There is a type of criticism against Creative Commons which has grown quite prominent within the copyleft recently. The main tenet in this line of argumentation seems to be that CC through its reliance on the existing copyright regime actually reinforces copyright. For example, Crosbie Fitch recently examplified this stance […]
I don’t find the “CC enhance copyright argument” convincing in it’s purest form, but it does presuppose copyright, so when I was talking about CC in copyright-free Belgrade I felt like a bit of a Useful Idiot for copyright.
And people do tend to regard CC licenses as a complete expression (neccessary and sufficient) of freedom. Some open source developers and MySpace commentators have regarded CC as a kind of negative Broadcast Flag; a sign of permission that means no permission is there if it is absent. CC also trains people to look for permission, where possibly we should be fighting for Fair Use. So this isn’t an open and cut case.
CC licenses are meant, like the GPL, to be a judo-throw using copyright law’s weight against itself. They may affect perception of copyright, but unless their use is formalized they do not in themselves strengthen it. This is a serious risk though, and it must be borne in mind and tackled.