[cc-licenses] NonDerivative NonCommercial Licenses

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Wed Mar 29 21:53:55 EST 2006

On Wednesday 29 March 2006 09:24 pm, Terry Hancock wrote:
> drew Roberts wrote:
> >On Wednesday 29 March 2006 08:52 am, Greg London wrote:
> >>Pure copyleft, such as GNU-GPL or CC-SA, are the ideal
> >>license for a gift-economy project, in that these
> >>licenses give the project the best chances for success.
> >
> >Now, you will get no argument from me that a pure copyleft licence is the
> > best licence, and for my money, not just for what you call gift economy
> > projects.
> If the only available choices are "One of the existing pure copyleft
> licenses" or CC's NC licenses, then I agree with this statement.
> I agree with it for a broader universe of possible licenses if the
> work is program software, hardware design, or other objectively
> measurable "tool-like" information, for which collaboration is
> a clear win.
> If it's "expressive art", though, I think that both CC-NC-* and existing
> copyleft licenses are sub-optimal and possibly inadequate.

I think the final chapter of that book is yet to be written.
> ISTM, this leaves three possibilities:
> 1) No system exists which can combine free modifiable redistribution (the
> "four freedoms") with artistic expression in a system which provides
> motivation and reward for contributors.  = "Free art is a failure"

I think pure copyleft can succeed, but I have some interesting wrinkles I want 
to persue if I can only get around to it and find common time with some 
> 2) No such system is possible by the mere use of a license. We must lobby
> to change the legal structure of intellectual property laws to a better
> system if we want "Free art".

I don't think we actually need different copyright laws for Free Art to work, 
but it might help.
> 3) Such a system is possible by clever choice of license terms and
> establishment
> of a commons community around this new license. But no one has yet
> discovered
> it.

I think I may have discovered it, implementing it in such a way that it cannot 
be hijacked before it gets going properly is the issue for me right now.

> I'm not ready to give up on #3 yet.  But I can't say that I've been
> inspired yet, either, so #1 and #2 loom more ominously (I can't think of a
> solution in the domain of #2 either, but I haven't tried very hard -- ISTM,
> though, that the set of solutions in #2 should be almost entirely equal to
> the one in #3, and #3 is much easier to implement).
> CC-NC-* isn't on the map, because it isn't "Free" (or not "free enough").

I agree that the NC ones are a no go.
> Existing successes with Copyleft art, are, IMHO, parasitic. They succeed
> because they are piggy-backed on some other motivation (perhaps they
> are linked to a software project, motivated "politically" (in Greg's
> sense of
> the word), or they work only by advertising non-free work.  This isn't
> a total failure of course, so "free art is a failure" is perhaps an
> exaggeration -- it might be a "niche success in an otherwise global
> failure", but I'd be a lot happier to find a system that "succeeds globally
> and independently".  Software projects appear to meet that goal.

I think that when it comes to copyleft Free Art, we are still at the stage 
where a few hardy poineers are clearing some ground and perhaps planting some 
seeds. Things have not really started yet and we cannot expect to see too 
much success from it yet.

> To me, it still seems that artists just don't get a big enough payback
> from copylefting and free-licensing their work with existing copyleft
> licenses. And that's why NC remains attractive, even though (IMHO)
> it's really a false hope (actually, again, it's a "niche success" -- I'm
> quite
> happy to *listen* to Magnatune tracks which are CC-By-NC-SA, 

I might be too except...

> but 
> I can't really "use" them in the sense of synergistically combining them
> with my work to create something better than both -- thus neither I
> nor the artist achieve any creative leverage by use of this license).

I could not use them either and I want to try as much as possible to put tunes 
in my head that I can use. Some of my most fun/best stuff I have to discard 
because of it being prompted by/based on works that are not Free. I need to 
stop putting those things in my head and wasting my time. (I am not really 
that hard line there, but I am trying to move in a certain direction.)
> And I assert that "creative leverage" is the most important value
> proposition of free-copyleft-licenses like GPL and By-SA.

Bingo, and we will not achieve the leverage until what I call the "pool of 
copyleft works" grows big enough to give us that leverage. Some of us who see 
things this way are gonna have to suck it up and try to fill the pool to help 
the world get to that point.

Some of my small start at filling the pool can be found at the ourmedia links 

One idea I have making use of #2 in this area is to change the default 
copyright for non-marked workds from "all rights reserved" to "copyleft" - if 
we could get this simple change in the copyright laws, the pool would grow 
tremendously in short order.

Another idea I have is for people to pitch foundations for funding to make 
copyleft programs for public television. Seems like there should be some 
foundations that would rather fund a person to create a copyleft program than 
to fund them to create a program which the creator will own all of the rights 
to. (I am totally ignorant of inside linkages in t his area though so I could 
easily be way off base there.)
> Cheers,
> Terry

all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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