[cc-community] Intellectual Highway Department

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Wed May 31 07:35:03 EDT 2006

On Wednesday 31 May 2006 04:42 am, rob at robmyers.org wrote:
> Quoting drew Roberts <zotz at 100jamz.com>:
> > 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.
> Yes, the FSF wrote the compiler, debugger, C library, the shell tools and
> possibly the text editor (emacs) used by GNU/Linux. They wrote them very
> much on the cathedral model. This is why Linus could write the Linux Kernel
> "just for fun".
> gcc, emacs and gdb were written by Stallman to start with. This isn't a
> cathedral model so much as a hermit model. :-) He supported this work by
> working as a software cinsultant. So this does look like a gift in Greg's
> economic model. But the projects were not considered or phrased as gifts,
> they were considered or phrased as Freedom. And they can be sold quite
> happily as well as exchanged with gift expectations.

Right, and when I work on GPL stuff or BY-Sa stuff, I do not concieve of 
myself as participating in a gift economy either. I see myself working for 
freedom. I also see myself as having been paid in kind, up front, in an 
amount that I could never hope to pay for with cash. Due to network effects, 
I doubt I could ever be a true free-rider, but I could get much closer to one 
than I do. That I don't is based at least in part to my inner sense of what 
is fair and right.
> > 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.
> Well there's taxation at the state or town level. Or subscription. Or
> bonds. Or
> charging people who don't car pool. Or a lottery. Or selling land along the
> road. There are many ways of paying for the freedom of a road. :-)
> > You can use a copyleft license and yet still get paid for every hour you
> > work if you so choose. People do this now.
> Yes and this is why a gift/market bipolar split simply does not work.

I couldn't agree more.

> Whilst an
> economist can happily chunk acts contributing to Free Software into
> smaller and
> smaller examples of discrete gift and market acts, the Free Software
> doesn't care.

No do I care how the Free Stuff gets made. So long as it gets made and is 
useful. (Well, I care some as how can have an impact on quality and can also 
increase confidence that the players are reliable which counts for some 

> Some countries have paid health care. some countries have state health
> care. Some have hybrids. All who have health care have health care. A road
> is freedom. It doesn't matter how it is paid for as long as people have
> that freedom.
> >> 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 is not a fallacy at all. The *quality* of work from major producers is
> declining as they go into less risky recycling of ideas that they already
> own. And the *risk* of personal expression goes up as videos get pulled
> from MySpace. And the *volume* of work going into the public domain and
> becoming usable is decreasing as copyright is extended.
> This is quantifiable.

It may be that the real problem is the concentration of ownership of all these 
copyrights by so few players that causes most of the problems. I haven't 
thought enough about it as it relates to multiple fields.
> > 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.
> IIRC a company has done the evil twin of this and is suing ringtone
> manufacturers. I cannot remember the URL though. :-/

Bam Sookie. How many notes do you have to get the same before you can go down 
for unconscious (unintended?) copyright violation?
> >> 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.
> Note the "completely new and unrelated". The problem with the current
> system is
> that having got the ringleader they set up a plea bargain that stops anyone
> else going after the rest of the gang.
> >> 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 it's more the case that the bounty hunters don't want me to be
> allowed to arm myself. We have their protection, why would I want to arm
> myself?
> The GPL is the right to bear arms in the Bounty Hunters scenario. :-)

A fun way to put it. Are we gonna have calls for GPL control soon? You need to 
be licensed and registered in order to be able to use the GPL?
> > 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?
> The problem with this is we already have effective ways for people to
> make money
> in the way they wish to (assuming there is a market for what they are
> offering,
> which may not be the case, but is never considered a problem for
> proprietary projects). 

Let's mkae up a list of these ways, shall we?

> Solving an over-stated problem ("you can't make 
> money off CC") with a solution that concedes the terms of the debate is not
> something I think is a good idea.

Here I think you are making a mistake of lumping all things CC together. In 
this thread and the related ones, I don't think anyone is maintaining that 
you cannot make money from such things as:


Some may feel that you cannot make money from


Does anyone disagree as relates to the discussions we have been having?

Now, I personally feel that we can find long term ways to make money with 
BY-Sa, but I think that they way things work in the overall CC world right 
now, it is going to take us a lot longer to get whre I think we are gonna end 
up than it could if we did things differently.

What those different things are is still up in the air in my mind which is why 
I am willing to take up so much time in these discussions.
> > 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.
> But NC is popular. Popularity is success. Therefore NC will stay.

There was a big IF in there.
> >> 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.
> I agree with Greg, I think that a sunset license will cannibalise SA
> rather than
> reducing NC.

Is there really much to cannibalise right now? I have trouble finding it. 
(Tell me I am wrong and don't know how to look. Please.)
> - Rob.
all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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