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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
Friday, July 22 2005 @ 06:35 AM EDT

When I first read about John Dvorak's attack on the Creative Commons license, I thought it was too silly to write about. For the few who missed it, he said this, among other insults:
Will someone explain to me the benefits of a trendy system developed by Professor Lawrence Lessig of Stanford? Dubbed Creative Commons, this system is some sort of secondary copyright license that, as far as I can tell, does absolutely nothing but threaten the already tenuous "fair use" provisos of existing copyright law. This is one of the dumbest initiatives ever put forth by the tech community. I mean seriously dumb. Eye-rolling dumb on the same scale as believing the Emperor is wearing fabulous new clothes. . . .

I have begged critics of the system, such as The Register's Andrew Orlowski, to explain to me how Creative Commons works or what it's supposed to do that current copyright law doesn't do. He says, "It does nothing." Okay, then why are bloggers and do-gooders and various supporters making a point of tagging their material as being covered by Creative Commons? Is it just because it's cool and trendy—a code for being hip amongst a certain elite? There is no other answer.

Then I read Andrew Orlowski second his emotion, and I thought, hey, life is short. Let's go for it.

First, to clear up Dvorak's misunderstanding of the law, such as his mistaken idea that fair use is harmed or even touched by CC licenses, here's a serious explanation by Joe Gratz, who recently graduated from law school. Gratz takes it piece by piece, carefully explaining how the licenses work and showing all the ways Dvorak was mistaken, although tactfully.

I thought I could answer their more fundamental question, which is why would any author choose to release their work under such a license? Orlowski writes:

"Defenders of the licensing approach say it simply adds to the range of choices an artist has available to them, which is quite true. But it's also slightly disingenuous to urge performers to forego the commercial option that might lift them out of poverty. . . .

And why the reluctance to think about social agreements that reward the gifted people who give us such pleasure? . . .

Why the recourse to mechanism - the need to have every T crossed, every i dotted, and a license for every possible occasion?

It seems to really trouble people that anyone would do anything without money being the motivation or without monetary reward. The simple purpose of Creative Commons licenses, however, as Mr. Dvorak could have read for himself on their website, can be expressed in one simple, declarative sentence:

Creative Commons helps you publish your work online while letting others know exactly what they can and can't do with your work.
Is that hard? It isn't a vow of poverty. I release my work here under a Creative Commons license, so I feel qualified to answer their questions more fully. So here goes. I'll use my own experience to help them understand, if they wish to.

When I began doing Groklaw, I wanted to try juxtaposing images and text in addition to my goal of explaining legal stories in the news. Indeed, I did try, having been inspired by Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" and "Reinventing Comics", two of the most fascinating books I've ever read. (I see you can buy them both for only about $30.) I was also influenced by reading an online story that changed my life creatively and directly led to Groklaw, although you probably won't be able to discern why, "Friday's Big Meeting," by Rob Wittig.

I guess this is a good time to tell Rob Wittig thank you. Thank you, Rob, for putting your story online without any restrictions, so I could bump into it and have it change my life. It made Groklaw possible. Look what you did.

The connection is that it made it possible for me to write in my own voice, to realize where it was, and that changed me forever more. You can read his story online for free. He didn't even bother to put a license on it, actually, that I can see, which his lawyer would tell him means it's straight copyright, but he doesn't care. He wants you to read it.

Anyway, it made me laugh, despite a bit of content that made me uncomfortable, but overarching all of that, I saw that images could be used to advance a story in ways that were funny, because they spoke in mental leaps, visual leaps, that made me laugh. The juxtaposition was what makes you laugh. I really wanted to do something like that. The whole tank20.com experiment interests me.

So, getting back to my narrative, when I started Groklaw, I would go to Google Images and find photos or clip art to use with my articles. I knew about fair use, having seen the Trademark Blog, which uses images all the time, trademarks at that, and Google News, but I was so nervous reading all the copyright warnings and realizing Groklaw would make enemies, I felt I'd rather not rely on fair use. Who really knows what fair use is precisely, where exactly the line is? I had to be completely upright and well within all the laws. Let Google get sued and establish the line. They can afford it.

So I made it a practice to write and ask for permission. For example, I got permission from Tiki to use a drawing of a laughing penguin, and when SCO or their pals would say silly things, I'd throw the laughing penguin on the page with a small credit line, The Laughing Penguin by kind permission of Tiki. I still love that drawing.

