Are Non-Commercial Creative Commons Licenses A Bad Idea? Nina Paley & Cory Doctorow Debate...

from the clash-of-the-titans dept

Venerable author Cory Doctorow and I engaged in a friendly email debate this Summer, with the intention of sharing it to illuminate some issues confronting Free Culture and Creative Commons licenses. It's quite long, but hits on many topics of interest to Techdirt readers.

Read Paley & Doctorow argue over Non-Commercial licenses

Cory releases his books under -NC ("Non-Commercial") licenses. The -NC restriction is Creative Commons' most popular, but has a lot of problems, including incompatibility with Free licenses. As an alternative, I recommend the Creator Endorsed Mark used with a copyleft (such as Share-Alike) license. The sparks fly from there! (Actually it's all very civil, but if I say sparks fly maybe more people will read it.)

I'm curious to read how the Techdirt community weighs on on these issues, so please comment.



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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    I'm for the Creator Endorsed Mark

    To me, I don't know nor understand the point of a Non Commercial license. I read this just a few days and have since linked to the article on a few forums I visit. As it stands, I see that the editors don't WANT to try out the Creator Endorsed Mark, much to their detriment. I also know of a few authors that may feel that this may be what they're looking for in regards to copyright issues.

    All in all, it truly shows that we can have a very good solution to the copyright debate without necessarily trying to throw everyone into jail just because they share the books.

    It also solves the very real problem of how to keep authors paid. You don't endorse, then perhaps less people traffic your site.

    Then again, middlemen in the book industry really like 360 deals and really hate competing against others...

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    mistake

    all of creative commons is a mistake.

    It starts with the basic assumption that copyright is good, and necessary, and builds on that with a license that only attempts to make copyright stronger.

    This is the exact opposite of healthy.

    That's like trying to cure a drunk by drowning him in alcohol.

    Insanity is all you find down that path.

     

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  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Re: mistake

    All generalizations are false, including this one.
    -Samuel Clement

     

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    EdB (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    what other options are there?

    First, commenter #2 is a fool. CC licensing uses the copyright model to allow a content creator to retain rights while still sharing under terms they see fit. Without CC I'd have a choice between traditional "i own it you can't touch it" or "it's public domain so Disney can steal it without issue".

    So what exactly is the problem with a content creator saying "you can use this except not to make money from"? I mean, if that's what I want to do then what is the problem with me saying that? People are going to cheat any and all systems out there, so other than peeps cheating and me theoretically needing to police for those cheaters, what is wrong with me saying "use this for personal stuff not money-making stuff"?

    BTW I'm hip to the idea of the school play that is also a fund raiser, and don't see how that can be considered commercial even though it is to get money. The purpose of the school is NOT to have a play to raise funds, so it is not commercial by design even though the content is being used in a fund-raising effort.

    If I understand the Creator-Endorsed thing, it means someone can make money off my stuff and pop that mark on their work if they share some proceeds with me. But what about something with content from multiple people including me? Billy says "yeah sure I'll take a cut", the mashup person then puts the mark on and doesn't need to give a cut to me or anyone else. Is that what the mark will mean? ONE contributor got a cut? Great. Now I can take anything out there that allows commercial use, add some trivial little content to it, then grant myself a cut and permission to pop that useless little symbol on the product.

    Great plan.

     

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  5.  
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    Terry Hart (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    I appreciate Cory's distinction between industrial and non-industrial uses, as opposed to commercial and noncommercial uses. The distinction is not recognized at law, but I believe it has merit.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

    Re: what other options are there?

    Every use of the CE Mark needs to be negotiated, just like every use of "rights" does under copyright. It works just like copyright, except without anyone's freedom being restricted.

    The CE Mark is NOT a license! It's a mark. Used with a Share-Alike license, it packs a wallop. Used with a more restrictive license, it's mostly cosmetic.

     

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    Cynyr (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: what other options are there?

    so whats the purpose of the YMCA? How about Red Cross?

    Can you register a copy right for multiple people?

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    CC-NC is invidious

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 4:37pm

    Re: CC-NC is invidious

    Interesting, thanks for the links.

    -NC stands for Not Copyleft.

     

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    MrWilson, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    Re: CC-NC is invidious

    My fear regarding this line of approach is that it creates infighting amongst alternative copyright advocates. Granted that the discussion is worthwhile and brings out important points and was entirely amiable, but this is like the Spanish Civil War.

