[cc-sampling] default rules & timidity, Part II

Glenn Otis Brown glenn at creativecommons.org
Fri May 30 13:31:45 EDT 2003

Cathy Kirkman said:

"Since we are not varying the default situation under the law, it is not
necessary to have a statement about ownership rights."  

DJ of Negativland said in response:

"Ok, See Cathy, I completely disagree with this advice on the grounds of
undoubtedly harried legalistic timidity. . . . I'm thinking of this
license as a kind of voluntary, fair use-bestowing license, directed at
those who want to protect art's free access to art, not as a protection
for any artist involved whenever the two interests conflict."

A second response by me to Don, if I understand you correctly:

We are going to have to draw lines with this license, and that means that
it is indeed our job here to make clear who has what rights when two
interests conflict. Simply trying to declare unilaterally a new zone of
fair use is not really possible.  Rights as defined by contracts have
always got to be defined vis-a-vis another party's rights.  

Worse, using the word "fair use" to describe what we're doing is
dangerous -- if we really care about fair use.  Creative Commons has gone
out of its way to make clear that we're not simply trying to codify
freedoms that copyright law (fair use, first sale) already grants the
general public.  All our licenses start with fair use as a given, then
build more freedoms from that baseline.  If we mix up new freedoms and
existing fair use, even rhetorically, we invite the copyright powers that
be to start trying to use Creative Commons as a way to roll back fair
use. This cannot happen.

So, I humbly request that we only refer to "fair use" in this discussion
when we mean to make clear that our licenses will in no way effect it.

Glenn Otis Brown
Executive Director
Creative Commons
glenn at creativecommons.org
+1.650.723.7572 (telephone)
+1.415.336.1433 (mobile)

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