Eventually, though, I gave up, because it took too long. By the time I got a response, it was often too late, because I was throwing up stories onto Groklaw so fast , at least one every day, that by the time I got permission, the story would be old news and no one much was reading the story any more. And it was hard to find the time, with the speed and pace of news stories back in the days when SCO thought their ship would come in if they just kept talking fast enough. It seemed more important to get that all on the record, so to speak, than to do graphics.

Then, when we first moved to ibiblio, we had to share a server and it was all we could do to keep our nose above water sometimes, when Groklaw kept getting slashdotted. Bandwidth was an issue. So I stopped. Plain text would have to do. I do think that it was a loss. Creatively, it was a loss to me.

And that in a nutshell is what Creative Commons licenses are good for, gentlemen. It saves you having to write to the copyright holder to ask what you can do with their image. He or she has already told you in the license, so it enables you to be creative on the fly, with no friction and no chance of offending.

As an author myself, I would never want to publish someone's creative work unless they wanted me to. It's a basic principle of ethics, even if there were no law. And there is a law. Copyright law is powerful, and I wouldn't want to tangle with anyone, even if I had no ethics. If the graphics I wanted to use were clearly marked as to what I could do, it would have been a creativity enabler.

Nowadays, a couple of years later, there is a graphics collection, The Open Clip Art Library, and anyone can use the graphics -- or contribute to the library. Here's Wikipedia's list of public domain images. Thanks to Creative Commons licenses, a lot of people now offer their photographs online too. Here's one place, Flickr, where photos can be uploaded and placed under whatever license you wish. You can search for them by tags, and you can create tags to help others find things by category, although I hope some brainiac helps them organize better in time.

Some of the photos only a mother could love, but some are really exquisite. Professional photographers upload their photos too. Here's one of my favorites, by Alberta Fifty, which I never would have seen without Flickr. If ever I wanted to do a greeting card, I'd contact her and ask for permission and pay her whatever she asked. Here's a page of recent photos made available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license. Now, some artists don't want to share, viewing intellectual property, as they like to call it, as property, just like a dog with a bone. Those who think like that view creative works as their meal ticket, and they want to extract every last dime, not only for themselves, but for their grandchildren as well. They are free to squirrel their works away in a hole in a tree, if they wish. And they can erect as many gates and pitchforks around it as they like.

They don't need them to protect their work from me, because I never take anything that they wouldn't want me to, but I understand not everyone is as scrupulous. I wish they were, actually, because then Hollywood and the RIAA might relax a little and not be so extreme, with their fantasies about how wonderful DRM will be. And that's fine, if they feel that way. It's theirs to hoard.

But when I started Groklaw, I wasn't interested in making money from it. No one would have paid me back then anyway. It was my hobby, my after-work-hours fun, and all I wanted was to get the ideas out there freely. The Creative Commons license made that happen. My articles are republished all over the world and I don't have to be annoyed with lots of email giving permission, because I have already given permission, blanket permission, for noncommercial use.

Why not commercial? It's simple. If anyone is going to make money from my hard work, I think it should be me. I do sometimes give permission anyway, but I don't wish to give blanket permission for any old commercial use, because I'd really hate to wake up someday and see "The Best of Groklaw" being sold on Amazon.com and all the money going to some exploitative jerk and be helpless to stop him. I'm the one staying up to 2 AM working to come up with all the content after all, not the jerk. It's my heart on the line, on top of that. It's just the principle of the thing.

There are exploitative jerks who mirror Groklaw on noncommercial sites just so they can use my popularity to draw attention to themselves, mainly to attack Groklaw and try to steal my readers. Ironically all they do is spread my ideas, which was my purpose in choosing the license. But it's not ethical. It's violative of the spirit of the license. But Groklaw continues to grow. People are not stupid. They figure out who is who eventually, and the wisdom of crowds kicks in.

Memo to SCO and Microsoft: people aren't as stupid as you think. Either that or your operatives aren't as smart as they think.

Flickr has a page explaining simply all the CC licenses too. You can use photos you find there to make collages, by the way, if the license allows derivative works, as long as you are not using the work for advertising, which is prohibited.