    The "good guys" in the Spanish Civil War were a diverse group of center, left, and radical left groups - Anarchists and Socialists and Republicans (as in Republic, not as in Conservative), etc. And on the other side were the Fascists, well-funded and single-minded. The good guys tore themselves apart from the inside while the Fascists just kept pressing on from the outside. Guess who won.

    Doctorow and Paley have more in common with each other than either does with "content" industry executives and lobbyists. We can agree to disagree about the specifics, but reforming current copyright laws is something we can all get behind.

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 5:54pm

    Re: CC-NC is invidious

    From the comments to the Rob Myers post, I found this link:

    Impossible Thing #3: Free Arts

    It is pretty interesting reading.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Re: CC-NC is invidious

    MrWilson agonized:

    My fear regarding this line of approach is that it creates infighting amongst alternative copyright advocates.

    Welcome to the Free Culture movement.

     

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    Reed, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

    Re: mistake

    I think what your trying to say is by allowing the Creative Commons to exist we are also admitting that copyright must need to exist.

    I tend to agree with the abolition of intellectual property in general. So by this standard I would agree that the creative commons is indeed a mistake because it makes the assumption that copyright needs to exist in the first place.

    I grow weary of corporations and individuals capitalizing on our culture at the cost of our ability to promote effective discourse and exchange of ideas. If the point of intellectual property is to slow down progress and create as many imaginary barriers as possible to actually creating then it has worked perfectly.

    We are living in a world of 6 billion + people. How long can we continue to afford such privilege to such a minority?

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:46pm

    The conundrum

    (Apologies in advance for the tl;dr post.)

    This is a great discussion, and it's good that you're having it.

    It might help to take a step back and read between the lines. Traditionally, copyright has been presented as a balancing act between two parties: the artist's rights (in the U.S., primarily commercial rights) vs. the rights of the public.

    What this dialogue shows is that there really is a triumverate of rights: the rights of the artists, the rights of the public, and the rights of commercial enterprises.

    Now, if there's one thing that just about everyone can agree upon, it's that traditional copyright puts the majority of the rights in the hands of commercial enterprises (with artists' rights being secondary, and public rights being almost non-existent). The free culture movement primarily exists to put rights back in the hands of artists and the public. Which is as it should be, since commercial enterprises absolutely should have fewer legal rights than average citizens, across the board.

    This is the impetus for the "non-commercial" and "share-alike" clauses. One theoretically prevents artists from being exploited by corporate entities; the other prevents the public from being shut out of creative works, mostly by those same corporate entities.

    The problem is that everyone has a right to try to earn money. When they do, the barriers between commercial enterprises and everyone else start to crumble.

    Nobody would disagree that charging the public for access to an artist's work is a commercial use. But what about using artists' works in advertisements? Corporations are not charging the public, and for the sake of argument let's assume that the company would just love it if the public shared them or even remixed them. Yet it is still a commercial use, and if you look at it purely from an artist's perspective, it makes a lot of sense to consider it one.

    But where do you draw the line? People here have been justifiably critical of PRO's demanding money from coffee shops that hold open mic nights, or hair salons that play CD's. If a performer in a coffee shope covers your song, or the hairdresser plays your CD to drum up business, is it commercial use? If so, you're basically licensing your material just like ASCAP or BMI. How can you possibly differentiate between these people and the car company that used your music in a commercial? How can you even conceivably tell the difference between "commercial use" and "public use that tangentially involves money?"

    On the other hand, doing away with the -NC clause has its own problems. One other justifiable complaint voiced on here is how much major labels exploit artists. Explioit them right up the ass. Without some sort of -NC clause, there is absolutely nothing to prevent this from happening. The other CC clauses might prevent them from exploiting the public, but the artists would still be hung out to dry.

    Nina advocates the use of the Creator Endorsed Mark to let the public know that in these cases, the labels' offerings are not supporting the artists. It's basically a reverse "name and shame" badge. But there is one drawback: it depends upon the public's good will trumping other motivations. I think I've been around the block a few times, and if there's one thing I am reasonably sure about, it's that self-interest will beat morality every time. Frankly, I'm not even upset about it. If the choice is to spend $20 for the feeling of goodwill from helping an artist, and spending $10 on the label's offering so you can spend the other $10 on food... Well, people gotta eat, you know.

