[cc-community] Intellectual Highway Department

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Wed May 31 18:57:42 EDT 2006

On Wednesday 31 May 2006 06:14 pm, Terry Hancock wrote:
> drew Roberts wrote:
> >  On Wednesday 31 May 2006 02:24 pm, Greg London wrote:
> > > 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.
> Greg's probably right.  A proof-of-principle test is probably the
> best next step if it's this hard to convince people.

I have not problem with that.
> But my point is this: CC is already eating lead over promoting NC
> licenses to begin with.  Nevertheless, CC folks stubbornly support
> NC because "it's the most popular license".
> Lessig called this phenomenon "Is-ism" in his 'Code' book.  These
> folks are stuck on the way things are, and are using it as an excuse
> for not changing.

Imagine if RMS had that attitude. I am sure the GPL was not the most popular 
license when it was first invented.
> Of course NC is the most popular license, but what does that mean?
> People who don't want a commons aren't going to use CC licenses
> at all.  Even if they do, the NC-ND serves the purpose.  By this
> reasoning, the NC-SA should be almost unused, a marginal edge-case
> license.  In the "loss leader" or "try before you buy" strategy, where
> NC is just an addendum to ARR marketing, the NC-ND ought to be
> the most popular license (it gives the artist the most control, while
> allowing extensive marketing).
> But look at the stats: NC-SA /is/ quite popular --
>                (Source: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/License_statistics)
> Compared to 11.44% By-NC and 21.32% By-NC-ND, or collectively
> 32.76% -- still less than By-NC-SA.
> And By-SA (13.72%) and By (9.77%) only collectively amount to 23.49%.
> Obviously NC-SA is capturing some serious mindshare with artists.

I think you could be onto something here? Should CC run a questionaire/poll to 
try and find out?
> What do those people want?  You mention a couple of edge cases
> 'makes fanfics legal'.  So what? No one had problems making fanfics
> before -- the non-commercial use is itself a shield against litigation
> (you may technically be infringing, but if there are no financially
> deleterious effects from it, you won't win anything for your trouble).
> So maybe it has a tiny, tiny use-case. But it isn't worth it. And I
> guarantee you that those stats are not coming from that single
> use case.  No way.  There's something more general going on here --
> a market for a non-commercial clause, because the artists perceive
> a value that you and I agree isn't there.

I know I agree it isn't there.
> I think they want what SA offers (a commons), but are too hooked
> on the license fees, and find our suggested SA money-making
> plans far too marginal to embrace.  What works pretty well for
> software (and it was no clear win -- we are still engaged in a long
> struggle for mindshare from the proprietary software marketplace),
> doesn't work as well for art.

Also, as in most things, I think it is most apparent to people who like to 
reference and / or reuse other works in some of theirs.

People who only make completely new works and ony ever intend to may never see 
any benefit in using a commons friendly license. (The one thing they may have 
to deal with is having their ARR works compete in the market with BY-SA works 
when (hopefully not if) the pool of works grows.
> The strategy that made a marginal win for software is a marginal
> loss for art.

Why? If most programmers are paid to develop USE software and not SALE 
software, why can't most musicians get paid for USE music and not SALE music?

Now, of those USE programmers, how many only get paid for their labour when 
writing the software? I would guess most. If you employed by a bank to write 
software for in house use. Are they really going to let you have the 
copyright to the program and pay you royalties on it year after year? If most 
programmers only get paid for "performing" what is the big deal if most 
musicians only get paid for performing?

Now, here is a benefit from performing Free Music... The venue will not be 
liable for performance royalties on your show. (If they are, something else 
is seriously broken. Does anyone know for sure?) You should eb able to 
negotiate for some of that savings in extra pay.)
> Can't we find a way to deliver what these artists want, instead of a
> fake?

I intend to keep at it. Any ideas for some seed projects?
> > >> 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.
> Pre-sales create even more uncertainty, because the product may never
> even happen, much less be of sufficient quality. Many people will just
> wait to see if the project succeeds -- we can't all afford to be patrons.

Which is why I like a combo dollar amount and time period to freedom. (As an 
idea to be kicked around at this point, not necessarily implemented as a 
> > > 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.
> I think you are seriously underestimating the power of fashion.
> How many people do you know who would listen to an oldies station
> instead of buying new music?  Yes, it probably cuts into the cost
> that the market will bear -- but not brutally.
> How many people pay top-dollar ticket prices to see a movie *now*,
> instead of waiting to rent it for cheap on DVD (next year)?
> Of course, there *are* people who wait for the DVD rental, but enough
> people go to the movies that there is still money to be made from
> movie houses.

Bingo. And if the fashion trend setters get to sell copies for a profit?
> > >> 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.
> >
> >  Some of the movies available on the internet archive are not bad to
> >  watch either.
> SPP might work quite well for an true series or serial. The first
> problem is probably overcoming the perception that free-licensed
> works are automatically of poorer quality (and that mainly in
> getting talent to work for you).
> I can imagine something like a typical anime serial -- 13 to 52
> 25 minute episodes, where each episode is paid for by pre-sales,
> advertised by the previous episode (want to see what happens next?
> buy a copy now!). Somebody has to front the money for the first
> episode though (realistically, if this is a business plan, they need
> to front money for the first 6 episodes to accomodate the ramp-up
> effect as people get into the series).
> I think the Orange project has this in mind, but they don't have the
> 'series' concept -- just separate short film projects. That doesn't
> seem nearly as strong.  'Story completion' is a powerful motivator.
> Of course, it goes without saying that you need real talent to make
> that work -- writers, directors, actors, etc.  A half-***ed attempt is
> not going to get anywhere, and it'd have to be a gutsy entrepreneurial
> filmmaker who would try this.  

Not necessarily. It could start with lame things and a top that approach.

How about a series of howto videos for children? Short. Home made. Here is 
mine. Do better if you can.

I have also suggested a collection of every country's and cultures traditional 
music. We could also do a collection of traditional stories. Traditional 
ghost stories.

There are a lot of useful things to make well short of a big budget, 
blockbuster movie.

> On the other hand, it could become 
> globally popular.  Maybe Elephants Dream is enough to sell the
> idea, though.

I think it is likely to take more. We can hope though. It will be interesting 
to see if we get any decent derivatives any time soon.

> Cheers,
> Terry

all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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