Some people see art in everyday things. Others create art from everyday things. And still others can build on the art of others. It's fun. And if there is a CC licence, it's seamless, as they say in the enterprise. Now, when I want to make money from my writing, which I sometimes do, I don't put it on Groklaw. And if anyone published it elsewhere without permission, I wouldn't like it at all, and no doubt the publisher wouldn't either. Using the CC license here is a voluntary decision, based on a purpose that may be difficult for Orlowski and Dvorak to comprehend, because their hearts are in a different place. But it's my free will decision.

As it worked out, I know Groklaw has brought me business, even though that wasn't my purpose in starting it. That's how the Internet works. It's something the RIAA needs to grasp someday. If people see your work, get to sample it, they do come to buy. It's like trying on shoes in a shoe store. That's not stealing. It's just making sure you like the shoes and they suit you before you pay good money for them. And what people are willing to pay for at the end of the day is you. They get to like you, your work, and once they see what you can do, they'll gladly pay you to do it some more or to do it just for them or turn your attention to writing on a topic you otherwise would not have. It's true. I've lived it. Giving my work away did not reduce me to poverty. It opened doors.

Why do people care if I want to release my work under terms more permissive than copyright, anyway, even if it meant abject poverty? Most artists lived in poverty through the ages, without Creative Commons causing it, and I don't recall anyone complaining. La Boheme is all about starving artists, is it not? It's my work, after all. I can do whatever I wish with it. And that's the bottom line, isn't it? It isn't Mr. Dvorak's business or Mr. Orlowski's business to try and stop me. Of course, they can write whatever they please. But perhaps they'd consider writing a column on why they feel the need to try to block Creative Commons if others like the idea? The "legal" reasons Dvorak listed are not based on reality, as Gratz points out, for the most part, so what is the real reason? No one is asking them to use such a license, so what is the imperative? Can you guys explain?

Meanwhile Creative Commons licenses are multiplying. There is now Science Commons and a subsidiary Open Access Law Program, which makes it possible for us to read online law journals. Here's the list of the prestigious participating law journals, which I hope you will make use of. That's why they are doing it. To spread knowledge and information. Some of us think that is a valid goal in and of itself.

Law journals, Mr. Dvorak, are using Creative Commons licenses and concepts. Do you think that should tell you something about the legal soundness of Creative Commons licenses? So, I took the time to answer your questions. Could you do the same and answer mine?


  


Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License? | 332 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off topic here please
Authored by: fudisbad on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 06:43 AM EDT
For current events, legal filings and Caldera® collapses.

Please make links clickable.
Example: <a href="http://example.com">Click here</a>

---
See my bio for copyright details re: this post.
Darl McBride, show your evidence!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please
Authored by: fudisbad on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 06:45 AM EDT
If required.

---
See my bio for copyright details re: this post.
Darl McBride, show your evidence!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
Authored by: PRaabjerg on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 07:10 AM EDT

Some people may have mentioned it earlier. I just want to put a little focus on the fact that the Creative Commons license is not only good for noncommercial work.
As Magnatune.com so clearly demonstrates, you can _sell_ music, even though it's under a CC noncommercial license.
And then license it for commercial use through a userfriendly web-interface.
And yes, they do earn money :)

Most of the rest of the music industry has already thrown me off with all their copy protection schemes and their merciless (yet futile) hunt for file-sharers. I want to be a law-abiding citizen, after all. Magnatune picked me up again, I'm happy to say ;)

[ Reply to This | # ]

What I find bizarre
Authored by: Naich on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 07:18 AM EDT
I find it strange that some people get so upset at those who want to distribute
their work under a CC license. It's not a new idea - I have always (when I
remember) added text to my creations to the effect that I don't mind my work
being reproduced, as long as I'm given credit for it. Everything I've created
since I found out about CC has been under a CC license, mainly because the
wording is more succinct and it's got a cool logo :)

If other people don't like that then they can go and boil their whatsits. It's
MY choice.

[ Reply to This | # ]

For the love of money is the root of all evil.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 07:24 AM EDT
Love of money, not money itself. This is the most misquoted text in the Bible.

Back to the question... why? You will notice that established authors are upset
about the CC license, established music companies are funding RIAA et al.,
established software houses are upset about GPL software.

These are all people that "made it to the big time." With restrictive
licensing, it makes it much, much harder to "make it to the big time"
so the cost of entry into the "game" is high and the number
"making it to the big time" is limited. As a result, the money that
gets distributed gets distributed to relatively few people. That is excellent
for a relatively few people that "made it," but sucks for everybody
else.

