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. icon
    Karl (profile), 11 Sep 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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