[cc-licenses] Color-coding

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Fri May 19 10:04:01 EDT 2006


robinp at xtra.co.nz wrote:

>  Why not blue for copyleft with next four colours pushed down a row so
>  that EULA can be "visible" too? After all, "All Rights Reserved"
>  isn't a complete full stop as at a red light - it's just a stern
>  warning.
>
>  Small problem - how many people know what indigo looks like and can
>  instantly distinguish it from violet?
>
>  Bigger problem - lots of people are colour-blind in one way or
>  another. At traffic lights the light's position gives them the info;
>  so "position" should be part of this scheme.

That's not a problem: CC already has icons for each module, so I would 
assume
they'd be incorporated into the design.  Color blind people already know 
they
have to look for non-color cues for things.  (Intriguingly, red-green 
colorblind
people would see a distinction between blue-green and yellow-red which
corresponds to the free/non-free border in either the VIBGYOR or BGYOR 
schemes,
so the color cue would still work to distinguish "free" from "non-free" 
which
is what I personally care about ;-) ).

The color-coding would be a purely mnemonic aid, and a marketing tool 
(that's
why color psych would matter).

There's no reason why each license would have to be a different color, 
in fact.

If you went with the LinuxTag system, for example, there'd just be 
green, yellow,
and red variants  (in which case, I would argue for anything that is 
"free" by one
of the readily available free-license standards to be green, 
non-commercial and
no-derivative licenses which nevertheless allow redistribution to be 
yellow, and
anything more restrictive to be red).

However, since there *is* a long-standing conflict even within the free 
software
community over the utility of copyleft, I thought blue would work well 
for that.
It also has the advantage that, while both green and blue are 
psychologically
associated with freedom -- they both come to mind when considering a 
wide-open
uncluttered grassy plain under a blue sky (an image which, because it 
presents
few constraints on human action and a comfortable environment in which 
to act
is an apt metaphor for any kind of freedom), it is unclear which is more 
so.  That
helps to deflect any argument about which of the two deserves the right 
to be
called "more free".

Cheers,
Terry

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




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