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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: drew Roberts <zotz 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 11:43:23 -0400

On Monday 22 May 2006 10:23 am, Terry Hancock wrote:
> rob AT wrote:
> > Quoting drew Roberts <zotz AT>:
> > > I think it is too early to conclude that BY-SA does not allow for a
> > > successful business model while BY-NC-SA does. Yes this is
> > > unproven. BY-SA is untested rather than failed in this context. If
> > > we look at the software model, noncommercial software has proven
> > > much less successful than copyleft software. And in music, NC is
> > > core to only a few businesses strategies. Many of which make their
> > > money in other ways.
> Perhaps, but it's been a few years. This long after free software was
> defined we already had:
> 1) Clear ideas of business models (See Raymond' "The Magic Cauldron"
> for a nearly-complete enumeration).
> 2) Existing examples of profitable businesses based on those strategies
> (e.g. Cygnus Solutions).
> The models that work for free software do not lend themselves to
> traditional art forms in a very obvious way. So the success of copyleft
> with software does not imply a similar success with art.
> So far, copyleft art is mostly in the "free sample" category -- it
> markets NC
> or proprietary work.
> And while it's true that there might be some silver bullet around the
> corner, it seems more likely that anything we haven't thought of yet, is
> probably a bit marginal, and won't work for everybody.

I am not willing to concede this yet.

It is claimed that Free Software (though not copyleft0 has a long history
dating to the early days of computing.

The gpl was formulated to protect Free Software from being shut off.

This is not really the situation when it comes to art in the recent past.

As to the models for software and art not matching, that may be. And yet,
except for the source requirement, the BY-SA and the GPL seem intended to
match quite closely. Now... could it be that the allowing of what the GPL
calls "mere aggregation" by BY-SA robs BY-SA of many possible models? I have
never seen this discussed publically.

Further, having BY-SA apply to the "work" instead of to the instance of the
work given that license by the author may shut off some other business

Also, copyleft works begin to come into their own where there are a lot of
them around so that you have a lot of "stuff" available to give you a head
start when you want to do something. And... that "stuff" has to be available
to you and not to those unwilling to play by copyleft rules. That leaves out
all of the stuff in the public domain as being an advantage.

These are some of the reasons I can think of off of the top of my head that
lead me to think it is early days yet when it comes to copyleft art and
sustainable business models.
> > > There is one very good example of a Copyleft project that has
> > > out-performed a Proprietary project: Wikipedia has done much better
> > > than h2g2.
> These are massive collaboration efforts. That's a particular area where
> copyleft is a clear winner -- for the same reasons it is for software.
> But, IMHO, that limits the genres of art that can be created. That's not
> all bad -- every limitation is an opportunity to be creative. But I
> think it
> means there will continue to be a need for something like NC for the kinds
> of art it's currently used for.
> I'm excited about new cultural developments, but I don't think I want
> to see traditional recorded music disappear, either.
> I expect NC to become less popular, but I can't see it really going away --
> unless and until something better is offered.
> > > While I am a big BY-SA fan, I might be willing to go the other
> > > direction as well.
> >
> > I really don't see what's in that scheme for you. :-)
> What Drew was talking about, BTW, is exactly the scheme envisioned
> by the Parker/Van Alstyne paper I cited earlier in the thread (or at least,
> the most interesting case they presented). It was meant to handle
> cases intermediate between proprietary software and free software.
> It is, however incompatible with the pure copyleft licenses, without some
> special-case tweaking. I think you actually need to allow the license to
> fork back to a pure copyleft at each stage (like a dual license). That'll
> get weird enough, I don't think CC has any real business messing with it.
> Somebody else probably needs to write that one. ;-)
> Oh -- something like that would happen with the time-delay business,
> too, of course. The NC with delay would have to allow its work to be used
> in combination with NC works even after the time-out, of course (I think
> this is no problem, because the license was originally irrevocable anyway).
> It would technically be dual-licensed after the timeout.
> Cheers,
> Terry

all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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