[cc-community] Intellectual Highway Department

Greg London teloscorbin at gmail.com
Wed May 31 14:24:28 EDT 2006

On 5/31/06, rob at robmyers.org <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:
> Quoting Greg London <teloscorbin at gmail.com>:
> > Yes. This morning on the commute to work, the idea of using
> > a sunset approach to a certain niche of projects could possibly
> > modify the terrain on which it's built. The specific project that
> > came to mind was "Elephant Dreams".
> Elephants dream was paid for by pre-sales (effectively SPP)
> and is now available BY as a torrent. I believe that a sunset clause
> would have killed interest and pre-sales.

I did mention I'd like to see a sunset license tried on the the
other side of a blast-door first, didn't I? If it blows up in someone's
face, which I'm not entirely convinced that it wouldn't, I'd rather not
be pulling shrapnel out of CC for the next few years, that and end
up walking with a limp.

> The project would not have happened. Sunset is bad for people who
> use it, as they create uncertainty around their own sales. People will
> just wait for the sunset.

Well, I think some software businesses GPL the old versions of code,
but you have to pay to get the latest rev, so the idea seems to be workable,
I just question whether implementing an artificial barrier via a sunset
will have the same effect that comes naturally from software revisions.

Some people will just wait for the current version of the software to
get released GPL rather than pay for it. But that doesn't mean that
you couldn't stilll make an income on the people who are willing ot pay.

> most software is written in-house, not for external sales.
> Money is not made directly on it.

I also believe I said this would be a niche thing, right?

> But movies are chunkable. The average blockbuster is now
> rendered by a number of different effects houses. The script
> is derived multiple times before shooting.  And actors need
> never meet. I'm not saying this is a good way of doing things,
> but it is chunked. :-)

Yes, yes. When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it
to mean. And when I say "chunkable", I mean chunkable to the
point that a complete newbie to the project could surf to the site,
find something valuable (entertaining) to them, and then see an
"edit" button, and spend all of two minutes adding some improvement
to the project that would be equivalent to two minutes of contribution
by the most experienced editor. And have none of that two minutes
be lost by overhead trying to integrate it into the project.

Wikipedia is chunkable. Grandma could go to an article about
knitting because she wants to learn something about knitting,
and then notice a spelling error and fix it in less than a minute.
No overhead is involved rolling this contribution into the project.

Maybe chunkable isnt the right word, but it's all I got so far.
It basically means a project that fails to follow the mythical
man-month that inter-person communication/overhead goes
exponential as you add people to the project. That overhead
remains relatively constant regardless of the number of people
because the project requires little or not communication and

And if you want a hundred thousand people all contributing
one hour's worth of work to your project and end up with
a 90,000 hour result (10 percent overhead), then you need
to figure out how to make the project chunkable or
(insert better terminology here)

> > but there isn't a natural boundary for versioning that makes a
> > new version better than an older version.
> They could get some money to fix the character animation.
> I'd pay for that.

Yeah, I don't know. some people would pay for a re-released version
of an old disney cartoon with the images cleaned up and recolored.
Maybe it translates.  I did purchase a leather bound copy of
Hitchhiker's guide even though I owned the individual paperbacks.

> Back to the old Flash Gordon shorts then. Yay! :-)

We showed a Flash short at my old university
in the main movie theater before every main attraction.
Imagine my surprise when the first short started
and I saw the Star Wars crawl of text and thought,
HEY! But! You! He! How! What!
After that initial shock, they were actually entertaining
in their own way.

> Yes, it is a licensing solution to a perceptual problem.

Well, there may be a real problem that is preventing
a project from succeeding as a simple commons model,
such as a lack of chunkability. but I would say that
licenses don't fix those problems.

Licenses don't change the terrain.

> http://geekz.co.uk/lovesraymond/

I've been out of the loop for a bit, apparently.

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