[cc-licenses] Thoughts on NC

Josh Woodward joshw at joshwoodward.com
Sat Apr 7 20:01:12 EDT 2012

Hey everyone, I just wanted to post a few of my thoughts on the NC license
from the perspective of a musician, not a legal scholar. I started
releasing my music under BY-NC-SA, which I gradually shed down to BY. The
decision to drop the NC clause was definitely a somewhat agonizing one. I
didn't really want to give away my rights for licensing music for actual
commercial enterprises for free (a movie placement, commercials, etc), but
it was obviously fine for someone to use my music in the background of a
family vacation slideshow on YouTube. In the end, it was the smart move for
me to drop it, since the increase in exposure was huge, but the tradeoff
seemed unnecessary.

It seems to me there's a clear (if hard to define legally) line between the
outright commercial use of a work, and the work being used in a
free-spiritied way but being included on a for-profit website.

Another significant issue for me, which I discovered only later, was that
CC-BY is incompatible with performing rights organizations. Logically, as a
musician, it seems like I should be able to license my music outside of
Creative Commons and collect the royalties from that. For instance, someone
comes to me and wants to use my music in a commercial, but they need a
traditional license because they can't provide attribution. I'm not able to
collect royalties on that, since CC-BY works can't be registered with PROs.
Again, being ignorant of all things legalese, there may be a good reason
for this, but it seems really arbitrary to me.

tl;dr: Liberalize NC.

*Josh Woodward* - http://JoshWoodward.com/ <http://www.joshwoodward.com/>

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