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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0

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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: Mon, 22 May 2006 02:40:22 +0000

drew Roberts wrote:
On Friday 19 May 2006 04:03 pm, Rob Myers wrote:
> I do not, personally, think that Founders should be a module. It is
> a very elegant solution, but we just need one case of someone
> deciding they don't want their work to become BY after 5 years for
> this to be a PR (and ethical) disaster.

Well, if it were a module, they would have to have selected it, so I don't
see how that could be. I can see that as an argument for not making
this the default NC and ND behaviors -- but I knew I wasn't going to
get that. ;-)

> Founders has already been used for FUD.

I'm not familiar with that. Do you have a reference?

AFAICT, the Founder's license is pretty much unused.

> Possibly CC could work with a third party to do a time-release
> scheme, but I don't think CC should do it themselves, and I do not
> think time-release is a good idea. We need less uncertainty and
> conditions in copyright, not more.

But actually, I find that's precisely why it's desireable. The NC rift
creates a burden on the community and on individual artists -- should
they use it or not? As it stands, they make a sacrifice either way.

As with most things, there are tradeoffs. If someone were to use a
time release with a short period to release date, I may consider
thuse using NC or ND as still playing nice and give their works some
attention and even some promotional efforts. As it is, I try to
completely ignore such works. They have no value for me in reaching
the goals I am shooting for. This has the effect of CC really being
all of these seperage sand boxes that different people choose to play
in which somehow doesn't jibe with my mental picture of a commons.

This succinctly describes the reason why I'd like to see an option like
this promoted. It provides a way for an artist to get the advantages
they are most-likely looking for in the "NC" clause, but with the advantage
that those of us who are interested in true free-licensed works wouldn't
have to shun them.

I might be willing to spend a little effort improving something that will
definitely *become* free, even if I have to wait a bit to see that happen.
CC-By-NC-SA is already "semi-free" -- I can do most things I would want
with it. But as things stand, what I *cannot* do with it is combine it with
CC-By-SA work (nor can I distribute it like I would a CC-By-SA work). It's
really very much like the "poisoned honey pot" problem -- a body of work
which will kill my project if it's incorporated into it. It's a hazard, and a
drain of resources.

If a time-release-based non-commercial clause became more popular,
though, then the problem would go away -- "NC-3" work would be something
I could collaborate with on the basis that in a few years, the work would
fall from the "little commons" into the "big commons". The mere fact of
that could make the work itself more popular.

Meanwhile the artist has a proprietary period to make their money off
of the work using NC-based business-models (e.g. like Magnatune).

And ISTM that that is really needed: because on the one hand we have a
license (CC-By-SA) which is ideal for community collaboration and distribution
through free channels but which artists have great difficulty making any
money from (you can't sell "service" on a song or a painting!), and on the
other hand, we have a license (CC-By-NC-SA) which allows successful
business models, but divides the commons, and blocks collaboration (which
is, in the long run, the biggest win to be got from commons licensing).

A time-release-based NC would give the artist "the best of both worlds",
because they would be able to use their copyright monopoly to make money
for a limited time, and yet still cooperate with the free-licensed art
community. But asking the artist (who's still just trying to get his head
around the whole commons concept) to figure this out for himself and write
an elaborate grant statement is too much. CC needs to provide guideance
to show that this really is a good plan. And that's why I think it should be
embodied in a module.

As a module, this one would be unique in that it would not "split" the
commons, but would rather allow parts of it that are already split to be
"fused" back together.


Terry Hancock (hancock AT
Anansi Spaceworks

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