[cc-community] NC/ND

Joe Corneli holtzermann17 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 13 20:13:41 EST 2011

Thank you all for your enlightened responses!

To quote briefly from the report I mentioned:

«The recently released 2010 Horizon Report
(http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2010-Horizon-Report.pdf), a collaboration
between the New Media Consortium and Educause, predicts that open
content will reach mainstream within one year and the
"Time-to-Adoption of open-content textbooks that can be 'remixed' –
that is customized, modified, or combined with other materials - is
one year or less."  Part of the appeal of open content is that it is
also a response to both  the rising costs of traditionally published
resources and the lack of educational resources in some regions, and a
cost-effective alternative to textbooks and other materials.»

«Open content and open access textbooks are instructional resources
that can be used,  reused, often remixed and customized under a
creative commons license that permits  the author/s to retain
ownership of their content, yet establish the rights under which the
content may be used by others (www.creativecommons.org).    Creative
Commons licenses are free, easy-to-use legal tools that are
standardized, globally accepted and understood in many languages to
support open content including open access textbooks.»

 -- http://www.theorangegrove.org/pdf/OATTF_Final_Report_All_sections.pdf

That stuff about "often remixed and customized under a creative
commons license" is what would be known in the wiki world as "Weasel
Words".  Yes, CC often implies "remixable" in a general context, but
it almost invariably does NOT imply "remixable" within the so-called
Open Access context.

The question is not "which license should I use", but "Where are the
remixable textbooks??"  -- Gone the way of the flying cars, I'm

To quote from the 2010 Horizon Report mentioned above:

«At the center of many discussions of open content are the challenges
of sharing, repurposing, and reusing scholarly works; related to those
discussions are concerns about intellectual property, copyright, and
student-to-student collaboration, and solid work has been done by
groups such as Creative Commons, the Academic Commons, Science
Commons, and others to address many of the concerns commonly voiced.»

And yet, the concerns (at least from where I stand) continue to apply.

Yes, it is a radical question, but I think the question should be
asked:  Must Creative Commons take a stance against Open Access?

I certainly don't know what the answer is.  No doubt MIT OCW and so
forth have done some good things for society.  But so has The Pirate

My "ideological" stance is that I don't want myself or others to have
to spend the next decade re-doing work that other people have already
done, work that probably nine times out of ten matches one of the
criteria (1)-(4) (for use of NC/ND) laid out by Mike, and yet, I am
conscious that this is almost certainly exactly what is going to
happen.  Indeed, it seems that this is what is happening (perhaps
predictably, in Latin America) [1].

"Don't cry over spilt milk" they say.  But let's not pour gallons on
the ground in the coming decade [2].  (I'm not being the least bit
facetious: I think the comparison is fairly apt).

[1]: http://ariadne.cti.espol.edu.ec/xavier/papers/Ochoa-iSociety2011.pdf
[2]: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/130190/

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 11:31 PM, Chris Sakkas <sanglorian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I've been following these discussions with interest.
> I don't think it's feasible to remove the 'Creative Commons' label from NC
> and ND licences. One thing that makes CC distinctive and - I suspect -
> successful is that it offers a range of licences all united under the CC
> brand.
> However, I think NC and ND licences could be discouraged by explicitly
> noting that they are non-free, non-libre, non-open licences. Free, libre and
> open are terms that have a lot of cachet that are more narrowly defined than
> most people think. If people were made aware that their CC NC book isn't
> 'open source', that may encourage them to use CC BY or BY-SA.
> What do you think?
> Chris Sakkas
> On 14 December 2011 10:25, Mike Linksvayer <ml at creativecommons.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM,  <cc at phizz.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> > On 13/12/2011 11:39, Joe Corneli wrote:
>> >> It's all fine and good that institutions like MIT use CC-NC-SA -- I
>> >> mean, it's there prerogative, right, if they want to "share" things
>> >> that other people can't actually "use" (apparently without a second
>> >> thought) -- but can't Creative Commons do something to discourage
>> >> other organizations and individuals from using these licenses in the
>> >> future?
>> >
>> > Why so?
>> This deserves a longer response, but in brief:
>> (1) Allowing commercial use unlocks a lot more social benefit
>> (2) Lots of publicly funded and otherwise intended for public benefit
>> projects use NC
>> (3) Lots of not particularly publicly interested projects use NC, but
>> don't actually have any copyright-based revenue stream to protect
>> (4) Beyond the over-use of NC (and under-use of fully open licenses)
>> implied by 1-3, NC further restricts the overall value of the commons
>> because it is fundamentally not compatible with fully open licenses,
>> meaning the commons is more fractured, smaller, and less impactful
>> than it could be
>> [Note one could probably substitute ND for NC above and make an even
>> stronger case.]
>> There are a bunch of different options for "discouraging" use of NC
>> (and ND) -- I'd prefer to think of it as encouraging fully open
>> licenses, but to a large extent those are flipsides. Given 1-4 above,
>> some or all ought increase CC's social benefit. Options include very
>> soft things, like recommendations to specific groups that most people
>> never see, or light touches on the license buttons and chooser to
>> further differentiate between semi- and fully open, to stronger
>> measures like calling licenses with NC or ND in them something other
>> than "CC" licenses, to measures that might both increase
>> differentiation and make at least NC licenses more attractive to
>> entities that don't really want to share more than a tiny bit
>> (tightening the definition of NC in the licenses).
>> Which are optimal for 4.0 (and for the next decade or so ... 4.0 ought
>> have a very, very long lifespan), there's the question.
>> > Many people use the NC license and are more willing to supply
>> > image to initiatives like the Encyclopedia of Life than to wikispecies
>> > for example.
>> EoL is pretty interesting as a site/organization that (1) accepts NC
>> works (but not ND; I'm guessing they need to be able to crop, excerpt,
>> etc for their context), (2) AFAICT their uses look unambiguously
>> "noncommercial", triggering none of the usual edge cases (eg they're
>> nonprofit, no ads, not selling anything), (3) actually relies on the
>> CC licenses offered by third parties, not requesting permissions that
>> uploaders don't have to give, nor relying on nobody to care or other
>> exceptions and arrangements. See
>> http://eol.org/info/eol_licensing_policy
>> I can't think of many significant sites that fit in all 3 of those
>> buckets. Has anyone analyzed the works and terms thereof for works
>> used by EoL, and re-use elsewhere of those works? That'd be
>> interesting, perhaps even relevant.
>> Comparison to Wikispecies and other Wikimedia projects could be
>> interesting too. Neither Wikispecies nor Wikipedia(s) are
>> apples-to-apples comparisons for EoL (when I want to look up info
>> about a species, I go to Wikipedia; neither Wikispecies nor EoL even
>> crosses my mind, but maybe they will now), but still could be curious.
>> > If your ideology is assaulted by NC works there is no compulsion on you
>> > to use them.
>> I didn't see any ideologically-charged language in Joe's post. He was
>> describing consequences. Let's try to keep it that way in both
>> directions.
>> Mike
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