[cc-community] Want your comments and feedback on Selling CC-By-SA-NC

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sat Oct 9 17:33:42 EDT 2010

On 10/09/2010 08:33 PM, j.martin.pedersen wrote:
> Unclarity does not necessarily mean useless.

It means less useful. And NC is uniquely unclear.

NC is well intentioned and its uptake clearly indicates that it answers 
a need (or at least a desire).

But in practice its lack of clarity is a real problem.

> When it comes to the grey areas, X can define those herself by
> identifying what she thinks is permissable and what is not and declaring
> it in connection with the publication of P.

But this is useless when Z wants to use work by X and Y who have 
different opinions of what NC means.

> If the purpose for X in using NC is to prevent Murdoch et al. from using
> P, then NC is not useless for her.

Murdoch doesn't care. This is the problem with the gibbering terror that 
orphan works legislation was met with in the US and the UK: Murdoch 
isn't interested in us at all but should he notice us for whatever 
reason he can and will take our precious work regardless of what 
licences or laws are in place.

> If she wants, say, Friends of the
> Earth to be allowed to sell copies of X for project funding, then she
> can declare that. If FoE is not palatable to her, then she can declare
> that as well. If she thinks that only self-organised,
> anti-authoritarian, non-hierarchical groups are allowed to sell copies
> of P for project funding, then she can declare that equally well.

But this is hopeless. The advantage of BY-SA or BY-ND is that the use 
cases are reasonably clear. NC seems more like a legal warning of 
confusion than a legal marker of clarity.

> Hence NC is not useless, just legally immature and requiring agency by
> its users to define more clearly what they mean and what they permit. As
> time goes by it may mature and gain more firm meaning, or not. But it is

It won't. There are major stakeholders in the licence community with 
wildly different views.

> not useless, since it provides a defence against the very obvious
> commercial activity, namely that of multinational corporations.

I don't understand why this is in itself would be a good thing. Copyleft 
in software has had far more of an economic and social reforming effect 
on multinationals than NC ever could have.

- Rob.

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