[Cc-uk] FS vs CC?

David Illsley david at illsley.org
Thu Jun 23 08:06:48 EDT 2005


> If I understand your point correctly it is a follow up to my point  
> about
> CC staff using proprietary software to create proprietary files for  
> the
> CC websites.
> The point I intended to make in my previous point and my previous  
> email
> might have got lost while writing it. That is:  This debate about  
> CC content
> provisions relates directly to CC support of proprietary file formats,
> which then obviously ensure CC content only works with proprietary  
> software.
> (I do not lump together "proprietary software" and "file formats". In
> case that was not clear from my first email.)
> That is the key distinction, there is no obligation on the part of  
> CC to
> stop using Photoshop to create their PNGs etc in this debate. There  
> is a
> well known proprietary software package called JASC WebDraw which can
> create open, accessible web pages with W3C standards compliant
> animations, if CC were using this package, it would be an ideal  
> example
> of them using proprietary software to create accessible, open  
> content, a
> significant step in the right direction.
> I posted on my blog about this previously, if you are interested in
> reading: http://jguk.org/2005/blog_2005_05_15.html
> Kind regards
> JG

To me you're implying that CC has an obligation to use open file  
formats. Why?

I'm a believer in open file formats for many, many reasons but I see  
CC as being a broad church which is using a simple legal approach to  
copyright reform. To me that is the goal, and while I think it's be  
great if CC could use open formats, I don't think it should be  
limited to doing so if it's not the most effective way of using its  
limited resources.

That's what I took from the original e-mail, a worry (which I share)  
that FSF freedom advocates will increasingly argue that CC MUST act  
in ways corresponding to principles which they hold but which are not  
core to the specific project. That narrows the church considerably  
and doesn't help with outreach to many companies whose help will be  
required to make CC a further success. An example might be if Apple  
added CC support to Quicktime 8 and wanted  CC to present some CC- 
advertising in that format to drive adoption of Quicktime 8. To my  
mind that would be entirely consistent with CCs mission and past  
approach but which might be opposed by FSF style purists.

The issue for me is one of compulsion. I'm a pragmatist and if its  
appropriate the I think CC should use free tools and open file  
formats but I don't think it should be limited by that. Lets use this  
broad church as a vehicle for the stated goals and use other groups  
to drive changes unrelated to copyright alternatives/reform.

David Illsley
(Semi-Regular F/OSS Developer)

P.S. I apologise if anyone thinks I'm attacking anyone who is an FSF  
advocate. I'm not, I just think that the RMS mentality might be  
harmful to CC.
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