Mike Linksvayer ml at creativecommons.org
Fri Jul 9 13:57:22 EDT 2004

Ryan Shaw wrote:
> Lucas Gonze wrote:
>> It strikes me that it would be very convenient to have CC tagging 
>> incorporated in the standard tagging tools.  id3tag, mpginfo, etc.

Good idea.  I encourage someone to do it. :-)  I expect the hardest 
issue will be UI -- unlike the normal tagging case which requires no 
"console" output, when embedding a CC license the tagger needs to spit 
out some metadata for you to publish.

See the screenshot at <http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/4279>.

> This reminds me of something I've been wondering about. Suppose the
> tools you mentioned are updated to include CC metadata writing support.
> It becomes very simple for anyone to CC-tag MP3s. Now suppose some
> dishonest people start tagging MP3s in which they don't own the
> copyright with CC metadata pointing to false license info pages (hosted
> some lawless place alongside online casinos and porn sites). These MP3s
> are then released onto P2P networks, blogged, etc. Is there any way a
> search agent can distinguish these falsely CC-licensed files from
> actually CC-licensed files?

The embedding strategy, about which you can read at


is only designed to put license claims in mp3s and other media typically 
distributed off the web on par with web pages -- by putting the 
licensing information on the web.

How can a search agent distinguish falsely CC-licensed web pages from 
actually CC-licensed web pages?  In general you can't with certainty. 
You're relying on the reputation of the publisher and that the most 
blatant frauds will be taken down.

There are at least two services (I would say business models...) that 
could build upon this:

- Publishers could pay a trusted third party to vouch for their 
licenses.  Several possible implementations left to the imagination. 
FWIW this was one of the ideas behind <http://bitzi.com/products/pl>.

- Licensees who care could pay someone to investigate and guarantee the 
validity of a license.  I understand Rick Prelinger offers such a 
service for the PD footage at <http://www.archive.org/movies/prelinger.php>.

   Mike Linksvayer

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