The comment from Chris Dodd might have been completely biased, but at least it did show a good point: most people on the internet wouldn't fear to be "stolen" of their ideas if there were no copyright laws. In the not-so-ancient times of about 250 years ago, retransmission and derivation of works were seen as completely normal within the artistic circles. Shakespeare, to put a famous example, would have done little without drawing ideas from the works of other artists and writers, both contemporary and ancient. And nobody treated him like a thief, more like a very creative writer of what we would name today as fan-fiction.
But now, just check any online gallery. DeviantArt, YouTube, SoundCloud to give just a few examples. A sizeable quantity of artists decide to slap a copyright notice that explicitly prevents anybody else to copy, reupload, sell or remix any part of the work in any shape of form (sometimes with almost those literal words). Why do they do that? Fear of having their work plagiarized? Fear of not being able to earn money out of their works (even though most of such artists never profit from them anyway)? Whatever the reason, they wouldn't fear if the artistic circle promoted derivation and sharing instead of repressing it as vehemently as possible.
And things like these make me seriously consider making a definite fork of Wikipedia that:
- contains no nonfree content, not even quotes
- only contains public domain works if the status can be applied worldwide (I'm looking at you, Mexico!)
- contains no trademarks, not even Wikipedia's just in case; it would be renamed to "Librepedia: the truly free encyclopedia" and thus can be truly be used freely by anyone
Where an original indie artist will create a work - it gets picked up free by a corporate, who release a movie or song -- then 3 months later the original artist is receiving DMCA takedowns and cease & desist orders for using the work which they actually own!
If the artist chooses Share-Alike, then its a fault of the corporation, not of the artist. Now, if we talk about CC-BY-only artwork, the situation grows grimmer.
Furthermore there is the argument that by offering ND-NC you are keeping the possibility of widespread adoption of Creative Commons vs (C)opyright. If more people default to specifying (CC) rather than a (C), Creative Commons actually wins more legitimacy and presents creators with a choice when specifying copyright rather than going with the typical restriction (many creators are still not even aware of CC).
I've heard about this argument. Promoting half-freed licenses is a short-lived solution. Educating artists about the benefits of permitting commercial use and derivative works, on the other side, is better in the long run for the free culture community and the world as a whole.
What they seem to advocating is the equivalent of BSD/Apache license for creative works - maybe they should be looking to the GPL and be advocating that the work can be put to commercial use, but that any derivative should release the derivative 'elements' back to the community for remixing.
Exactly! Copyleft licenses are better than permissive licenses in that regard, because they require all derivatives to be free-as-in-freedom as well.
Why NC/ND are unneeded (my own crosspost from the Reddit topic)
NC and ND are unneeded if proper education is taken to promote proper copyleft. Here are the main reasons to remove them, from my perspective:
- Non-commercial restrictions come from the confussion between copyrighted usage and commercial usage. There are plenty of non-copyrighted but commercial usages: playing a song in an event with entry fee, placing it in an ad-driven blog, etcetera. Share-alike licenses deal with the copyrighted usages, and the artist is free to cash with their work even if others do.
- Non-derivative restrictions come from the fear of having a person's opinion distorted. Attribution and moral rights deal with that; derivatives must be clearly labeled as such.
Somebody who speaks Japanese should tell him about Creative Commons. It seems that Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) is what he's wanting in this case. Also, it would be much safer to use in copyleft works. In other news, I would have never thought that Black Jack would be free-as-in-freedom in this century.
OK, the initial costs are actually rather large. But, on the large scale, the costs are lower than physical alternatives, require much less resources to maintain, and have an extremely larger deployment area thanks to the Internet. In short, it may not be exactly zero, but it's very, very, VERY cheap compared with alternatives.
A medium-quality microphone: $100. A good (GNU+)Linux distribution: Almost free if downloaded. A decent computer: Less than $1500. Internet and CDs: Under $20. Using sites like Jamendo, Libre.FM or the Internet Archive to host the songs: Almost free for both sides. Promoting the album: Word-of-mouth is free, ads are really cheap (under $10 per month), and social networking does wonders. All in all, almost anyone can make a successful album with a month's salary. And the cost can be easily recovered (and even multiplied) if those meager costs are crowdfunded beforehand!
What about CCMixter? It's pretty much exactly what he talks about: someone uploads the song (with or without stems), someone else remixes it, and the remix links back to the original stems. It's awesome and I've used it more than once.