If the barriers to entry go down, a lot more people will enter the game and will
dilute the payout of the game to all players, especially to the top few that
"made it."

Its all about control, and using that control to make more money. It is the
love of money...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why some Authors Choose a Creative Commons License
Authored by: belboz on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 07:55 AM EDT
I recently found two authors who publiced their latest books under Creative Commens at the same tims as they released their books to bookstores in hardcover editions:
Those are quality books (genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk). Cory's reason:
* Short Term In the short term, I'm generating more sales of my printed books. Sure, giving away ebooks displaces the occasional sale, when a downloader reads the book and decides not to buy it. But it's far more common for a reader to download the book, read some or all of it, and decide to buy the print edition.
....
* Long Term Some day, though, paper books will all but go away. We're already reading more words off of more screens every day and fewer words off of fewer pages every day. You don't need to be a science fiction writer to see the writing on the wall (or screen, as the case may be).
Now, if you've got a poor imagination, you might think that we'll enter that era with special purpose "ebook readers" that simulate the experience of carrying around "real" books, only digital. That's like believing that your mobile phone will be the same thing as the phone attached to your wall, except in your pocket. If you believe this sort of thing, you have no business writing sf, and you probably shouldn't be reading it either.

He also has some interesting comments on DRM.
---
Henrik

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
Authored by: Bas Burger on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 08:19 AM EDT
Somehow people driven by greed really don't see any positive thing about open
systems. Greed is not only about money it is also about people that have and
don't want to lose a favorable position. It's also all about these people
feeling threatened that their favorable position will be undermined by a system
that does not favor artificial boundries used to gain and stay in a favorable
position.

People that really are able to create things are less scared of open systems
because they thrive everywhere they go. people that make their money based on
perception of others, people like journalists, management of corps, politicians
and others that do not create but only talk about what others have created are
very afraid that others see their real value to society which is often more hot
air than substance.

In short: Only people that sell aircastles are afraid of open systems, mainly
because these systems can't hide that they are doing so.

Bas.


---
DIRECTUS ELATUS PERTINAX

[ Reply to This | # ]

Orlowski just wants everything free (as in beer)
Authored by: N. on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 08:21 AM EDT
The combination of ignoring creators' wishes (ignoring the creator completely,
in fact), taking their work yet not giving anything back whilst assuming someone
else picks up the tab... it's plainly obvious that Orlowski is looking out for
himself (or people like himself) as they download the latest
software/music/movies/whatever illegally without paying anything.

There's "fair use", and there's just plain theft.

---
N.
(Now almost completely Windows-free)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Info needed.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 09:04 AM EDT
"It's violative of the spirit of the license."

Where can the details, of the spirit of the licence, be found?

[ Reply to This | # ]

C-SPAN has something to view - if it's still there?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 09:30 AM EDT
If you got a viewer that will view this click on the little red arrows next to
the title of the C-SPAN show of the Digital Future seriew with the Library of
Congress.

http://www.c-span.org/congress/digitalfuture.asp

My recommendations are all of them, but mostly the following two:

Thursday, March 3
Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of the
Stanford Center for Internet and Society Lessig is the author of "Code and
Other Laws of Cyberspace" and an expert on the issues of copyright and
"copyleft." He is the inventor of the revolutionary concept and
application Creative Commons, which invites the right to use material under
specific conditions.

Monday, March 28
Neil Gershenfeld, director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Gershenfeld is the author of "When Things Start to
Think." His new concept Internet Zero (0) proposes a new infrastructure for
the existing Internet that would give an IP address to all electronic devices -
from light bulbs to Internet addresses and URLs - and interconnect them
directly, thereby eliminating much intermediating code and server technology.
His topic is "From the Library of Information to the Library of
Things."

Note: You might need to search google for instructions as to how to get Fire Fox
to work with rtsp. Search "fireforx rtsp" and some instructions might
show up that helps with getting rtsp to run on FireFox browser... does anyone
have any other suggestions?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Stock Exchange
Authored by: kh on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:03 AM EDT
For Stock Photographs many under the cc
here

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is just Dvorak's grumpy old man schtick...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:18 AM EDT
You can't understand why Dvorak cares so much about this issue? He doesn't. He
just needs material for his rants to keep the views coming.

Now get off my
lawn.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Lanuage Tells It All
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:38 AM EDT
There are many good and rational reasons to refute comments like Dovaraks that
was quoted in the article above.

