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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Terry Hancock <hancock AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0
  • Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 01:36:01 +0000

drew Roberts wrote:

A couple of thoughts, while a units sold sounds simpler, it does
nothing for someone who lives in a high cost of living country and is
popular in a low cost of living country.

I don't really see this. The author sets the prices N and the
amount of units M, so the monetary limit is just N*M. I thinking
it might be a bit much to ask to have different quantities for
different countries. I never much liked region-coding, actually.

So you we need three. Time, Units, Money. Pick any one, two, or three
and when either is satisfied, the work moves on to the next license.
No real reason, other than simplicity, that there could not be more
than one hop between the license a work starts with and where it ends

Well, okay, for the sake of argument, anyway.

But I dislike this semantics, because it implements an AND between
the conditions (work is freed once all conditions are met). I prefer OR
semantics (work is freed once any condition is met).

The reason is simple -- many works simply won't achieve the target
sales (the artist may have been unreasonable in their estimates). Should
they never expire, then?

Of course, this also makes me realize another reason I don't like the earnings
target or the units-sold targets -- both rely on accounting information
only known to the artist. Hence, these make better sense to be implemented
by a distributor or by the artist themself (they require a central authority
to be contacted to determine license status -- hence they don't really
achieve any free-licensing mileage).

Not so for a time-delay: As long as the work provides its licensing date, you
know when the sunset clause will expire.

This is an important property of free licenses: they avoid forcing you to
ask permission every time you want to use something. A time-delay system
can do that, but not a units-sold or money-earned system.

And since both can be acheived through use of a repository authority or
the artist as authority, nothing would be gained by putting those constraints
in the licenses themselves (IMHO).

So, okay, now that I've thought about it some more, I don't like the
idea of sunset modules based on money or number of sales (but they
might be good strategies for publishing, nevertheless). Sunset based
on timed release though, still seems practicable.


Terry Hancock (hancock AT
Anansi Spaceworks

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