[cc-community] Intellectual Highway Department

Greg London teloscorbin at gmail.com
Tue May 30 20:33:32 EDT 2006

On 5/30/06, drew Roberts <zotz at 100jamz.com> wrote:
> On Tuesday 30 May 2006 03:28 pm, Greg London wrote:

> 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.

heh. you should have been around when CC first started.
I was probably just a tad more combative back then
and let them have it with both barrels on a couple
of occaisions as to all the references to "commons" that
was on their site and nothing to clarify that a bunch of
their licenses weren't. They cleaned up quite a bit,
but the name of the site had already been picked and
advertised and everything, so that one never went.

I don't mind the name. CC-BY and CC-SA are commons
licenses. and their philosophy page is pretty clear that
they're more about a "spectrum of rights" than a
commons manifesto. But no, I don't think CC-NC is
a commons license. And yes, I wouldn't mind some
clarification somewhere on teh CC website as to that

I think the color coding rainbow would do it.
the Blues could be Public Domain
Green could be ShareAlike
and the warning colors such as yellow, orange and red
could be reserved for non-commons licenses.

there's a black and white I did of something like this here

Oh, and here's my rendition of the cathedral and bazaar

> 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.

Yes, I do. The only reason that someone would contribute
to wikipedia is because it serves some motive other than
money. Maybe they are simply motivated by the idea
of making information free to the world. Maybe they are
motivated by their interest in a particular subject. Whatver.
The main thing is that when you have a wide base of
contributers giving small contributions for free, their
reason for doing so will be motivated by the fact that
the project is in alignment with some higher motive
than money or personal reward.

Which is yet another reason that I say the license doesn't
spark the project. The idea behind the project, the end goal,
is what sparks the contributions to come in. And FLOSS
is not good enough of a goal by itself. THe goal needs to
be whatever the project creates as work, not the fact that
the work is CC-SA. And the goal needs to be big enough
to be motivating but have short enough milestones so
as to not be overwhelming.

If the terrain is too steep, find a flat spot in the mountains.
Go around, rather than going up.

> 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.

Yes. Those first applications were important seeds.
They served as proof that the concept could work,
they acted as "milestones" to show people progress,
and they also happened to include two of the most
important tools in developing software: an editor and
a compiler.

> > 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.

Yes, the service model, too.

some projects are more compatible with finding
vendors who you can quote a price to do a job
than others.

> 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?

The power of patent rights is far more powerful than the power of
copyrights. Patents grant exclusive rights on functionality and don't
care if the functionality is created with a different expression or
independently. So, to compensate, the term is much shorter.


> > 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?

I think for the forseable future, the number of
possible new, unique intellectual works can be
approximated as limitless. Maybe in a century or
two, someone might want to re-evalutate 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?

I say NC is not a commons license.
I don't think CC says anything either way
as far as the concept of a commons goes
and how it might or might not relate to their
licenses. I haven't looked at their mission
statement lately.

> > 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

Because if the project is such that you have too small
a number of people contributing CC-SA works to
make the project exothermic, and the alternative is to
increase the number of contributers by creating a
monetary incentive but extending terms to N years,
then you go from one approach that doesn't ignite
to another approach that doesn't ignite. A turn around
time for derivatives of 3 years means, potentially,
you get 10 revisions after 30 years.

The thing that makes gift economy projects killer apps
is their capacity for instantaneous derivations.
If you've ever watched an article on wikipedia go from
zero to several pages in a couple of days, you'll see
that its a whole bunch of people working off of each other's
work, instantaneously. You'll get multiple people editing
the same piece and the software will say you've got a
submission conflict because two people tried to change
somethign at the same time. And in a short time, those
derivitives can result in a great work.

I suppose if you have a project that has few contributers
to begin with, that doesn't chunk well, is generally made
by individuals doing a lot of Cathedral work and then
submitting it, then the Sunset license model fits the
project terrain. But I wouldnt be convinced that the
thing would go exothermic and become self-sustaining.

Figuring out a way to change the terrain would.

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