[cc-licenses] Raising the floor: suggesting a new CC-fair copyright, CC-free to use, redefinition of noncommercial and public domain

Heather Morrison hgmorris at sfu.ca
Thu Dec 29 14:11:07 EST 2011


This post suggests raising the floor by creating a new CC-fair  
copyright for works that are not freely available. This will be  
counter-intuitive to many a commonser, but note that this would give  
consumers a great way to exert pressure for fair copyright. A new CC- 
free to use / all rights reserves licenses is suggested, reflecting CC  
Version 4.0 discussions suggesting the possibility of breaking  
noncommercial into a stronger and a weaker license - this would be the  
more restricted version. Wording is suggested for noncommercial per se  
to clarify that educational use is not commercial, therefore  
permitted, and asks whether public domain should be redefined as CC- 
Sharelike (preferably in perpetuity). A question is raised about  
advertising - is this really a commercial issue, or in part a matter  
of creators' moral rights?


Creative Commons - fair copyright
The idea is to create a new license for use with works that are not  
free at all, to indicate that the licensor supports and agrees to what  
we would like to see with copyright, including a broad set of fair  
use / fair dealing guidelines and a commitment to place works in the  
public domain in a reasonable time frame. By this I mean not current  
national or international law, but rather the best practices for fair  
use / fair dealing that we would all like to see as a minimum.  
Suggestions as to what this would be would be most welcome - perhaps  
an advocacy group for fair copyright has guidelines that would suit?


Strengths of this approach include:
	• This would give consumers - from individuals to large organizations  
like school districts - an opportunity to apply market pressure  
towards more fair copyright practices. As a librarian involved in  
coordinating purchase of information resources, I can see this being  
high on the list of desirable (or even required) criteria for purchase.
	• This more inclusive approach would broaden the commons, and help to  
bridge what I see as an "us versus them" divide. My understanding is  
that the experiences with free / open source software and creative  
commons to date have shown that people tend to start with more  
restrictive licensing, then move to less restrictive licensing over  
time. It would be psychologically a smaller leap, as a reader,  
listener, etc., to move from cc-fair copyright to cc-sharealike than  
to move from outside to inside the commons.
Weakness: proponents of a strong commons may not like this idea.

Creative Commons - free to read / all rights reserved
This is very similar to CC-fair copyright, except that the work is  
free to read online. With robust fair use / fair dealing, of course  
such uses as downloading, format-shifting, etc., for personal research  
and that sort of thing would be included.
Rationale: The "all rights reserved" is meant to address one  
suggestion that has come up in the CC Version 4.0 discussion, of  
dividing noncommercial into a two licenses, one with stronger and one  
with weaker restrictions. This would be the strong version. Sharelike  
might be an option with this license.

Creative Commons Noncommercial - suggested wording change
The current wording under Section 4 b - restrictions reads:
You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3  
above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward  
commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of  
the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing  
or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed  
toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided  
there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with  
the exchange of copyrighted works.  Suggested change to:
You may not sell the content of the work for private gain. For the  
avoidance of doubt, educational use is not considered commercial for  
the purposes of this license, and is therefore permitted. Including  
the work in a package designed for sales to educational institutions  
for the purpose of private gain is commercial use and is prohibited.  
Providing services that facilitate uses of the work included in this  
license, such as copying services, are permitted provided that any  
fees charged are for the copying service alone and not for content  
provision.   Question about advertising:
Would it make sense to include: use of the work or parts thereof in  
advertising products or services sold primarily for public gain is  
considered a commercial use, and hence prohibited. The reason for why  
question is, I wonder if advertising conducted in such a way as to  
imply that the creator endorsed a product is a violation of creators'  
moral rights which should be reflected in all CC licenses (for those  
jurisdictions where this is not already covered by copyright law, and  
to educate those who use CC-licensed work). Rationale: I think that  
this may be close to what most ordinary creators mean by  
noncommercial, that is, don't sell my work or create a new version and  
sell that. It's pretty close to why I use noncommercial. Clarifying  
that educational uses are allowed would be a huge benefit to everyone,  
everywhere. Knowledge benefits us all!

Creative Commons - public domain suggestion
Based on a recent commons on the cc-licenses list that public domain  
is problematic, I wonder if it makes sense to redefine public as CC- 
Sharealike? Ideally, this should be perpetual, or at least give the  
creator an opportunity to say that they think this license should be  

My four bits for today, for what they are worth! Many thanks to  
Creative Commons and all of the cc-licenses and cc-community  
participants who have helped to shape my thinking about these matters.  
Apologies for any conceptual errors, real or imagined. This post is  
part of the Articulating the Commons series.

This post is also available at The Imaginary Journal of Poetic  

Please submit comments to this list or cc-community.

Heather Morrison, MLIS
Doctoral Candidate, Simon Fraser University School of Communication
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

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