[cc-licenses] Alex Bosworth: "Creative Commons Is Broken"

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Thu Mar 9 04:57:18 EST 2006

On 8 Mar 2006, at 22:27, drew Roberts wrote:

> So, I could have a competing furniture store do the hosting.

Would you be doing this to promote the NC work or to benefit the  
competing store financially?

> And a friend of
> mine could have my family's store do the hosting.

Would anyone benefit financially? If it's just a fig leaf over you  
wanting to do the hosting, it would infringe. If the friend wants to  
promote NC, it wouldn't.

> But we better not collude.

" " " :-)

> It is just too complex. How is this ever gonna get easy to understand?

By asking whether you are using the work for your own commercial ends.

People can make money off NC. Kinkos will make a killing, as will  
ISPs. Apple can plead that iPods can be used with NC content, and so  
should not be made illegal as copyright infringement machines. But  
they have not asked to make money off NC work, they are providing a  
service to people to use the NC work. The people actually using the  
work, that is the people experiencing the work or distributing the  
work or requiring that the work be copied, are not making money.

So in the shop scenario Mia mentions, you are effectively hiring the  
shop's facilities to use to distribute NC work. So you are not  
infringing, and the shop is not infringing, it is incidental and has  
no direct benefit regarding NC work. But if I use NC work in my own  
shop to promote the shop or to sell as the shop's sole business, I am  
directly using the work for financial ends, and so I am infringing.

(If I get NC work copied, I am causing money to be made off NC work.  
But I am not myself making money off NC work.)

Some interesting scenarios:

Imagine if Kinkos, Apple, or Napster said they would *only* handle NC  
work. Their business then looks like it is based on NC content,  
although they can argue that they are only providing a service to NC  
users. I think this is a case that, if it ever happens, should be  
tackled when it actually comes up as in abstract it's a bit of a  
black hole. :-)

A copy shop might say "NC work has a ten dollar surcharge" to cover  
any legal risk over copying mis-licensed work.

A web site uses the tip jar exception. If I don't click on the tip  
jar and try to download the work, I am redirected to another begging  
page. This goes on ten times until I can finally download the work.  
When challenged, the web site points to the tip jar exception and  
points out that people do not, finally, have to click on the tip jar  
link. They are just encouraging people to do so.

> That is my solution for all uses. I am not gonna touch NC works.  
> Here is the
> problem. Do all of you NC releasing people realise that many would  
> want to
> promote your works but find it too dangerous to do so? Just so that  
> is clear.

The problem is that NC is the license term that CC promote the most,  
and many people use it. Those people need (and deserve) clear  

- Rob.

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