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

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Wed May 24 22:59:49 EDT 2006

> I would argue that the benefits of a time-release are
> similar to those gained by sharealike licenses.  But
> they work for different business models, which may
> incorporated better, more optimized coverage of artists'
> endeavors.

ShareAlike isn't a business model. It's a model,
but it isn't based on business. The business
model is the Cathedral. ShareAlike is the Bazaar.

There is a cost to contribute to any project.
To overcome this cost, the Cathedral finds a few
people to pay to work fulltime on the project.

The Bazaar works by lowering the cost to contribute
so that many people can donate small amounts of time.
The incentive to contribute is not money but that the
project is intending to create something that is in
alignment with what the contributer wants, and the
project itself has a plausible chance for success.

Those are the basic models.

The Sunset license doesn't change these models,
it is a Cathedral model: people get paid directly
for their work for some number of years, and then
the work is released to a Gift Economy license.

You're trying to exchange a shorter copyright term
for free advertising for the author. Compensate them
for giving up some period of time for their work in
the future, in exchange for free advertising, and
possibly more sales, now.

I get that it can work, but the thing is I'm not
sure it's exothermic. A project like wikipedia
allows contributions to be so small that someone
could put a couple minutes into correcting some
typos, and those couple minutes would directly
add to the project. And because the project is
something many people support (information wants
to be free), the almost zero cost to contribute
plus non-monetary compensation of contributing to
something you support and like and want, that
the reaction becomes exothermic. It is self-sustaining.

I get the sunset license could work, compensating
creators with free advertising and possible sales
now, in exchange for giving up possible sales in
the future, but I don't see it becoming a wide
spread license that becomes self-sustaining in a
project. A seven-year delay is a substantial
de-amplifier in the feedback circuit. Someone
puts a work under a Sunset license, and no one
can build off that work for 7 years. The reaction
isn't self-sustaining.

But then, I don't think its the license that is
the spark for free projects. I think great projects
are the spark, and CC licenses are the enabling
tool that allow them to succeed. The Sunset license
would be great for eventually having works meta-tagged
all over the internet, and having some sort of search
tool so you can find them. But I don't see that as
an exothermic project.

It could work, but I just don't see it catching fire.

Just my opinion though.

Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP laws

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