    A purely capitalist response is to tell the artists, "too bad. If you can't find some way to get people to pay you instead of them, then you don't deserve the money." There's some truth to that response of course, but ultimately, it just puts the power right back into the hands of corporations, who have many times the resources of any artist. In fact, it's this power imbalance that allowed the labels to exploit artists in the first place. We're halfway back to where we started.

    And looming behind us all, like some ghastly snoring ogre, is copyright law. All CC licenses have copyright as its backbone; they can't be enforced without it. And for better or worse, copyright law grants artists the ultimate decision on how to license their works. If the free culture's answer to artist exploitation is "man up and grow a pair," then we've lost before the battle has even begun.

    This is not an easy situation, and obviously there's not an easy answer. I certainly don't have one. There might not even be an answer. It for exactly this reason that I wholeheartedly support the use of any and all CC licenses, even if they're not "libre" enough. (And not just because my own choice of license is not "libre" enough for a few people, Nina included.)

    Whatever we choose, it'll be orders of magnatude better than the Righthaven world we live in now.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 12:50am

    Re: The conundrum

    People have rights. Corporations do not.

    All people have the same rights, to be protected as equals - artists are no different from members of their audience.

    A copyleft license neutralises copyright - restores back to the people their rights (to copy, etc.) that copyright suspends - as far as is possible.

    Then there are the abdicatory licenses that declaw copyright, but don't go much further, e.g. attempt to require derivatives to be similarly licensed.

    Any other copyright license modulates the threat of copyright, e.g. "I will only sue your ass off if I find you making any money in your infringement of my privilege".

    In the case of CC-NC this is mostly an empty threat as few self-publishing artists have the litigation budget to detect and prosecute infringers - they're faced with finding a publisher (or Righthaven type troll) to whom they sell their copyright for them to so exploit.

    The issue of CC-NC is nothing to do with reforming copyright. It's about helping self-publishing artists understand that it is counter-productive (cuts off their nose to spite their face). If they prohibit commercial use of their work they deny themselves greater exposure and the commission of those who would use their work commercially, e.g. "If I can't sell my labour that involves your published work then I won't use it, I'll sing someone else's song - and I'll pay them to write more songs, not you".

    All commerce is exchange. All cultural intercourse is exchange. If you deny the public the liberty to exchange your published work as a cultural work, then you exclude your work and yourself from mankind's culture, or at best exhibit it in a sterile 'Do not touch' museum of the anal retentive.

     

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  16.  
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    Ed C., Sep 10th, 2010 @ 1:24am

    Interesting comment. Your example of the artist asking $20 vs the label's $10 (though it's usually more) illustrates an interesting point--why is the artist asking for so much? They think they deserve the $20, but by asking for it, they drive most would be customers to the label--were the cut is probably $0.50 (provided that there's any payment at all!) Obviously, the maximum price for the same work should have been $10. Maybe if Lib-arts degrees included some basic math and business, they would realize that even though $10 < $20, it still beats fifty cents! It seems obvious to you and I, but I guess that's why there's so many starving artist...

    It reminds me if a comment about fontography:
    [A license fee of] $800 is completely reasonable if you assume it takes 1 hour per letter, 130 or so typographic characters, for $6/hr. That replication costs are low isn't the issue, because they don't get paid per use. They get paid up front (and per license). [emphasis added]
    Someone then pointed out that

     

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    Ed C., Sep 10th, 2010 @ 1:25am

    Sorry, my post got cutoff some how...

    Someone then pointed out by that reasoning that "since a DVD constitutes a 'license' to watch a movie, a per license fee of $10 million is 'completely reasonable'...!"

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: CC-NC is invidious

    "but reforming current copyright laws is something we can all get behind"

    You can wish it, but that doesn't make it so. Even Lawrence Lessig recognised the growth of the copyright abolitionist movement (as early as a few years ago).

    There are a few abolitionists that comment on TechDirt - myself among them. Even the article's author, Nina Paley herself is one. There are a few more abolitionists commenting on her previous article: Even 'Free' Culture Supporters Sometimes Have Difficulty Living Up To Their Own Principles.

    When you recognise that slavery is inherently wrong, you give up campaigning for reforms to provide slaves with better working conditions, nutrition, shelter, healthcare, retirement, etc. Just abolish it. There is no such thing as a good reason to suspend a man's liberty - however wealthy some may get through its exploitation.

    See the article by Leonhard Dobusch: Reflections on Abolitionism: Copyright and Beyond.

