[cc-community] commons (was Re: NC/ND)

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Mon Dec 19 18:45:34 EST 2011

On Monday 19 December 2011 18:08:28 Mike Linksvayer wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM, Anthony <osm at inbox.org> wrote:
> > What constitutes the "commons"?  Has CC defined this?  By the standard
> > definition, only PD/CC0 would be part of the "commons".
> I don't know that there is such a standard definition of the commons.
> Even "the public domain" is often used to refer to a much broader
> category than just works not subject to any copyright restrictions,
> and has to be defined down to that category if one wants to have a
> clear conversation about it, eg see
> http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/cdip_4/cdip_4_3_rev_study_inf_1.pd
> A commons can be a fairly limited affair. One could (and presumably
> there are many; certainly there are many de facto) "creative" commons'
> with sharing among only some specific community or field.

If the goal is not to facilitate the vibrant and growing commons (one commons, 
not multiple) that anyone can use for any purpose (with the exception of 
copyleft type protections) then perhaps the approach is all wrong.

Perhaps the talk of possible GPL compatibility is misguided.

If we are OK with dispersed "silos" of "commons" works that can be used in 
silo but not among silos, they perhaps we should think about tailoring 
licenses much more than we do. If silos are OK perhaps license proliferation 
is OK too.

> CC's role is 
> to provide some tools, and effectively set standards, which facilitate
> creation and cultivation of commons, so as to maximize global social
> welfare. I think there's pretty universal agreement that offering
> standard tools to share on a very limited basis, say "only if you're
> an ethical hacker, artist, or other craftsperson working in Inverness,
> Scotland" are really suboptimal from a global welfare perspective, but
> that doesn't mean sharing only among ethical craftspeople in Inverness
> can't be some sort of commons.
> Given that information is a global thing now, I'd prefer people think
> of commons sort of things that don't offer global permissions such
> than anyone can participate as equals with respect to the permissions
> available, as semicommons, but I'm personally more attracted to
> "optimize for maximum global welfare" than "only support unambiguous
> global commons", even though I'd bet they obtain approximately the
> answers with respect to CC's offerings.

I think that if we are not aiming for that one global commons, available to 
all and able to be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes then we 
are missing a great opportunity and possibly missing the boat.

One of the beauties I have seen on the GPL world is that I have seen that many 
people who on the surface might not be seen by many as "my people" are indeed 
my people in that we are working at making code for one another.

The same could happen with respect to making art for one another.
> Mike
> p.s. Perhaps all of the above is blather. I'm inclined to think it is
> important grounding to the extent it is important that CC (and other
> efforts intending to promote commons in whatever form) make a real
> impact, as opposed to merely seeming to be vaguely good. Please tell
> me I'm wrong.

all the best,


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