[Cc-uk] FS vs CC?

Andres Guadamuz a.guadamuz at ed.ac.uk
Wed Jun 22 11:50:12 EDT 2005

Dear all,

I was hoping to keep some of these comments to my blog where they would go
unnoticed :), but I guess that this discussion is really unearthing some
deeper problems that I wanted to comment on. 

I am afraid that the arguments that we have been seeing here in the last few
days are a continuation of the Free vs. Open debate in software. It seems
clear to me that there is a growing number of criticisms coming from the FS
camp against the direction of CC, and these remind me of some of the heated
debates between FS and OSS proponents. I must admit that I find this
development disturbing because I strongly believe that we must present a
united front. I think that the next year is going to see an increase in
organised attacks against CC from the creative industries, and internal
bickering will get us nowhere. This is not to imply that there should not be
criticism against CC! By all means, there should be. My problem is that I
have been noticing a tendency to imply that CC is not kosher from the FS
perspective, that FS is better, that FS has a more centred philosophy, that
FS has clearer goals, etc.  

These criticisms may respond to the possibility that FS proponents are
finally realising that CC is more akin to OSS than to FS. In my view, it
should be clear that Creative Commons is not Free Software. Both movements
have different stated goals and have different target audiences. CC is
attempting to reach and educate the mainstream, and when you do that you
must be prepared to compromise. There is no reason why CC staff should not
use proprietary software, and there is no reason why CC should not use
proprietary standards from time to time if it can be used to reach the
target audience. 

The mainstream uses proprietary software, this is a fact. We cannot force
people to use non-proprietary software, even if we think that they should.
The battle must be won with quality and usability, and we all have to be
honest that large quantities of FLOSS are not particularly user friendly. 

CC is one of the good guys, it is a step in the right direction (I'm running
out of clichés). Let's keep that in mind.



Andres Guadamuz
AHRC Research Centre for Studies in
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Old College, South Bridge
Edinburgh EH8 9YL 

Tel: 44 (0)131 6509699
Fax: 44 (0)131 6506317
a.guadamuz at ed.ac.uk

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