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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: [cc-licenses] Intellectual Highway Department
  • Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 23:52:02 -0400 (EDT)

>> 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.
> The *objective* point is that I'm not the only one who feels this way
> (indeed, there are quite a few people who feel quite a bit worse than
> I do about it).

That some people don't understand CC licences and how copyright
works is not a problem to be solved by another license.
It is a problem to be solved by education.

> Anyway, I personally don't think CC-NC is 'evil', but I do think it is
> deceptive (to both artists and fans -- both tend to misinterpret what
> it allows or disallows in my experience).

again, education is the sauce to solve this problem, not another license.

> No. ANY non-commercial clause breaks the commons up.

OK, so there's some fundamental meme going on here that
I can't quite put my finger on, and I think this sentence
is probably a pointer to it.

CC-NC doesn't "break up the commons".

There is a sequence of events that occurs that seems to
have been lost in some of the floss propaganda espousing
the evils of All Rights Reserved and Copyright.

Part of the problem with most of the propaganda is the
way they talk about the "commons" as some static-sized
thing. The "commons" metaphor applied to copyright and
intellectual works and copyleft and gift economies
and market economies is not static.

The sequence goes like this.

Start with a commons. A pasture of some metaphorically
managable size. the entire pasture is fenced in, and
outside that fence is private property, proprietary
works. Inside the fence is public domain, the shared

Sequence step 2. Someone creates a new work.
This becomes their private property, metaphorically.
It is a piece of land that exists outside the commons
area, and the creator gets to fence it in and charge
anyone who wants to use their land.

Sequence step 3: The copyright or patent rights to the
work expire. The work enters the public domain.
metaphorically, the fence separating the commons
and the proprietary land is taken down, and the
size of the commons is expanded. This expansion is
the point of copyright and patent law in the first
place: to promote the progress of science and useful
arts. To make the commons of intellectual works

So, given that, when someone creates a new work,
it automatically goes under All Rights Reserved.
This does not make the commons smaller. and it
doesn't break the commons up.

If that person decides to use the CC-NC license,
they have decided to allow more free access to
their land without charging for it than they
could have, given their rights as landowner.
They lowered the fence for some people and let
them graze for free.

doing THAT does not break the commons up, either.

> I'm suggesting a practical way to bring already
> fragmented commonses back together.

The commons is not fragmented.

it is expanding over time as new works are created
and either those works are donated immediately to
the public domain, or the exclusive rights to those
works expire and they are deeded to the public.

CC-NC can be used by creators as a way to give
up some rights in exchange for getting more sales,
and more sales allow them to keep creating new works,
and eventually those works go into the Public Domain.

This process doesn't "fragment" the "commons",
it expands it.

You keep using the word "commons",
but I don't think it means what you think it means.

CC-NC does not fragment anything. it does not
create any problems with regard to the public
domain commons or the proprietary pastures
that eventually get added to the commons.

There may be misunderstandings as to what CC-NC
does and does not allow, and that is a problem
that needs fixing. but other than that, this
"fragmenting the commons" thing seems to be
an invented problem that you're trying to "fix"
with the sunset license.

Or, on the other hand, I may be completely
misreading what you're saying here.

Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP laws

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