[cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Fri May 19 00:45:08 EDT 2006

drew Roberts wrote:
>  On Thursday 18 May 2006 09:36 pm, Terry Hancock wrote:
> > drew Roberts wrote:
> >> So you we need three. Time, Units, Money. Pick any one, two, or
> >> three and when either is satisfied, the work moves on to the next
> >> license. No real reason, other than simplicity, that there could
> >> not be more than one hop between the license a work starts with
> >> and where it ends up.
> >
> > Well, okay, for the sake of argument, anyway.
> >
> > But I dislike this semantics, because it implements an AND between
> > the conditions (work is freed once all conditions are met). I
> > prefer OR semantics (work is freed once any condition is met).
>  I think you must have misread me there. "when either is satisfied" is
>  a call for and OR and not an AND.

Yeah, okay, I see.  That's because these aren't 3 separate modules,
but rather one module with 3 parameters.  I still think it's too 
but it could work in principle.

>  I am with you on the OR so long as there is more than one element in
>  play. If you are pusing this as a way of ensuring that CC works all
>  end up at some point as either a BY or a BY-SA then you would want to
>  mandate a time element. (Right?)

Right.  I am unabashedly advocating an engineered migration path
to free-licensing (which means either By or By-SA).

> > Hence, these make
> > better sense to be implemented by a distributor or by the artist
> > themself (they require a central authority to be contacted to
> > determine license status -- hence they don't really achieve any
> > free-licensing mileage).
>  Not really, we would just need the cooperation of someone like LULU
>  to have the option of showing sales for items chosen to have them
>  made public by the seller. It may not be as clean as a simple time
>  delay, but I think it is more than do-able. (So, if you have unit or
>  dollar + mandatory time, then people can wait, or purchase the
>  "freedom" sooner.)

Well, see, I don't think we're disagreeing, because in that scenario,
"LULU" is the "central authority" as a "distributor". The other alternative
is to have the author themselves act as the central authority (which
is likely to be much dodgier in practice, due to "orphaned works" -- an
established distribution point is less likely to orphan the work, especially
if the proprietary period is short.  OTOH, I've lost track of artists after
less than 5 years on a real project).

>  Except the possibility of an earlier freedom for the work.

But of course, a copyright-assigned central authority can always do that.
The artist, or their chosen agent, can always implement this by specifying
any desired condition for conversion of the license.  Since I have to go to
the central authority to determine if the conditions have been met, it's
just as easy for the authority to simply tell me if the non-free licensing
has in fact been released early.  That makes it less significant for 
Commons to provide a framework for such a system -- but Lulu could
do it easily, as you suggest.

So, you see, I'm not arguing that total-money-earned or total-units-sold
conditions are a bad idea, but that they should probably be handled by
a chosen distributor/agent.  CC could promote the idea, but it would
be tricky to create a meaningful license module to do it.

A time-based system, on the other hand, is completely objective, and
depends only on a piece information which (barring relativistic
effects!) is available to all potential users.  So implementing it would
be trivial.


Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

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