[cc-licenses] choosing a new license at freesound, please help

Jonathon Blake jonathon.blake at gmail.com
Wed Oct 25 18:47:39 EDT 2006

Bram wrote:

> It looks like the "authors" in freesound mostly want to use the nc license
> because they want to be able to decide who uses their samples in which
> commercial contest.

Are they aware that the NC licence does not prohibit commercial usage,
under certain conditions?

Are they aware that the NC licence prohibts NonCommercial usage, under
certain conditions?

Do they realize that the only CC licence that the NC licence is
compatible with, is the NC licence?

IOW, they have _zero_ control over who does what with their submission.
I can take your CC-By-NC sound sample, and use it for a commercial
aired during the superbowl, with the original creator being unable to
claim "fowl"?

If they want control, the NC licence is about as useful as Lucy's
promise to Charlie Brown that she won't pull the football away.

> Plans are to on each sample page which uses "by-nc" to add a clear link
> which says: "if you want to use this sample in a commercial project please
> click here to contact the user".

And who / what is going to verify those addresses are still good six
months from the date the file was uploaded?

> If a school/... asks for permission, 99.9% of people are going to say "ok".


But which of the following options will the person at the school opt for:
* Using SA only;
* Using ARR work, because licence negotions are "known";
* Using an NC work, after hunting down the creator of the work, and
then negotiating with them;

In this context, SA is "gratis".  Both NC and ARR require negotiation,
that may, or may not result in a payment being made. Given a choice
between negotiations with somebody who may or may not know anything
about negotiations (The NC Licence) and somebody who negotiates every
day (The ARR Licence), the school will pick the ARR licence 8 days a

> People (even here I see!) always seem to forget that even though you
> release something under by-nc you can still give permission to anyone to

Sure, permission can be given.  The issue is in locating the creator.
I would like to think that the sentence "If you have questions about
something in this document, please send the question to
jonathon.blake at gmail.com"  on the cover of a document would be easy to
find.  [In some  instances it also is on the copyright page, alongside
the CC-BY-NC-SA licence.(These are either PDF or ODF files)]  I've had
several complaints that it is very hard to find my email address on
these documents.

How much more difficult is it going to be to track down the source of
a sound file, if that "click here" results in a "user unknown" bounce.
 For all practical purpsoes, the NC licence is akin to "an orphaned
work".  [And no professional studio will touch "orphaned works"
becasue errors and ommissions insurance won't cover them, and the
legal consequences of  picking wrong, are very expensive.  (In one
local case, a mis-registered copyright resulted in a US$5,000 award.
Had that copyright been properly registered, it would have been
US$50,000, or more.]

> > understands the term. Theri understanding of the term, and that of
> > you, or your users, are probably antithetical.
> ... which is quite scary.

I read that thread on freesound.

What is scary is that the reasons that the users are giving for
selecting the NC licence, are _not_ applicable.

I don't think I'd have any street cred on that forum, otherwise I'd
post a comprehensive analysis of both the CC-NC-SA licence, and the
guidelines that CC issued in determing what constitutes

>By the way, why seem there to be no lawyers on this mailing list?

There are some. For various reasons, they usually remain very quiet.
[They all add disclaimers "This is not legal advice". At least one of
them also includes a disclaimer that this is not their area of


Ethical conduct is a vice.
Corrupt conduct is a virtue.

Motto of Nacarima

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