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

Greg London teloscorbin at gmail.com
Thu Oct 26 10:20:39 EDT 2006

NonCommercial: you want people to be able to listen to and play with
your samples for noncommercial uses. you want people to contact you to
use your sample commercially. Note that the definition of "commercial"
is a point of contention to some. Some uses where money changes hands
is allowed, as long as the primary use is not commercial.

The NC license is not "Free" as in Free/Libre/OpenSource/Shared. NC
could be thought of as a "Free samples, pay to use" license.

Attribution: You allow people to do anything with your samples. You
require attribution relevant to the medium if someone uses your sample
in their work.

I'd consider the Attribution to be a Free license. It is probably
equivalent to the BSD license. Some might consider the attribution
requirement to be closer to the BSD license with the advertising
clause, since it accumulates all the attribution requirements of all
the source works used to create a derivative work.

Attribution can be reassigned to a single collective project which
minimizes the overhead of many contributers.  Others do not consider
the accumulation of attribution from individual contributers to be a

Public Domain: you waive all rights to the work. Think CC-Attribution
without Attribution. People can use your samples in derivative works
and do not have to attribute the sources.

Both CC-BY and PD allow derivative works to be taken private. The
samples can be CC-BY but someone could create a derivative, satisfy
the attribution requirements, and license the derivative All Rights

I don't quite understand what the drive behind FreeSound is.
If it's meant to be a source where people upload samples,
allow people to listen to those samples, and then encourage
people to use those sounds in derivatives, and pay the original
artists for thos sounds, then you could just as easily accomplish
this by licenseing the samples All Rights Reserved, and have
deriving folks contact the original folks for a commercial license.

You could implement this model with ARR, CC-NC, CC-SA,
and CC-NC-SA.  If someone wants to create a proprietary
work, ARR, using samples licensed CC-SA, they need to
contact the people who recorded the samples and get a
proprietary license. If someone wants to create a commercial
work using samples licensed CC-NC or CC-NC-SA, they
will have to contact the original artists to get a comercial
license to their samples.

The problem I see with this is that if people upload content,
use a CC-NC or CC-SA license, and then they disappear,
then their samples become useless. To guarantee that
the works can be used, you might have an agreement
that people must maintain current contact information.
And if they can't be contacted for some period, their
samples become CC-BY.

This is similar to the proposals to solve the "Orphan works"
problems, but implemented with a user agreement.

If someone uses CC-BY or PD, then their contact informaiton
isn't needed. People can use their samples for anything,
without contacting the original artist. But then the person
licensing their samples CC-BY isn't driven by selling
their samples.

On 10/26/06, Bram @ Freesound <freesound at iua.upf.edu> wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> so, ok, I understand some of the (good) reasons to be against
> Attribution, and even more reasons to be against
> Attribution-NonCommercial. But, pandora's box is open, and the 822
> people (and rising) who have submitted to freesound will want to
> *choose* a new license for their currently Sampling+ released content,
> and new people will need to be able to choose at least between.
> I would like to support PD, BY and BY-NC...
> ************
> It would be great if you guys could come up with a list of single-phrase
> sentences which would help the 'modal' user understand the bad points
> and good points of PD, BY and BY-NC.
> Afterwards I will present the user of freesound with a simple list of
> choices, and list the bad/good points of each license next to it, with a
> nice monkey-proof "degree of freedom" sticker going from pd => 'very
> free' to by-nc => 'very restrictive'. ;-)
> I prefer simpleness to completeness. I liked some of the anti-nc
> examples like "If you were a font-creator, would you want to be able to
> decide what's written with your font?". Examples like this are easy to
> understand by the modal user...
> ************
> It will be impossible to please everyone: I think letting people choose
> from *all* CC licenses is *way* too hard for "them". The only thing I
> can do is offer all good/bad points and let the user choose. Hopefully,
> given enough reasons users will select public domain.
> cheers,
>  - bram
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