Sunset with a couple year delay,
> *just in case* they might be able to make some money
> off of it.
>
> If you take someone who uses CC-NC, I don't see
> CC-Sunset offering them anything new. CC-NC is a
> market economy license that benefits the author.
> They give up some right to the community and
> the community gives them some free advertising.
> CC-Sunset doesn't offer them anything additional.

See the thought on T3. That would give them something additional at least for 
non-original works.
>
> If CC-NC were a restrictive "commons" then
> peole using CC-NC might change to CC-Sunset.
> But I don't think people who use CC-NC think
> they're contributing to a commons, I think they
> know on some level that they're keeping some
> rights so they are at an advantage over the community.

If that is really the case, it is time for CC to drop the NC option as it has 
nothing whatsoever with the Creative Commons. End of story.

> It's an exchange of free-advertising. If anyone
> was interested in contrubting to a commons they
> would use a commons license like CC-SA.
>
> So while I can see people who used to contribute stuff
> under CC-SA changing to using a CC-Sunset license,
> I don't see people going from CC-NC to sunset.
> which means that any CC-SA commons will get
> worse, not better.

Not if it allows for the funding of more works that will end up BY-SA it 
won't. Isn't that the basic premise of copyright in the first place? Now, if 
you think that copyleft art has similar ethical consideratoins as copyleft 
code. That may be the case and, if so, the BY-SA commons would be hurt to 
that extent.

all the best,

drew
-- 
http://www.ourmedia.org/node/145261
Record a song and you might win $1,000.00
http://www.ourmedia.org/user/17145




More information about the cc-community mailing list