     

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  19.  
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    Ed C., Sep 10th, 2010 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re: The conundrum

    Not all artwork is for profit, but I agree that cutting oneself out of the for-profit market is still not the best route.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 2:19am

    Re: The conundrum

    Without some sort of -NC clause, there is absolutely nothing to prevent this from happening.

    The -SA clause works even better. And it's Free Software equivalent has a 20-year track record.

    Remember, CE is NOT a license, it's a mark. Used with Share Alike (copyleft) it achieves everything proponents of -NC claim they want, without inpinging on anyone's freedom. The -SA license is extremely powerful.

    (And not just because my own choice of license is not "libre" enough for a few people, Nina included.)

    Strange phrasing - not "libre" enough for me? That reads like you are taking this personally, which is unfortunate. You and I both know you don't need my approval, but we can still discuss ideas.

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: The conundrum

    Hi, Nina.

    The -SA clause works even better. And it's Free Software equivalent has a 20-year track record.

    If a record company released something, for profit, under an -SA licence, and makes a huge amount of money without paying the artist, how does that help artists be less exploited? From their perspective, it's no different from the system we have now.

    Sure, they wouldn't get to use the CE mark, but (for reasons I outlined above) that might not be enough.

    There are a huge amount of "mights" and "maybes" in all our arguments, of course. I suspect the best solution won't present itself until all the CC licenses are near-universally accepted, and we can see how things shake out. Making CC licenses generally accepted - even the ones that might not be libre enough - should be the free culture's highest priority, IMHO. Not endorsing -NC licenses doesn't help, especially when they seem to be the ones favored the most by artists.

    Now, you're just arguing for a different solution, and that doesn't hurt anyone. I'm just arguing for keeping the licensing ecosystem open, even to less-than-perfect licenses, so we can see which one achieves the best balance between everyone's rights and interests.

    Strange phrasing - not "libre" enough for me? That reads like you are taking this personally, which is unfortunate.

    Sorry, that's not what I meant. It was more a sort of caveat about my own motives. I know you're not attacking me personally. We're all just talkin' here.

    Which is not to say I don't take the subject personally, of course. It's why I get so pissed off about the RIAA, USCG and Righthaven. If I have "enemies" in this fight, they are entities like those, not people like you.

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 5:43am

    Re:

    They think they deserve the $20, but by asking for it, they drive most would be customers to the label--were the cut is probably $0.50 (provided that there's any payment at all!)

    I was thinking of physical releases in that situation. The label would have a lot more money, to produce a lot more releases cheaper, without bearing any of the costs of production. It's the "Wal-Mart" effect.

    But that's kind of an outdated example. Let's take licensing your music for a car commercial. Without some sort of -NC restriction (or a similar solution), the car company wouldn't need to spend a dime to use your music. From an artist's perspective, he or she has been exploited.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    Karl, you seem to have an inverted idea of exploitation.

    Record labels exploit artists through copyright by DENYING everyone the liberty to produce copies (including the artist), in order to enjoy the monopoly - being the only source of copies (to charge monopoly prices). Once signed, the artist cannot sell their own work - that is exploitation.

    Labels do not exploit artists by having the liberty to produce copies of their work.

    Exploitation is about getting people to work for nothing in return, or for far less than the free market value of their labour. Have you wondered why so many artists are considered lottery winners if they receive even 1% of the revenue the label obtains through sale of copies? Most artists see nothing (any advance is 'looked after' for them).

    You should also ask why so many software engineers publish their software under a copyleft license and do not feel exploited by Microsoft consequently able to sell copies of their work for any amount they like.

    If you would use CC-NC to suspend others' liberty to exchange their labour in a free market (to reserve that suspension for exploitation by a traditional publisher), then frankly, you shouldn't complain if you end up exploited by the publisher you eventually sell your copyright to (if they'd pay you anything for it, being devalued by your market saturation of free copies). If you prohibit anyone from using your work unless they do so unpaid, then you will see zero custom from those who might otherwise like to use your work in earning their own living.

    Artists deserve to be able to exchange their labour for money, so it's really perverse that so many pay lip service to this principle with themselves in mind, but disagree in practice through their act of denying this liberty to others by using the CC-NC license.

    If I print Nina Paley's cartoons on postcards and sell them, how am I exploiting her? If she'd used CC-NC I wouldn't use them, but because she doesn't and my postcards sell like hotcakes I'll be inclined to commission Nina to produce more cartoons for my cards.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re:

    The commercial would have to be released as Share Alike. Is that going to happen? If it does, it would be a bigger victory than one artist getting a license fee.

