[cc-community] More discussion on NC

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sun Oct 10 12:52:00 EDT 2010

On 10/10/2010 03:07 PM, Andres Guadamuz wrote:
> I am always a bit baffled by the level of opposition to NC, which in my
> experience comes mostly from free and open source developers and advocates.

My background is in visual art, and the practical CC advocacy I do is in 
that area and in media production.


> I understand all the reasons why NC doesn't work that well in software,
> and I share those observations, but what people seem to forget is that
> CC is not designed for software, and cultural and what applies to the
> software developing environment does not translate well to creative and
> cultural works. Why people still fail to see this very basic difference
> always baffles me.

It's not the case that people don't "see the difference", they just find 
special pleading for cultural NC unconvincing.

Cultural production has a different mythology from software production 
but it's very easy to map the lessons learnt from free software onto it.

 > Even here the best examples everyone is providing are
 > found in the software development arena.

Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, flickr, OCAL, OpSound, OpenStreetMap, 
FreeSound, Sita Sings The Blues, the Blender Foundation movies, none of 
these are NC (or in the case of Flickr, NC only).

None of them would *work* as NC. Compare Wikipedia to H2G2 for example.

I've worked on projects that use BY-SA for comedy and drama. In my 
experience the existence of NC makes it harder to do this, not easier.

> NC fulfils a function, and users tend to prefer it as an element because
> it makes a lot of sense for many cultural works. As an example, I would
> have never been able to convince my publishers to agree to distribute my
> upcoming book under a CC licence were it not for the NC element, which
> gives them the chance to still profit from the work. The same happens in
> all sorts of other works, from blogs to music and photographs.

I don't understand why they wouldn't "still profit" from BY-SA. They 
could charge for the physical media and for convenient media downloaded 
through online stores.

> I am not defending NC in all circumstances of course, but I can see why
> it is so popular.

I can see several reasons why it is popular. I just don't agree with 
them. :-)

- Rob.

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