[cc-licenses] CC licenses version 4.0: some thoughts on noncommercial

Gunnar Wolf gwolf at gwolf.org
Tue Dec 20 23:54:47 EST 2011


Heather Morrison dijo [Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 11:31:32AM -0800]:
> A few thoughts towards the version 4.0 discussions, focusing on noncommercial:

  ( I am just tuning in the discussion now. I'm usually interested in
    licensing topics, but am mostly unaware of the work done so far
    regarding CC4. And, for full-disclosure sake, I tuned in answering
    to the (open) call of the Debian project leader for participation
    in this discussion, as a Debian Developer. Note that whatever I
    say here is just my opinion, which, although is mostly in
    accordance with the Debian project's, cannot imply anybody but my
    own. ) 

> Noncommercial, to me, is NOT the most restrictive of the CC license
>   elements, except in a technical sense. This is because
>   noncommercial - the public sphere - is the very essence of the
>   commons. As a long-term open access advocate, my considered
>   opinion is that the strongest license for open access to scholarly
>   works is CC-BY-NC-SA, as this is the license that most protects
>   open access downstream.  As we move towards the development of a
>   global commons, we need to keep in mind the society that we live
>   in at present. The kind of license that may be ideal in the
>   society many of us are striving for can be a danger to the commons
>   in the interim. For that matter, in a society where sharing is the
>   default, we should question whether licenses will still be
>   necessary. Even at present, while CC licenses are most helpful in
>   an open access context, I would argue that licensing should not be
>   necessary; what is more important for the longer term is
>   developing and articulating a culture of sharing. CC licenses is
>   only one of many approaches.
> (...)

For many of us, NC is clearly not free. I particularly like the
Definition of Free Cultural Works in this regard:

http://freedomdefined.org/Definition

A NC-licensed work clearly cannot be part of compilations that expect
to be sold. That by itself is for my standards too restrictive to be
considered compatible with Open Access - I won't repeat what others
already replied in this regard, which is quite spot-on.

Of course, due to its popularity, I would not support anything in the
line of dropping NC. Many people slowly understand what Free Culture,
Open Access and many related concepts mean, and will shyly start
licensing under CC-*-NC before giving a second step and dropping the
NC part. Commercial-friendly licenses are too bold for many to take,
and redistributable nonfree content is better than absolutely nonfree
content.
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