    Share Alike is like teflon to abusive exploitation. -NC is exactly what abusive exploiters want - a monopoly.

     

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  25.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 9:09am

    corey lol

    my license
    no corporate use
    everyone else enjoy

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hi again.

    The commercial would have to be released as Share Alike. Is that going to happen? If it does, it would be a bigger victory than one artist getting a license fee.

    Let's assume that it is released that way. That's not such a stretch, since I don't know of a single case where anyone was sued for remixing a commercial. (Exposure is the entire point of a commercial, and remixing helps that goal.)

    In that case, the public would benefit, since it is allowed to do whatever it wants with the commercial. And in the medium-term, it would make CC licenses more acceptable, which (in theory) benefits artists.

    But, let's say your artwork is used in a commercial, without permission or payment, and that commercial is itself released under an -SA license.

    How does that stop you, as an artist, from being exploited commercially? In what way does that increase the chances that you will get paid for your work?

    It may act as promotion, because it gets your art out to the public quicker. But that doesn't translate to more sales. Remember, we're in the realm of "CwF + RtB."

    I can think of a lot of bands (perhaps even most) who will lose money if their music is featured in even one commercial. The Dead Kennedys circa 1988, for example. They had (have?) a staunch anti-corporate message, and that message was part of their "CwF" model. If any license allowed them to appear even once in any commercial context, they would lose half their fans.

    So, in order to make our new commercial model work, we have to have a mechanism to prevent this from happening. And in these situations, the CE badge just wouldn't be good enough; you have to have a means to prevent this situation from happening at all. If we don't, then bands will be forced to reject CC/CA, so they can connect with fans. That's not a good idea.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 11th, 2010 @ 1:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Karl, you risk confusing 'use in a commercial' with 'commercial use'.

    You should be aware that even without copyright there is a moral right against an artist or their work being misrepresented, e.g. as falsely endorsing a product/religion/political party, etc.

    Many artists would rightly be concerned at themselves or their work being misrepresented in adverts, so this is a poor example with which to focus on the economic meaning of commercial use (that NC excludes).

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 11th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You should be aware that even without copyright there is a moral right against an artist or their work being misrepresented, e.g. as falsely endorsing a product/religion/political party, etc.

    Perhaps, but as far as I know there's no law on the books that recognizes this moral right. In theory, this is covered by copyright law. (Especially in other countries.)

    The "attribution" requirement of CC does, in fact, make this moral right clear.

    But I was talking about economic exploitation. One of the defenses for using unauthorized works is that the artist will actually make more money, because the use acts as promotion. That's often true, but it wouldn't be in this case. It's less about the moral right you're talking about, and more about the lack of economic gain that results.

    Perhaps the example I gave was confusing. I was just trying to present a situation where the use would not increase demand for the work.

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 11th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    If you would use CC-NC to suspend others' liberty to exchange their labour in a free market (to reserve that suspension for exploitation by a traditional publisher), then frankly, you shouldn't complain if you end up exploited by the publisher you eventually sell your copyright to

    The entire problem is that the difference between a "publisher" and one who wants to "exchange their labour in a free market" is often very hard to determine.

    And who says I'm advocating "selling the copyright," or that I want to "reserve that suspension for exploitation by a traditional publisher"? Nowhere did I suggest that only one entity should be authorized. I'm all for abolishing the "assignment" of rights altogether, but that's a separate topic.

    All I'm saying is that if someone makes a profit (publisher or not), and that profit is earned as a direct result of using my work, then I should have the option to be compensated. If not, then I should have the option to prevent them from using my work. (Whether I actually take that option is up to me.)

    If they do not intend to make a profit, then I shouldn't even have that option. Neither should anyone else.

    If you prohibit anyone from using your work unless they do so unpaid, then you will see zero custom from those who might otherwise like to use your work in earning their own living.

    That's not necessarily true. Web designers buy Photoshop, recording engineers buy mixing boards, etc. Licensing or direct sales to businesses can be a pretty lucrative business model, and one that I do not want to take away from artists. Especially now that the sale of art to the public is rapidly becoming a dead end.

    Now, there might be better business models out there. Nina is presenting one, but she's viewing it from a public rights perspective. From an artist's perspective, I remain skeptical.

