Archive for the ‘creative commons’ Category

I have a CC bias, eh?

May 13, 2011

This post CC-BY-SA.


stupid nerd turf wars

May 21, 2010

xkcd original source

Creative Commons licensing for Utah educators

January 2, 2010

Tom got me thinking about this here and here. Some great progress in Utah public schools comes in the form of Rule R277-111. In short, teachers have the right to share their lessons under Creative Commons licenses.

Of course, teachers should have the freedom to share the resources they author. Denying this freedom runs counter to progressive practice. It is good to see this right explicitly stated. Hopefully this will catch fire.

Via Luke and David Wiley.

the sting of ‘All Rights Reserved’

May 22, 2009

A) Often, one has an ethical obligation to share


B) One has a legal burden not to

Obama, McCain, and Lessig

October 27, 2008

Glyn Moody calls it libel:

Although it is unclear at this point who Senators Obama and McCain might choose, AAP believes it essential that key officials who will deal with intellectual property issues in a new administration have a full understanding of the importance of intellectual property rights for those who hold these rights and for broader U.S. economic and trade interests. AAP is concerned, for example, that based on their past academic relationship, Senator Obama might choose among his appointments a divisive figure such as Larry Lessig – a law professor and leading proponent of diminished copyright rights.

Suggesting that Lawrence Lessig would make a poor advisor due to an insufficient understanding of the effects of US copyright law, is ludicrous. Not only does Lessig understand copyright, he understands copyright in a digital and networked world – the world some publishing companies fight to put the brakes on using DRM and the DMCA. Most importantly, Lessig understands that our new technologies don’t fit the old law. It’s this mismatch that drives the conflict and division, not him. If anyone has done the work it takes to find a common ground – a solution that not only respects the importance of copyright but is pragmatic in the face of new technology, it’s Lessig.

Obama should not only request Lessig’s assistance, he should beg him for it.

copyright as “property”? – responding to Doug Johnson

March 31, 2008

Doug Johnson:

Peter, it seems to me (and I am happy to stand corrected), that you are arguing that if you can bring the cost of material and production of something to near zero, one is also obligated to bring the intangible value of that thing to zero as well. Personally, I don’t believe that.

What I’m arguing is that as the cost of copying/storage hits (virtually) zero, the illegitimate pressure put upon the public by the “property” approach is exacerbated. The “property” view (i.e. All Rights Reserved) is inherently antisocial and unethical. A prohibition on sharing is not needed to generate value for works under copyright. What all authors (and lawmakers) are morally obligated to do is allow the public to copy and share culture freely.

So, it seems to me (and I am happy to stand corrected) that Doug argues that if the public is allowed to copy and share, then the economic potential related to works under copyright is brought to (or brought close to) zero. Personally, I don’t believe that, and the evidence suggests otherwise. Forfeiting the “property” approach does not mean giving up any economic value inherent to the work whatsoever. Of course, the economic value of manufacturing material storage (e.g. CDs) and physical shipping may be diminished, but that’s the industry’s problem to solve, not the artist’s. Shipping and handling is not an artistic endeavor. In fact, any artist relying upon shipping and handling as their primary source of income is clearly not authoring art worthy of a livelihood.

Doug’s misunderstanding of my position is significant. If we really felt that artists should be “obligated” to make the value of their work “zero” then we would have to advocate such works be put anonymously in the public domain. In order for a work to have zero economic value to the artist, that artist would have to forfeit attribution and all other identifiable rights under copyright law (even then, it may be difficult to stop some economic value from reaching the artist). Of course, advocating such a position would be absurd. Such a position is the polar extreme of the 20th-century, copyright-as-“property” view Doug holds dear to.

my latest purchase…

March 3, 2008

Unlike Radiohead’s free beer release of In Rainbows, I bought Nine Inch Nails’ free speech release of Ghosts I – IV.

Thank you! Your order is now complete. In a few minutes you’ll receive emails from with your download link and receipt.

$5 download (1) $5.00
Shipping & Handling $0.00
Total $5.00

free culture: seal of approval

February 21, 2008

Because software is work of a practical nature, users need freedoms that extend beyond works of mainly aesthetic appeal. That is, because software is functional, some normally unacceptable restrictions (derivation, commercialization) actually act as acceptable bargaining chips in the context of copyright when applied to cultural works.

While these restrictions often go against the public interest, they are not unethical and can be balanced by a reasonable time limit. Nonetheless, the impact these restrictions have on the public crosses a line worthy of definition. And for CC-licensed works not crossing that line, we now have a seal of approval.

Link via Rob Myers.

IANAL either but…

January 22, 2008

Wes Fryer:

The biggest mistake made in this case was by the Virgin Mobile Australia marketing team that decided to use this image without permission, from either the Flickr user who posted it (Alison’s camp counselor) or from Alison and her parents, since she is a minor.

No. The biggest copyright-related mistake was committed by the person who put the image on the web without permission from the subject (a minor) of the photograph. Virgin was in the right to use the work as dictated by the license they saw. Placing that kind of responsibility on Virgin is unrealistic. A model release is the responsibility of the publisher (update: see comments), not Virgin. Wes asks:

Why did the Virgin Mobile Australia marketing team not send a message to Alison’s counselor, asking for his permission to use the photo he’d published?

Because the CC license said they didn’t need permission so long as they respected attribution.

Wes continues:

While it was true the camp counselor published the photo under a Creative Commons license, the Virgin Mobile Australia marketing team failed to meet the most basic requirement of a Creative Commons license: Providing attribution for the source of the photo.

Is this claim of failure to attribute true? I’m not so sure it is. However, it’s a secondary issue because if it’s true that a model release was never obtained, then the buck stops with the publisher, not Virgin.

While Wes correctly notes the bogus title of this article, it seems that the only lawsuit possible is not one of copyright but of libel. Apparently, the advertisement came with a tag-line “Free text virgin to virgin” – which the plaintiff may (absurdly, IMO) attempt to argue caused suffering to Alison Chang.

Perhaps I’m missing something that someone can point out. Otherwise, I don’t understand Wes’ advice that:

If CC permission is granted and your publication is high-profile, get additional explicit permission.

CC and Virgin dismissed from case

November 29, 2007

That’s good news.

Generally speaking, if anyone should be questioned over privacy concerns in a case like this, it’s the subject who published the photos and the subject who is photographed.