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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: "Greg London" <email 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: Sun, 28 May 2006 05:35:00 -0400 (EDT)

> Greg London wrote:
>> It isn't allowing legal details to run the show, it's asking whether
>> the project in question can be built by the Bazaar model or not. If
>> it can, then CC-SA or any copyleft license will, for the most part,
>> do.
>> If the project does not fit the Bazaar model, and part of the goal is
>> a free project, then the problem is not going ot be solved by the
>> license, it will be solved by figuring out how to chunk the project
>> so it becomes bazaar friendly.
> IMHO, you're succombing to the absolutist fallacy. You want a
> project to fit neatly in category A or Not-A. In real life, the
> boundaries are fuzzy.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who blogs over at Making Light, had
this great saying that he got from Chip Delany

:: endless arguments about edge cases leave us with less
:: understanding of the center, rather than more.

I am not an absolutist. I'm simply trying to talk about
the couple of "centers" out there, rather than get bogged
down arguing endlessly about the hundreds of edges that
bound them. The centers are cathedral and bazaar.
gift economy and market economy. Copyleft and All Rights Reserved.
There are some other interesting nodes around CC-NC and
CC-ND and a couple other points, but, if you want to
talk about all teh specific exceptions and crossovers,
I am aware of them, its just that trying to talk about
every specific instance and exception seems to tend to
arguments over their exact placement. yes, there are
gift economies started by one or two individuals who
put chunks of money into it. And yes, there are people
who write and sell stuff All Rights Reserved who also
contribute one of their works to CC-BY. and vice versa,
and every other permutation.

>> The projects that people choose NC for are individual projects.
>> People use NC for free advertising, free samples, free word of mouth,
>> with the intent that it eventually lead to sales that puts money in
>> their pockets.
> Except that with the existing NC they are getting a certain amount
> of negativity from the community as well. I think it's a bit broken in
> that respect.

Ah, see, this IS political. Because "negativity" is your
subjective view of CC-NC. CC-NC is objectively a win-win
license. authors give up some of their rights that the
public benefits from. The public may then buy some of the
authors works, which the author benefits from. win-win.

That you don't LIKE it, is your subjectivness coming into it.
It isn't enough for you, apparently. So you don't like the
license and you don't like people who use it.

But it really IS win-win. Authors are giving up some of
their legally granted rights when they use CC-NC. The
public benefits by that. And the author benefits too.

>> And you're asking them to adopt the sunset license in exchange for
>> what? Sure it will benefit the commons and the fan base, but what can
>> the people who did the work Cathedral style expect to get out of it?
> More money from people who do care about the commons. More
> personal satisfaction for the artist in many cases.

>> The sunset license doesn't solve any problem for the cathedral
>> person. The project is still unchunkable. They're still working on
>> creating something in small, dedicated teams, or as individuals.
>> They're looking to hopefully recover some of the time and energy they
>> invested in creating that work by selling it when it's done. And
>> you're asking them to give up the rights to their work after 3 or 7
>> years.
> Actually, the term might be longer or shorter, depending on the
> type of work.
>> But it doesn't benefit them in any way. It benefits you and the
>> commons. It isn't win-win.
> I disagree.
>> CC-NC is win-win.
> This I really disagree with: CC-NC is fundamentally broken --
> it only legalizes what fans think they have a right to do anyway,
> and fails to create any strong sense of community. It doesn't
> feed the commons, so the commons doesn't feed it.

Fan fiction is against copyright, regardless of what fans think.
Enforcement of copyright against fan-fiction is left entirely
to the author, however, since the police don't go around
arresting people for fan fiction. Authors have to send cease and
desist letters and sue to force someone to take down their fan
fiction, and most authors know that such action is biting the
hand that feed them, so they don't pursue it.

CC-NC is a way to legally allow fan-fiction in a fundamentally
important way: it promises upfront that the author will not
try to shut down noncommercial uses, rather than having fans
put energy into creating some work, only to have the author
come in after, decide they don't like it, and force them to
shut it down.

As for "feeding the commons", no, CC-NC doesn't do that.

But, as I try to keep saying, THE LICENSE DOESN"T FIX IT.

If you want to feed the commons, find a piece of the commons
that needs feeding, find out why Bazaar methods won't work,
FIX THAT, and then find contributers who will feed the commons
in a bazaar mode.

You are trying to fix a problem with yet another license
when the problem isn't in the license, it's in the project.
The project is not bazaar-compatible for some reason or another.

> It also doesn't feed it's own distribution networks,
> Too many things count as "commercial use".
> And legal distribution, especially, becomes nearly impossible.

These are more complaints about CC-NC which tell me
you'd like to change CC-NC to allow for more commercial uses,
which, in the end, is simply more license twiddling,
rather than fixing whatever is keeping the works from
being produced Bazaar style.

> The time-release to copyleft strategy is a tried-and-true technique
> with software, and limited terms have been built into the US
> copyright system from the beginning, so this doesn't seem like
> that revolutionary of an idea to me.

But there isn't a GPL-Sunset license, is there?
my understanding of people or companies who do
time-release-to-copyleft simply start out with
all-rights-reserved and switch the older version
to GNU-GPL at some point. They don't have to
commit the work to a sunset license up front,
they just switch the older version to GNU-GPL
when the new version comes out.

Which, I think, is why sunsetting won't work nearly
as well in non-software areas. software has releases,
it has versions. each new release adds features and
fixes bugs (hopefully). So there is a benefit for those
who want to pay to get the latest version versus use
the free version. And the free version acts as a loss
leader for the pay version. sunsetting is a cathedral
model, it just puts the out of date stuff into the commons.

But that doesn't translate to music or a book. There aren't
"versions" per se with bugs in the old versions fixed
in the new version. How does that work for a book?
Have the floss version be full of typoes and choppy
text, and have the pay version be copyedited?

it doesn't translate. Sunsetting software works
for the people creating the software. The commons
gets free works that are older versions, and
those who need the bug fixes will pay for the latest
version. The nature of the medium of software
makes sunsetting make sense.

The medium of writing and music doesn't lend itself
to that so easily. There are sites such are Red versus Blue
that release video shorts created from machinima,
and subscribers can view the stuff when it comes out
for 10 bucks a month, and non-subscribers can view it
a week or two later at a lower resolution. But that
doesn't require a CC-Subscription license.

If sunsetting or subscribing or whatever business
model works for a site, it can be done with the
basic licenses and simply having the site do the
switch when they are ready or have them set up
the subscription stuff up front. having a license
doesn't add anything other than more license

Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP laws

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