[Cc-uk] Creative Commons legal defence fund

ed at acrewoods.net ed at acrewoods.net
Mon Jun 20 00:41:58 EDT 2005

Hello all,

I just wanted to share an idea. At the Music Commons conference in Brighton, I
asked Paula Le Dieu (from CC) if Creative Commons were thinking of setting up a
legal team/fund to protect people who use Creative Commons in court. This is
what the Software Freedom Law Center (http://www.softwarefreedom.org) have done
for the free software community.

Paula said that they had no plans to do it themselves due to lack of
funding/resources/etc, however she said that they'd love to see other people
set it up.

As I am not a lawyer, I obviously can't do this myself. However, I thought that
some lawyers from CC (CC-UK?) could set up a legal defense pledge fund much
like NO2ID have done at http://www.pledgebank.com/refuse (I'd recommend people
to sign up to that as well).

The pledge could be something like:

"I will donate £10 to a Creative Commons legal defense fund only if 50,000
(choose your amount here) other people will also make the same pledge."

Then it could be blogged all over the net. Seeing as there are over 10 million
uses of CC so far, I imagine it wouldnt be too long before a sizable fund was

The problem with CC, is that if someone violates my CC license, I personally
wont be able to take them to court as I couldn't afford it (this makes it
almost pointless for me to use CC licenses). Although CC gets rid of the
intermediaries in terms of writing the licenses, there is still a massive
barrier in terms of upholding it in court (especially as it hasn't even been
contested in court yet!). A legal fund would help low earners/people without
label backing/etc to have real CC protection. It would also be good publicity
for Creative Commons in general and more people would probably use it if they
knew it had real weight behind it.

What are peoples thoughts?


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