[Cc-uk] CC going mad?

Rob Myers robmyers at mac.com
Wed Jun 22 09:08:58 EDT 2005

On Wednesday, June 22, 2005, at 01:08PM, David M. Berry <d.berry at sussex.ac.uk> wrote:

>I would argue that we need a rich and critical discussion of all activities that Creative Commons gets itself into otherwise grave mistakes (like the Bzzz public relations fiasco) will be made. A lot of people invest a lot of time and personal work into supporting the Creative Commons, and when it starts to act completely authoritarian (like the Sampler License rename http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-sampling/2004-August/thread.html ) or even plain dumb (like this), then it is important that it gets critical feedback from its supporters as well as its foes. 

It can be galling to see CCHQ adopting new license measures on the basis of whispers in "smoke filled rooms". The recent CC-Wiki/2.5 'improvements' being a case in point for me.

But CCHQ do listen (where's recombo now? how many days of the BzzAgents campaign are remaining?). And it's better to produce constructive criticism than squeals of anguish.

>Maybe this 'joke' works better over there than over here. I don't know. 

We're meant to be able to do irony 'over here'. ;-)

>But Creative Commons' actions I sometimes find plain conservative and reactionary rather than progressive. 

CC are a reform organisation. I've yet to meet anyone involved with CC who doesn't have some kind of ideological or practical reservation about the project, but CC are the best we have within the existing legal framework. 

If people want a revolutionary IP organisation, CC aren't going to be it, and it's not fair to criticise them for not being what they don't claim to (and can't) be. IIRC, CC's status as a nonprofit in the US means they can't even lobby for legal change.

>The dangers with Creative Commons, are their tacit acceptance of copyright (indeed their *need* for it) means that it can be used as an argument to support copyright extension rather than reject it. 

Or as a critique of those terms.

>In other words 'copyright works, just look how CC makes the whole thing run smoother, who needs term limitations when stuff can be licensed anyway'. 

Or 'why do people want this alternative, what's wrong with the system?'.

>To read more of our critique see Free Software Magazine: http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/current_issues/#issue_05

That would be the current, not-freely-available and copyright-protected issue of (the excellent) FSM? ;-)

- Rob.

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