[cc-community] Rant about CC licenses

Mitar mmitar at gmail.com
Mon Dec 16 08:41:08 EST 2013


(Reposting here instead of cc-licenses for a broader discussion.)

Now after release of 4.0 I can rant a bit about CC licenses. Maybe
this has already been discussed in the past, sorry, but maybe it is
time to be discussed again.

I think we are all agree that CC licenses are a hack, a patch to the
broken copyright system. But I do not think that the patch goes in the
right direction.

CC licenses provide a range of choices for the users. Users can decide
to allow this or that, but the main issue of copyright they do not
address: the length of the copyright before it enters the public
domain. Isn't this the main issue we have about current copyright? Not
that copyright exists and what it protects, but that the protection
time is getting longer and longer. And CC licenses do not address this
at all. They play with some small permissions, sharing, remixing, just
toys. But not with the real thing: when does work enter public domain.

So I would propose that for 5.0 CC licenses introduce something new: a
time limit before work enters public domain. Currently there is only
one such license: CC-0 which says that the work enters public domain
immediately. Let's introduce CC-X, which would mean that work enters
public domain after X years. So somebody could license CC-1, CC-5,
CC-10, CC-50, whatever he or she wants. But the main point is that
after those X years, there is no "oh, I want a few years more, my work
is more successfully than I anticipated and I am rich now", you
licensed it, it is public domain. Yes!

This could also be mixed with other licenses, if you want. CC-BY-SA-5,
means for 5 years it is CC-BY-SA, but then it goes into public domain,
into CC-0. So every year, it gets one number less, countdown:
CC-BY-SA-4, CC-BY-SA-3, CC-BY-SA-2, CC-BY-SA-1, CC-0. Happy new year!
We have more CC works entering public domain. Isn't this the best
present ever?

And then we can open a discussion how long should the copyright
protection be. Then we can have a real data, statistics, how many
people decide for how long and how much this influence incentives and
creativity and public domain reuse. Then we will be able to have
arguments to change the copyright itself, not just be satisfied with
hacks and patches.

(There are of course more variations on the theme, but I think you got
the main idea.)



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