    Also, there is a difference between "unpaid" and "not for profit." The line between them is very fuzzy, however.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 11th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    Photoshop isn't available under a CC-NC license last time I looked.

    If you're worried about taking something away from artists you should learn from the experts - record labels.

    The sale of copies has become a dead end. Fortunately, the sale of art direct to fans is beginning to see a resurgence.

    If you wove a basket and sold it for $10, would you require a share of the profits if the purchaser then resold it for $50?

    It's nice to be granted a monopoly so only you can keep on selling copies of your work. Some people can only sell their work once.

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 11th, 2010 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    Photoshop isn't available under a CC-NC license last time I looked.

    I meant that most people who make money will be willing to buy the tools to do so.

    Also, Adobe does sell the same software for different prices depending on use - student licenses, for example. But that's neither here nor there.

    If you're worried about taking something away from artists you should learn from the experts - record labels.

    From an artist's perspective, record labels would have more "rights" than they currently do. That's the heart of my objection, actually. Nina's system benefits the public, but it also gives more power to commercial enterprises than it does to the artists themselves. The balance is still off.

    The sale of copies has become a dead end. Fortunately, the sale of art direct to fans is beginning to see a resurgence.

    If you're talking about music, that's true. What about non-performance art? Photography, for example?

    If you wove a basket and sold it for $10, would you require a share of the profits if the purchaser then resold it for $50?

    No - but they would have to buy the basket for $10. They couldn't just steal it. (Hey, it's your example.)

    It's nice to be granted a monopoly so only you can keep on selling copies of your work. Some people can only sell their work once.

    Selling your work once is called "work for hire." In these cases, the artists don't earn royalties or hold the copyrights, so they couldn't use a CC license in the first place.

    What we seem to be talking about is not being able to sell your work at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 12th, 2010 @ 1:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    Actually, I'm all for selling one's work, and having the right to sell it in a free market (denied by copyright and such licenses as CC-NC).

    If I spend a day weaving a basket I've copied from an expert weaver, I have a right to sell my labour - without that expert having a monopoly that prevents copies being made of his baskets.

    If I spend a day remixing a few videos I've found on YouTube, I have a right to sell my labour - without any monopoly having been granted to the producers of my source videos to prevent me.

    So, I'm all for selling work, and I've got no problem with people making and selling copies.

    The problem is that there's an 18th century privilege called copyright that scuppers all this - a now ineffective monopoly that makes people think they should be able to sell copies that cost next to nothing to make for the price of an hour's labour. A lucrative prospect, but achieved most unethically at the cost of everyone's cultural liberty.

    The market for copies at inflated prices is over. The free market in intellectual work resumes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 12th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    If I spend a day remixing a few videos I've found on YouTube, I have a right to sell my labour

    You know, I've been thinking about situations like this quite a bit. The issue here is not necessarily that the work is being used for profit, but that a derivative work is being used for profit.

    So, say I release music as CC-BY-NC, but I do not place a "no derivatives" restriction on it, and I do not place a "share-alike" restriction on it.

    In this case, it seems to me that people would not be allowed to use my works for profit, but it would allow them to use derivatives of my works for profit.

    Am I wrong about this?

    If I am right, doesn't this seem to be the most fair solution all around? People don't get to "steal" my content for profit, but if they transform it through their own labor, I have no right to demand a share of their fruits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 12th, 2010 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The conundrum

    On reflection, this may not work as I intended. Because including a work in another, for-profit work - e.g. including my music in a commercial - is technically considered a "derivative work."

    So, this solution would enable artists to defend themselves against publishers and labels, but not against e.g. corporations who would include their works in advertisements without permission.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    EdB (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: what other options are there?

    Thanks for the reply, and I just wanted to say I'm hip to the CE mark and think it is a good thing. Heck I might even use it myself (is why I thought about this old-ish post) in a real and valid manner. I'm not one to try to be all sneaky-pete and imply I'm sharing with those who give freely.

    Still, I must be missing something because to use the mark properly doesn't seem to need anything more than sharing some revenue with at least one contributor. I'll have to look at the CE Mark's page again I guess. I figure what I'll do is find a way to express to a visitor what I share back with whom so as not to create any false impression.

    And now to scroll up and find the link which I probably bookmarked ... and lost in a sea of bookmarks cuz I bookmark first and ask questions later. doh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:20pm

    great post guys

    thx

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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