Yet do diatribes like Dvoraks aim for rational discurse, a productive and goal
oriented debate? If you look at the language he uses, the answer is clearly a
"no". His line of "argumentation" is far from logical
reasoning, the goal is very clearly to insult and spin the readers emotions,
giving the impression there is some elitist nonsense going on. He tries to pull
people, who dedicate their work and time to the common good, into the dirt of
bein suspicious elitist hipsters, that only do things to appear cool, not for
any other good reason or to the benefit of the public. In my eye, his article
merely tries to give the impression of logical argumentation and deduction to
transport and cmouflage an "ad hominem" attack on a whole community.

With the same state of mind, that Dvorak's article shows, one might label any
for of volunteer work as "elitist nonsense to appear hip and trendy".


I wonder if such people are aware that our coulture bears the principles that
are behind CCL since the days of the new testament.

Aside all that it is a shame, that the PCMAG publishes such a diatribe. Propper
journalism would be to let the facts speak forthemselves and elaborate on them
forming a clear rational conclusion leaving any emotional statements or "ad
hominem" statements aside. In publishing Dvorak's article PCMAG decided to
get involved with mud fight methods.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Orlowski and Dvorak just don't understand
Authored by: Niveous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:40 AM EDT
I actually wrote to Mr. Orlowski about this (and actually got a typical reply
back from someone writing for the Register--which I thought was funny) and I'm
hoping it might end up in the letters section.

Basically, I made two points. One of which was that they missed the intent of
CC, which is to let people know about fair use rights without necessarily going
to the author/artist to ask for permission because CC will tell you how they
expect their works to be used.

The second point is that John Dvorak is nothing but an old crank who hasn't
written an insightful article about technology for years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not really fond of a place that harvests E-mail
Authored by: Asynchronous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:42 AM EDT
Like Flikr did just from me going to the site. No clicking on anything, just
picked up and sent an E-mail to me, no permission, nada.

They are in my block list now.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Binary Thinkers
Authored by: DWitt_nyc on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:46 AM EDT
Beyond the profit motive (which is driving Dvorak's desparately trolling articles of late), I see a division in how people generally think about issues-- whether its Creative Commons, FOSS, and piracy, or capitalism, religion and the war on Iraq, there is a common thread: some people are only capable of Binary Thinking--they have a worldview that reduces all shades of gray into black and white. Some examples of such binary thinking:

-FOSS is bad. Commercial software is good.

-Piracy is bad. Big media companies are good.

-You're either with us, or against us.

Some of it is misplaced conservatism (desire to maintain the status quo), while some of it reflects a desire to reduce the complexity of the world, into a more easily digestible form. I don't know if there's a solution--the best antidote is applied knowledge and wisdom, but sometimes you can simply adapt their tactic:

Dvorak bad, CC good!

[ Reply to This | # ]

CC isn't about JK Rowling or Robbie Williams
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 10:59 AM EDT
Most criticism of CC is from people who seem to think that the major users of CC
licenses would be big time stars like JK Rowling and Robbie Williams. It isn't.
That is like claiming that the target audience for the GPL is Microsoft.

The advantage of these licensing systems is that it gives hobbyists and small
professionals an environment where its easy to work together and collaborate. It
gives hobbyists a tool to be able to create works which they don't have the
skills or resources to make on their own. For instance it lets an animation
maker find music he/she can easily combine with their animation to make a
finished work without having to beg someone to be able to use their music.

Wether online collaboration on CC style works will create good books or music is
yet to be seen, but free software have shown that given a usable environment
great things can happen.

[ Reply to This | # ]

That's why *I* put a CC license up
Authored by: oneandoneis2 on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 11:56 AM EDT

I first made a 'useful' webpage when I noticed how many repeat questions were raised on forums. Rather than have to keep on answering those same questions, I figured it made sense to write one clear, complete explanation and then link to it when necessary.

I recently started doing this for Linux-based forums too, and one article in particular (Linux is not Windows) has proved popular enough that I've had a number of emails asking for permission to copy it and/or publish a translation.

Simple solution? Stick a CC license on the web page, telling people they can go right ahead and copy or make derivatives of the page.

Sure, I could just stick a bit of text on the page saying "You can copy this page for non-commercial uses if you like", but since that could leave all sorts of legal loopholes, I'm happier using a proper legal license that does the same thing.

I fail to see how anybody can fail to see how this is a helpful thing to be able to do. . .

