links for 2007-09-22

4 replies on “links for 2007-09-22”

That’s another one of the flaws with CC, it’s copyright focussed – not rights focussed.
There’s more to information and its communication than the privilege of a reproduction monopoly.
Nullify your copyright or use it, but even when nullified, and you’ve restored the public’s rights, this restoration doesn’t exempt you from observing those rights, i.e. the rights to life, privacy, truth, and liberty. And of course, these apply just as much to the photographer’s subjects as they do to members of their audience.
Creating a facility (cc) to modulate an unethical privilege (C) instead of to nullify it (copyleft) is a moral abdication. It’s like a hacker who publishes a way for Taser owners to not only control the intensity of the shock, but also to make it selective, e.g. full strength for dark skin vs weak for white skin. Oh, and for actors, this setting keeps the zap sound and spark effect, but just makes it tickle.

CC: Phasers on stun. 😉
One thing I hope doesn’t come out of this case is CC instituting some kind of depictee’s moral rights or model release language in the licences. This would harm journalism, street photography, and other forms of non-advertising production or use of photography.
The other thing I hope doesn’t gain from this is the “NC for photography” meme. The problem in this case isn’t commercial use, the problem is that advertising companies really really really should know the law for the area they work in.
I think that CC are rights focussed (they speak of a spectrum of rights, and Lessig talked about rights in “Free Culture”) but they chose copyright as the medium for expressing these rights. As this case shows, in some instances copyright is not enough to cover all the issues.

I don’t really think there’s any hope for what CC should or shouldn’t do. It quickly lost sight of a ‘creative commons’ (copyleft domain) in a misguided attempt to create a migration path for copyright holders to traverse from ‘My monopoly’ to ‘Not my monopoly’.
It then settled down as simply a pick’n’mix copyright licence with a variety of flavours.
Which means it’ll not stop to add any more exciting flavours such as ‘Embargo until date or announced release’, e.g. “Free to make private copies or prepare derivatives, but these may not be published until returns 200″.
As to moral rights, these apply to one’s body and its appearance as well as speech or any art one produces.
I’d be interested in your enumeration of the rights in CC’s ‘spectrum of rights’.
CC and Lessig adopt the common conflation of rights with privileges.
And as you observe, copyright is not enough. There are more rights at stake than those suspended by copyright. But more importantly, a copyright licence is the last place to do anything concerning rights except restore those it otherwise suspends. The law should be the thing to protect rights. It is unfortunate that a commercial privilege that suspends them for a supposedly limited time has also been accepted as law. The solution to this internal conflict is to abolish copyright. In the interim we nullify it per work.

It’s a spectrum. Spectrums are good. Like rainbows. And unicorns. So BY, NC and ND give rights to-. Er.
There’s a meme that the CC licences go from most to least restrictive as ND, SA, NC, BY. So this would kind of be the spectrum, and the rights would be distribution, modification, commercial use and I don’t know how SA fits into that. But I don’t agree with the last bit of that scheme for much the same reason that I don’t agree that BSD is more free than the GPL.
So this is a vague continuum, with each licence more un-harmful than the last. Why not just go for the least harmful licence (SA)? Because, the argument presumably goes, the other licences make smaller gains more likely and in aggregate these gains will be greater than a few purists using BY-SA. This is the opposite of Stallman’s “last free hacker” scenario.
Stallman’s agenda for software is an ethical one, with the copyright licence just a means to an end. I’ve often thought that CC needed a project like GNU to drive their licencing. It’s a shame they weren’t ready in time for Wikipedia; if they’d produced just a licence for that it wouldn’t have been ND or ND…
I think it’s a common opinion that CC shouldn’t have called themselves creative *commons*.

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