[cc-licenses] Creative Commons & Copyleft question?

Charles Iliya Krempeaux supercanadian at gmail.com
Tue Aug 29 00:53:22 EDT 2006


Hello Greg,

The concept of "Public Domain" (PD) is something invented by copyright law.
It puts ARR -- All Right Reserved -- at one end and PD at the other end.

Copyright law divides the world up this way.

In the absence of copyright law the world is a different place.

I think I'm probably starting the sound like a broken record... but I see
liberty at one extrema, and freedom being forcibly taken away as you move
away it.  (This would be something other than a simple 1D or 2D graph.)

Copyright law, -NC, etc are all places away from liberty.  To me, copyleft
law helps me get closer to having liberty.


See ya

On 8/28/06, Greg London <email at greglondon.com> wrote:
>
>
> > On 8/28/06, Greg London <email at greglondon.com> wrote:
> >> > For my particular usage, I could see a business model
> >> > (a way of making a living) established on copylefting
> >> > works under a Creative Commons license like the GNU GPL,
> >> > ... where one would take advantage of other's reluctance
> >> > to license their own works under the same license.
> >>
> >> That might be an advantage for you, but such a license
> >> would be harmful to the gift economy that created the
> >> work in the first place.
> >
> > Depends on the gift economy. While I would likely not
> > contribute on such terms, MySQL, Sleepycat, and some
> > others have built both successful businesses and
> > successful communities on this very premise.
>
> They have built a successful business on the premise
> of not allowing the work to be aggregated
> with anything that isn't under the same license?
> That is what we were talking about, right?
> I guess I'm a little rusty on the Sleepycat license.
> I didn't realize collective works were such a
> moneymaker.
>
> > I'm sure some excellent literature remains to be
> > written on what conditions are necessary for such
> > a plan to succeed as both business and
> > self-sustaining community.
>
> You speak as if there is some yet-undiscovered magical
> license that once revealed people will be able to tap
> into limitless riches creating FLOSS works.
>
> Licenses really aren't that complicated. But folks
> keep coming up with ideas of tweaking some license
> or another, certain that it will allow people to
> create Free works and become rich beyond compare.
> It seems to be the primary cause of Yet-Another-License
> disease.
>
> All Rights Reserved lets folks use exclusive rights
> as a way to make money directly off of their creations.
>
> Public Domain lets anyone take PD works private and
> create new proprietary works they can sell.
>
> You've got PD on the left and ARR on the right.
> And your Y axis is a function of private-ability.
> Down means the works are private or can be taken private.
> Up means the works must remain in the community.
>
> And the Y axis looks like a bell curve.
> Somewhere around the peak flat spot is a bunch
> of copyleft licenses.
>
> Which gives you three interesting spots on the
> graph, PD, ARR, and somewhere in between is copyleft.
>
> CC-BY is slightly up the curve from PD,
> but is pretty much PD for taking the work private.
>
> CC-NC and CC-ND are just up the curve from ARR,
> and for all intents and purposes are retained
> as individually private.
>
> CC-SA and GPL and LGPL are all somewhere at the
> plateau. ALL of which do fairly good jobs at
> keeping the work within the community.
>
> There are no other interesting inflections in the
> curve. PD, ARR, and Copyleft are the big it.
>
> There is no mystery point that provides:
>
> > a plan to succeed as both business and
> > self-sustaining community.
>
> ARR allows a complete monopolization for an
> individual or corporation. It defines "success"
> in dollars, and Disney, the MPAA, and RIAA,
> and Microsoft, show what business success looks
> like.
>
> Copyleft can never make that sort of money.
> The whole point of copyleft is that everyone
> have equal access to teh work, meaning no
> one can maintain any massive advantage over
> another. This equality of community
> is the POINT of copyleft. You could sell the
> work for a lot of money, but as soon as you
> made some sales, others would jump in, competition
> would kick in, and the price would be driven down.
> Meaning copyleft and PD will never be as successful,
> businesswise, as ARR.
>
> Copyleft and PD works are a "commodity" product.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity
>
> :an undifferentiated product whose value arises from
> :the owner's right to sell rather than the right to use.
>
> :things of value, of uniform quality, that were
> :produced in large quantities by many different
> :producers; the items from each different producer
> :are considered equivalent.
>
> An example of a commodity is wheat.
> It is grown by countless farmers.
> There are so many growers that it is
> a buyers market, and the only thing that
> sets your price is how much it costs you
> to grow it. If you charge above and beyond
> the cost of manufacturing, competition will
> underbid you.
>
> Copyleft and PD works are like this.
> Anyone can print-on-demand a copyleft or PD
> novel. And they can set whatever price they
> wish, but if your price is far above manufacturing
> costs, then someone else will manufacture
> the same copyleft work for less, underprice
> you, and still make a profit.
>
> There is no secret, money-making formula here.
> If there is any formula, it is to make money
> on something -related- to the copyleft/PD work
> but that is NOT a commodity. Service contracts,
> specialized and customized modifications,
> speaking tours, stuff like that.
>
> Copyleft is designed to turn the work into a
> commodity owned by everyone. It is designed to
> prevent the work from being removed from the
> commodity market and turned into a restricted
> good that can only be manufactured by one
> person, who then can set whatever price he wants.
> That is the -POINT- of copyleft. Which means
> it must by its nature maintain the work as
> a commodity that anyone can copy, distribute,
> or create derivative works from, meaning the
> economics of commodities apply.
>
> But then copyleft wasn't about making money.
> It was about taking advantage of
> zero-cost-to-contribute situations,
> that widespread computers and internet has
> made available, so that a million people
> can each contribute one hours work, and
> the result is a million man-hour creation.
> The only way for this to work is for the
> first person who contributes to know that
> the work, when finished, will still be something
> that he can copy, distribute, derive.
>
> But because its spare time, without any
> cost to contribute, it is feasible.
> Copyleft simply creates the agreement up
> front that allows the progress of contributions.
>
> All Rights Reserved creates an incentive for
> a few people to work together, all contributing
> large numbers of hours, to create a million manhour
> work, and recoup their time directly off the work.
>
> There is no magic plan that has the money making
> ability that the Charted Monopoly of ARR grants
> but combines the community/commodity spirit of
> copyleft.
>
> Greg
>
> --
> Wikipedia and the Great Sneetches War
> http://www.somerightsreserved.org
>



-- 
    Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.

    charles @ reptile.ca
    supercanadian @ gmail.com

    developer weblog: http://ChangeLog.ca/
___________________________________________________________________________
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