[ Reply to This | # ]

CC over GPL in software too
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 12:02 PM EDT
I agree with this paragraph:

"Why not commercial? It's simple. If anyone is going to make money from my
hard work, I think it should be me. I do sometimes give permission anyway, but I
don't wish to give blanket permission for any old commercial use, because I'd
really hate to wake up someday and see "The Best of Groklaw" being
sold on Amazon.com and all the money going to some exploitative jerk and be
helpless to stop him. I'm the one staying up to 2 AM working to come up with all
the content after all, not the jerk. It's my heart on the line, on top of that.
It's just the principle of the thing."

This is why I'm not a big fan of the GPL for my own work (I'm a software
developer). I like the CC licenses for the same reason: I can allow people to
look and use my work, but if any money is going to be made, I can collect at
least some of it.

Dan

[ Reply to This | # ]

One line tells it all...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 12:18 PM EDT

Well... after reading the first page I got to:

This is a bogus suggestion, because Creative Commons does not supersede the copyright laws.
To me, that immediately triggered a memory of:
...GPL does not supersede the copyright laws...
Of course, those of us familiar with the licenses know they don't "supercede" but merely clarify the authors wishes along with copyright law. Perhaps a new angle to get the copyright laws changed such that licenses similar to CC and GPL are illegal? Ah well, if he was a doctor, my first thought would be: quack, ignore.

RAS

[ Reply to This | # ]

Public Domain...
Authored by: j00b4k4 on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 12:29 PM EDT
Dvorak: "If I write something on my blog, for example, and decide not to
cover it with the general copyright notice, I can simply say that it is in the
public domain and be done with it."

I thought the whole point of the CC:Public Domain "license" was that
the law doesn't explicitly *allow* the above. Or am I missing something?

[ Reply to This | # ]

It is another option from which to choose.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 12:59 PM EDT
Many of the attacks and complaints are eminating from those who get rich off the
creative labor of others. Many artists have made others wealthy, without
receiving fair compensation for their labors. The RIAA has been accused of not
even paying the royalities they are contractually obligated to pay, but they
aggressively extract what is believed to be theirs.

The Creatives Commons seems to put the artist directly in contact with their
prospective market, allowing exposure they may not be able to get elsewhere.
Hopefully this will lead to greater income in the long run, for more individual
artists.

Allowing someone else to be in control reduces the opportunities an individual
can take advantage, without eliminating the option to pursue traditional venues.
If someone feels like being generous, by giving away copies and allowing others
to do the same, without giving up their rights, the Creative Commons License
provides that mechanism.

Hopefully my perspective is not too far off base.

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Patent Pools, Creative Commons, Open Source and DRM
Authored by: kawabago on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 01:07 PM EDT
These are all signs that Intellectual Property Law has become too restrictive
and is impeding creativity, scientific progress and commerce. These
organizations are in fact the artists, scientists and entrepreneurs attempting
to drag IP laws back to a point where they aren't strangling innovation.
The laws should be eased untill these organizations are no longer needed.

On DRM, never has so much effort been invested in preventing people from
receiving artists messages. It simply doesn't make sense.


---
TTFN

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Why? In part, because the music cartels abuse the artists
Authored by: dwheeler on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 02:09 PM EDT
The essay Major Labels: The problem with music has way too much swearing, but it has a valid point. And the point is... the major labels make sure that music artists never get (really) paid, through a long list of unethical practices. No wonder so many artists are willing to give their music away, or don't care if their music is copied ... they make as much either way, and get more people to hear it if it's copied.

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    Trying out shoes
    Authored by: Chris Brand on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 02:12 PM EDT
    Nike now has a program where you don't just try out their running shoes in a
    store - they actually let you borrow a pair for a run (the last time I saw this
    was a 5km run) - probably a better example than a shoe store where they won't
    let you leave the store until you've paid.

    Couldn't find the details on their website (it's all flash with no search
    function).

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    Why an Author Will Choose a Creative Commons License
    Authored by: meshuggeneh on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 04:32 PM EDT
    Wow, this is the clearest statement of the benefits of CC I've read to date.

    Thanks, PJ.

