[Cc-uk] FS vs CC?

David Hirst dhirst at pavilion.co.uk
Fri Jun 24 10:29:59 EDT 2005

A key risk of CC using proprietary formats is that of deals (or strategic
alliances) between the proprietary product makers and the management /
leadership of CC for use of the product. Clearly, in such circumstances, it
is in the interest of a proprietary product makers to gain an endorsement
from CC. While the CC endorsement costs CC itself nothing, the bill comes in
the form of possible costs and/or lost freedoms by CC supporters.
This is not to suggest in any way that this has happened, merely that it is
a risk, and exposure to this risk is best avoided if possible. Even the
possibility can harm trust within the community. One way to avoid this risk
is to use free software and open file formats, and only depart from this
where there are clear and explained usability benefits.
David Hirst

-----Original Message-----
From: cc-uk-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:cc-uk-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of J. Grant
Sent: 23 June 2005 21:14
To: David Illsley
Cc: cc-uk at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [Cc-uk] FS vs CC?

Hi David,

> 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.

Do you think it is acceptable to only provide content in a form which
ensures that the user is obliged to also use a particular software
package / authoritarian licence? (Proprietary or otherwise, only available
at cost or otherwise)

> 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.

In my view it would be better if Free Culture made full use of Free
Software. However, providing the Culture is accessible it does not
necessarily have to be created with Proprietary or FS, or viewed on
Proprietary or FS.

There is some overlap between CC and FS, like many things, I don't think
that can be ignored, leading CC into being a "CC + Proprietary Software"
group instead. CC should not be tied to Proprietary Software.

Lawrence Lessig is on an FSF committee, that's another reason for such
significant overlap, many people are in both groups.

> 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.

I agree with many of your points. However, in my view, if something is
CC, that might be useless if I cannot decode the file because I have not
bought an expensive patent licence from MPEG-LA, or a bought a codec
licence from Fraunhofer/Thompson.

Perhaps we can agree to disagree, if others view cases like the above as

Kind regards
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