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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] Use Value vs Sale Value of Creative Works

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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] Use Value vs Sale Value of Creative Works
  • Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 22:22:04 +0000

drew Roberts wrote:
On Wednesday 31 May 2006 04:31 am, rob AT wrote:
> Quoting drew Roberts <zotz AT>:
>> Which people, groups, companies, industries use the sorts of
>> works we are interested in funding as tools rather than as goods
>> for sale?
> Use rather than sale:
> Music: clubs, restaurants and other public places.

They don't even have to be all that public do they? If a company
pipes music onto the shop floor for the employees, don't they need a

So, does anyone have any ideas on what costs they incur if they do
things by the book? Can we imagine a way for them to save money by
funding the creation of copyleft music that they could use to replace
the ARR music and save on the use fees?

Let me reiterate a business plan that Lessig once promoted,
and which Napster, at least in Germany, is already starting to
tackle -- mixed in with an idea originally proposed for state-sponsored

Imagine that the company above, like many other companies, pays
a fee to a "arts provider". This could be music, but I'm going to keep
it general, because it could be any kind of work (imagine company
interior decorators of the future mounting LCD panels instead of
stale art on the walls -- remember it's entirely common for companies
to pay for upkeep on decorative plants and landscaping).

For this service, the company pays for "shares". Could be the wrong
term, I don't mean shares in the company, but essentially they pay for
X number of "votes".

The company, as the paying party, can pick it's top 10 or top 100 or
whatever (theoretically, they could put the entire catalog in
preference order -- this might even be up to the customer). They
could do this through employee selection for better morale, or not.
Of course individuals could afford single (or perhaps multiple)
shares (I doubt individuals would really pay for more than one
share, but companies might well see the advantage -- of course you
can twiddle this, the service might require a minimum of 10 shares
or something for commercial service). Hotels might be a big customer
to consider, too.

There are algorithms related to "instant runoff voting" that allow a
long list of ordered "top N" lists to be accumulated into a representative
"top N" list.

Apply a pareto distribution to the list. Pay out fees to contributing
artists based on this distribution: top artists get paid a lot, low-end
artists "the deep catalog" get paid very little (but this is tweakable --
you could encourage a deeper catalog by paying out a small flat rate,
or broadening the base of the curve).

So, to review, we have: fixed ladder of fees on the consumer side,
with fees related directly to influence on the catalog. On the supplier
side, a competitive ladder based on popularity with the customers.

License fees are irrelevant and unnecessary. Fees are by artist,
based on previous accomplishments, not by work, and certainly not
by copy of the work. Exclusivity of licensing (protected by NC) is
not terribly important, though I suspect some people will still be
drawn to it.

The consumer, of course, gets music instead of muzak, art instead
of decor. Not every big buyer would go for that, but some would,
and there could be a lot of little buyers, too.

Artists individual payments would go up with the success of the
supplier and with the popularity of their work compared to other
artists. That makes for a competitive environment, encouraging
artists to do their best work.

Of course that competition is not a big help to collaboration, unless
artists get fair assignment of authorship on popular works (but
that's a project-management issue).

I didn't invent any of this. The flat rate subscription service was
mentioned by Lessig (don't know if he invented it, I doubt it), and
the pareto payscale idea was proposed for nationalized music
services in reference to legalizing P2P. Richard Stallman proposed
a similar idea for software way back when.


Terry Hancock (hancock AT
Anansi Spaceworks

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