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    Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 22 2005 @ 06:17 PM EDT
    It isn't Mr. Dvorak's business or Mr. Orlowski's business to try and
    stop me. Of course, they can write whatever they please. But perhaps
    they'd consider writing a column on why they feel the need to try to
    block Creative Commons if others like the idea? The "legal"
    reasons
    Dvorak listed are not based on reality, as Gratz points out, for the
    most part, so what is the real reason? No one is asking them to use
    such a license, so what is the imperative? Can you guys explain?
    >
    >
    It's simple PJ. Look beyond the puppets to the puppet *MASTERS* to see who are
    pulling their strings. Both Dvorak and Orlowski work for *Comerical Media
    Outfits*. Who are/would be the biggest *LOSERS* under a Creative Commons
    License?

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    Ethics of copyright, you'll need to give an arguement.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2005 @ 01:01 AM EDT
    "As an author myself, I would never want to publish someone's creative work
    unless they wanted me to. It's a basic principle of *ethics* [emphasis added],
    even if there were no law."

    When you start speaking of morality (instead of legality) then you'll have to
    adhere to a higher standard, and a higher arguement, then just giving your
    opinion.

    I'd like to hear about the ethics of someone stopping another person (by force?)
    from looking at, reading and or experiening information - regardless of it's
    source.

    Copyright is artifical, it is a creation of government for pragmatic purposes
    (of information creation) that may no longer be relevant in a digital age.

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    Release means qualified,PJ?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2005 @ 05:26 AM EDT
    " I release my work here under a Creative Commons license, so I feel
    qualified to answer their questions more fully. "

    What made you feel so?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
    Authored by: blacklight on Saturday, July 23 2005 @ 10:20 AM EDT
    "Will someone explain to me the benefits of a trendy system developed by
    Professor Lawrence Lessig of Stanford?" John Dvorak

    Do we owe John Dvorak an explanation? No. Can he interfere with copyright
    holders assigning a CC license to their works? No. Has John Dvorak ever created
    anything worthwhile? No. Is John Dvorak all mouth and no ears? Yes. Any
    explanation of CC is for us, not for him. The only explanations I expect this
    clown to listen to are the explanations he wants to hear. And I don't think that
    we have anything to say that he wants to hear.



    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2005 @ 04:20 PM EDT
    The reason some people object to Creative Commons (and for that matter the GPL)
    is that their model for how capitalism works is uncompetitive unless everyone is
    compelled to use the "pay-to-play" option. All economic relations are
    forced to be monetized.

    Another way of putting it is that CC and the GPL are too competitive and they
    can't take the heat. The alternative is that they have a quasi-religious
    devotion to the so-called "free market," yet it doesn't include the
    freedom to voluntarily associate or to share.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Free Market - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2005 @ 12:18 AM EDT
    • Good Book - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 24 2005 @ 12:25 AM EDT
    • pay to play - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 25 2005 @ 12:28 PM EDT
    Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 23 2005 @ 05:59 PM EDT
    "Defenders of the licensing approach say it simply adds to the range of choices an artist has available to them, which is quite true. But it's also slightly disingenuous to urge performers to forego the commercial option that might lift them out of poverty. . . .

    Funny, Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross (a couple of up-and-coming science-fiction authors) seem to be finding that releasing some of their work for free download and distribution (I don't remember if Charlie is using a Creative Commons license as such, or merely something functionally similar, and I haven't looked at Cory's stuff) causes very definite sales blips in their real-book sales of the very same books that they released as a free ebook. Blips up, mind you; unless I'm mistaken, Charlie's book broke the top 1000 list on Amazon the week the ebook came out. And Baen Books has been releasing some of their books for free download, and I'm quite certain they wouldn't be doing that if it didn't produce positive sales results.

    Funny how people like Andrew seem to make all these claims based on their theory of how the world ought to work, when there's hard sales data that prove that he's wrong.

    Here's a link to some of Charlie's comments on the free e-book release.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Question about Duke
    Authored by: Matt C on Sunday, July 24 2005 @ 02:51 PM EDT
    How come Duke University's name seems to pop up every time someone is doing
    something cool lately? e.g. They were the first bittorrent mirror for Fedora
    Core 4, and now here they've got 5 publications on the sciencecommons list...
    just curious. Who's in charge of all that progressive thinking?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
    Authored by: xentac on Sunday, July 24 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT
    Nice article. I used your article and ones you linked to in my response to Dvorak's article.

    Instead of hitting all the technical points, I just aimed at satire. I used his post as a template to write my own criticism of him.

    http://xent ac.net/~jchu/blog/humour/john-c-dvorak-humbug.html

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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