Creative Commons Adds A 'No Copyright At All' Option

from the go-go-public-domain dept

Just two months ago, we were pointing out how difficult it was to opt-out of copyright and put content into the public domain. We noted that it wasn't solved by Creative Commons -- who had a series of licenses that all relied on copyright, and none that removed all restrictions. Looks like the CC folks were listening (not to me, necessarily, but to others who raised similar issues). They have now released a new offering to help content creators declare their work to be in the public domain. They're calling it CC0. While it looks just like other CC licenses, it's not actually a "license," but a waiver/declaration that the content is in the public domain. This is a fantastic move, and we'll certainly be checking it out in more detail to see if it makes sense for us and the content posted here.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    From the (non) license..

    "A Work made available under CC0 may be protected by copyright and related or neighboring rights"

    Please. Let's just eliminate copyright altogether so this sort of tortured legal reasoning is not required.

    At a bare minimum, returning copyright to explicit, opt-in, expensive as hell to register for and short terms (5 years) for would solve a multitude of problems.

     

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  2.  
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    Shawn, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Beware those lurking in the shadows

    I cant wait to see the lawyers explain how this doesnt work contractually and all agreements made under this liscense are void. Should be interesting . . .

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    The terms of this "feature" may be found at:

    http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode

    As for the above comment, it is possible that the copyright in a work may be subordinate to the copyright in a work held by a third party. Hence the cautionary language.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Bravo for Creative Commons.

    I'll be using the Zero license from now on, thanks.

     

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  5.  
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    hegemon13, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re: From the (non) license..

    Explicit, opt-in, and short term I agree with. But "expensive as hell"? Why would we want to limit copyright to large corporations or the wealthy? Seems like that would make the existing problems much worse and make artists that much more dependent on corporate middlemen.

     

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  6.  
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    Willton, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Beware those lurking in the shadows

    I cant wait to see the lawyers explain how this doesnt work contractually and all agreements made under this liscense are void. Should be interesting . . .

    Keep waiting. I don't think any lawyer would say that.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Re: From the (non) license..

    Why should I have to pay a ton of money(Expensive as hell) to copyright my work ?

     

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  8.  
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    jonnyq, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    WTFPL

    I noticed that the CC0 license was slightly wordier than the WTFPL.

     

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  9.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    This should be telling...

    When it takes a license/waiver to put stuff in the public domain (and even that might not be enough in some jurisdictions) that should set off alarms.

    Sort of like taking a walk in the woods and suddenly seeing "No Trespassing" signs everywhere. Even on the woods you own.

    It's been a stealthy theft, I'll give them that.

     

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  10.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    A no copyright option is nice, but it cannot revoke anyone else's claim to code (or content). Example, if you make a nice new software widget that uses someone else's plugin, then you cannot really make the whole thing CC0. You could only do so by breaking the package into it's pieces and making your own pieces CC0, and allow them to download the other pieces from other places.

    You may CC0 a video. But if the video contains elements that are copyrighted in any way, that CC0 would not be valid.

    In reality, CC0 could actually lead to liablity, as it could be taken as a declaration that could shift liablity in case of copyright action against the end user(s).

     

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  11.  
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    Jim, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    SHUT UP WEIRD HAROLD NO ONE LIKES YO....

    Wait a minute - this comment actually appears to have some merit. A bit FUDdy, but not entirely trollish. Way to go Weird!

     

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  12.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: From the (non) license..

    You are being granted a limited term monopoly that will likely place additional burdens on our legal system.

    Copyright and Patent application fees collected today in no way offset the expense to society for the use of the court systems.

    And why do you think --your-- "Work" is worthy of monopoly protection of the federal government? Have you crated a work that took 20,000 hours off your lifetime to create?

    Me thinks not.

     

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  13.  
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    pferland (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    As with all licenses, you will run into that issue.
    its up to the 'creator' to research the matreials that they used and make sure that they are not interfeiring
    IMHO I hate the term licenses, it makes it seem as if you have no control over anything.

     

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  14.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry to disappoint you :)

     

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  15.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: From the (non) license..

    Ehn, I think an inexpensive fee would go along way. You know, mental transaction costs and all?

    I mean, if it costs nothing to acquire a copyright on something now, and damages for 20-however-many-songs it was are $225,000 USD... how much do you think copyright holders will want if it cost them $10,000 to get a copyright for five years?

     

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  16.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    Re: This should be telling...

    Sort of like taking a walk in the woods and suddenly seeing "No Trespassing" signs everywhere. Even on the woods you own.
    More like walking in the woods and looking for "Trespassing Permitted" signs to know that you're actually allowed to walk through...

     

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  17.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    No Copyleft

    I think the CC0 option is great, but my view is that, while ridiculous copyright restrictions still exist, copyleft is the best way to go because you're ensuring that content stays free.

    But I'm more of a GPL guy than a BSD guy (or... CC BY-SA than CC BY).

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    A no copyright option is nice, but it cannot revoke anyone else's claim to code (or content).

    Same problem with other CC licenses. That's why a much larger public domain benefits everybody.

    (When did Harold start taking his meds? I like him like this.)

     

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  19.  
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    PRMan, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Do we need this?

    Am I missing something, or can't I already do something like,

    "This post is Public Domain."

    Which now makes this post Public Domain.

     

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  20.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Do we need this?

    In the US, yes (AFAIK.) But there are other jurisdictions which "protect" artists so much they (or you) can't even do that. This gives a functional equivalent.

     

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  21.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Do we need this?

    You can do the "This post is public domain", except you cannot override or deny techdirt's copyright claims to anything posted here, unless they too waive it, and so on. It's a whole complicated ball of wax.

    It's the problem of any assault on any of the triad of copyright, patent, and trademark: Stuff doesn't exist in a vacuum, there is almost always some little hitch that connections something to something else that you don't really have the right to put in the public domain. It is why much of the railing against the system is amusing, but much more difficult to achieve than Mike and his crew would you like to think.

     

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  22.  
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    Ken, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: From the (non) license..

    Ummm - obtaining copyright protection doesn't cost anything. the creator of a work automatically has all the rights associated with a copyright, including the right to exclude other OR NOT TO EXCLUDE OTHER, as soon as the work is "fixed in a tangible form."

    So unless you mean "expensive as hell" and there is no money in hell, your comments are misplaced.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike2, Mar 16th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    I've got a new game

    Think "Q Harold" if you think a post is at risk of attracting a Harold-comment. If you're right, you win a free cookie!

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Do we need this?

    I agree that it is a complicated issue, but I think the CC0 might be a bit of a start, there are lots of people who use the least restrictive form of CC, so I could see this being used quite a bit.

    btw, I have to say I really like the new you Weird Harold.

     

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  25.  
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    jorel314, Mar 16th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    CC0

    I'll be using CC0 exclusively from now on. It'll separate works whose copyright simply expired from works whose creators waived copyright on purpose. More on that here... http://jorel314.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/goodbye-public-domain-dedication-hello-cc0-waiver/

     

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