CreativeCommonsDRM-This is getting recursive


Beth Kanter [BY-NC-SA] has just posted a fantastic and eloquent summary of the ‘CreativeCommonsDRM’ conversation to date – You MUST READ IT ALL.  What I am enjoying about this conversation is the variety ways those involved are licensing their work with what seems to be a common objective of being the most open

And to top it off, she has constructed this rather recursive little image:

Tarmo Toikkanen – [BY-SA] ‘the non-commercial clause is considered harmful (google for it)’

Well, google for it I did, and confused more than ever I am.  The top search result references an article based upon [Erik Möller 2005. This article is in the public domain. Feel free to use it for any purpose. It is also a living document whose editable main copy resides at] 

This article begins with an argument similar to my own findings that you may find NC restricting use of your work that you would rather encourage.  This argument is presented in  four points and an observation – ‘that number of circumstances [that NC is useful] should decrease as the business models around free content evolve‘.

The conclusion contains the phrase  ‘If you want to protect yourself against large scale exploitation, use a Share-Alike license‘.  But here is the thing – forcing every future use of my work to be licensed exactly the same is an even greater restriction which will almost certainly dimish the chances of my work being re-used.  I would rather be famous and exploited than not have my work discovered at all.  And at a practical level, Beth Kanter and I have already run into trouble with her SA, my lack of it and NC and our desire to collaborate.  (Check the comments on this flickr photo).

Stephen Downes – [BY-NC] ‘The reason I use the non-commercial license is that I believe that allowing commercial use will reduce and restrict future use. In other words, I believe that the non-commercial license is the most open. Why? …

Now this has got me thinking because I certainly want to be the most open and I suspect that in the long term, history will prove Stephen right (as usual).  But my son made an interesting comment when I asked him how he would feel about licensing his band’s music this way – ‘isn’t it a bit soon to give up on the idea of trying to sell our music to people who are happy to pay for it?‘.  I think this timing issue, how we move from where we are today to the future where most digital content is free, is at the heart of what we are wrestling with here.

Leigh Blackall – [BY] ‘Now, I am on the brink of Public Domain myself… ‘ – and a cool screencast on sourcing creative commons pictures.

So, Leigh – exactly HOW would you license a flickr photo as public domain?  Part of me thinks its all just too hard, why not make everything public domain and be done with it!   The problem is that what really motivates me in all this creativity is RECOGNITION (which is what LearnDog is all about) and I wonder who would bother t

o attribute my Public Domain work.  But then again, as my experiments have shown (and future CreativeCommonsDRM posts will elaborate), it is really hard to give attribution to all the contributors of multi-generation re-mix, and even harder to design and build software to help automate that.

Thanks all for your contributions to this important conversation.  Keep em coming and please try to use the string ‘CreativeCommonsDRM’ or better still explicitly tag stuff so I can keep an eye on the conversation threads.

Fang – Mike Seyfang


About mseyfang

Interruptus Digitalis
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21 Responses to CreativeCommonsDRM-This is getting recursive

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