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Creative Commons Urged To Drop Non-Free Clauses In CC 4.0 223

TheSilentNumber writes "A member of Students for Free Culture has just published a thorough and detailed post calling for the retirement of the non-free clauses, NoDerivatives (ND) and NonCommercial (NC). They state, 'The NC and ND clauses not only depend on, but also feed misguided notions about their purpose and function.' and that 'Instead of wasting effort maintaining and explaining a wider set of conflicting licenses, Creative Commons as an organization should focus on providing better and more consistent support for the licenses that really make sense.'" Note that the opinions expressed are of the author alone and not necessarily the entire organization. More info on the process of revising the CC licenses.
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Creative Commons Urged To Drop Non-Free Clauses In CC 4.0

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  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Monday August 27, 2012 @06:53PM (#41143261) Homepage

    One of the worrying things about using CC material is: What is a derivative work?

    This matters for the viral/copyleft CC-SA (CC Share and Share Alike) license.

    For example, if you have a web page, and you either excerpt or publish a full Wikipedia article, along with your other content, have you just given permission to people to use your content from that webpage?

    Is the virality of the CC-SA limited just to the part which you excerpt, or the whole webpage, or your whole website?

    I.e., you include some CC-SA material, and now your entire website is considered a "work", and it's a derivative. What if you also have GPL and GFDL stuff in the mix? Which license wins?

    If you include CC-SA stuff on a CD, does the entire CD become CC-SA?

  • Re:Newsworthy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Volanin ( 935080 ) on Monday August 27, 2012 @06:56PM (#41143285)

    Newsworth? I don't know. But absolutely Awarenessworth! Currently, more and more people are releasing their own music and videos under the CC licenses for our own free enjoyment, and also it's one of the greatest forces we have against the ever increasing stupidity of the big labels.

  • No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Monday August 27, 2012 @06:59PM (#41143311)

    I like using NC for images, and I think people are a lot more likely to release their images under this (without this clause they may be less likely release them as CC at all, and just keep them closed).

    I really dislike that wikipedia won't accept NC stuff, though.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:02PM (#41143337)

    If I say, make an art asset and post it to say, OpenGameArt, I have a choice of options.

    I can list it as one of the CC licenses, for instance, or even under a derivative of the GPL.

    Personally, I am a fan of CC:SA. I don't mind a small time person using that asset to make a game. That's why I donated it in the first place. That does not mean I want say, Zygna to go "Oh, art assets? FOR FREE!? OM NOM NOM NOM!"

    It is this latter one that I feel warrants the "no commercial" verbiage, even today. The tradgedy of the commons happens when the commons is not protected, and happens without fail. Would I care if a small "for profit" project, like is often done with humble bundle used it? Not so much, as long as they gave attribution in 10pt font in the credits or smething. But Zygna? Fuck them.

    The problem is that it is a binary on/off situation with commercial use. I would happily give an indie project commercial use rights, but it would be a cold day in hell when a major studio would get it.

    If there were some finer granularity, I would use it, but in place of that, "no commercial" is at least a step in the right direction.

    Removing it let's abusive companies go om nom nom with community assets.

  • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:03PM (#41143345) Homepage

    "have you just given permission to people to use your content from that webpage?" -- All creative commons licenses require you to post a notice that the covered material is licensed under X license (where X can be CC-BY-SA, or CC-BY, etc), and that such a statement must be made in a manner 'appropriate to the medium' or some such language. If you had a webpage, that would presumably require a statement and a link to the text of the license. If you fail to do that, you are in violation of the license and could be sued for copyright infringement. (At which point, you could claim fair use as your defense)

  • Re:Poorly Argued (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:36PM (#41143705) Homepage Journal

    The NC version of the license is the only one I would ever willingly use, and that's coming from someone who is very familiar with copyright law. There's no misinformation involved. It simply doesn't bother me whether the definition of commercial use is precisely defined or vague, and honestly, I'd prefer that it be deliberately vague. If you are anywhere near that line, you should ask for permission. If you aren't anywhere near that line, you don't have to.

    The only situation where it shouldn't be obvious would be posting something on a website on which you also sell ads. My rule on that is pretty simple: if you are an individual and those ads are basically intended to cover your bandwidth bill, you're fine. If you're a company or other organization, or if you are an individual who is making a living off of ad revenue, you're clearly on the other side of that line. If you're worried, ask.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:31AM (#41145883)

    Then you're missing the point of Wikipedia. It's not the site, it's the collection of human knowledge that you can distribute, sell, use and reprint. If you put NC works on Wikipedia, you'd essentially enrich the site, but this won't benefit the encyclopedia. All you'd achieve is make it impossible for someone to print and sell Wikipedia article with your image in it.

    As for your exaggerated example with Monstanto, don't worry, they have enough money to make photographs for themselves, and if they do take yours, don't expect winning big in court. So you're harming only the small guy in the end.

  • Re:Newsworthy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:06AM (#41146007) Journal

    You don't know how right you are friend. I mean if you were a company looking at using and contributing to an Open Source project so you could use the code in some hardware you were working on wouldn't you think twice after RMS named a company by name with an attack clause in the new GPL? I know I would, it makes him look like he is using the license to settle personal scores, which I'd argue he is. Considering how many nasty things he's had to say about Google I wouldn't be surprised if GPL V4 has an "Anti-Androidization" clause in it.

    But that is the problem with zealotry in a nutshell, its "You are with me or against me" with no middle ground. Removing the middle ground of ND and NC will simply make that many more shy away from using a CC license and letting us enjoy their work because they won't want to see that work sold or even twisted, like the girl that had her picture taken for a car ad and ended up in magazines half the world away in ads that made her sound like a hooker.

    Isn't it funny though how you can change one or two words, here and there, and TFA sounds like a pro corporate speech? I always found it amusing that zealots on either side of a debate use similar enough language that all it would take is a few alterations to turn one into the other, kinda like how you can take all the anti-BSD posts about "stealing" and "theft" and with just a few words make it into a pro *.A.A speech. I always found that kinda interesting, although when you point that out oh boy do the zealots get mad!

  • Re:Newsworthy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:33AM (#41146089) Journal

    Actually I don't think that is what happened with gay people at all. I live in a small church college town in the middle of the bible belt, where you'd think it would be VERY far right on the issue of gays, buts its not, why? Because gay people quit hiding and instead of getting in everyone's face like the extremists simply chose to live their lives, no different than anyone else.

    Now nobody says a word about the gal working at the cigarette shop, or the guy that works at the deli,or the dozens of others, they are simply open and make no bones about it one way or another. Its a lot easier to hate some group if you've never (to your knowledge) had any contact with them, its a lot harder when you know you are talking about that nice young man that cuts your hair or the girl waiting on you at your favorite diner.

User hostile.