On 3/9/07, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Nice chat with someone from FourDocs
) yesterday, about freeing content
or at least making it a useful resource for our projects.
"We'd love our stuff on Wikipedia. It's all Creative Commons!"
released a pile of documentaries under CC by-nc-nd, which is about as
paralysingly unfree as you can get and still tag it CC. We talked
about really-free-content licences - where you can take something and
reuse and remix it, and even make money off the result, without prior
permission - and how scary they are to those who've spent years
learning the ridiculous twists and turns needed to clear a piece of
footage for a single with-permission use.
That FourDocs could even manage CC-by-nc-nd with streaming only (not
downloadable files) was remarkable given the state of movie copyright.
Even the BBC, which is all about the content, has about half the staff
keen to release everything freely and widely and the other half
horrified at the idea.
Today's question: what the hell can we do to come up with something
big content producers will feel able to release under an actually free
licence? Something they can feel safe to relax control on? If we can
get one, we can get more. What can we do to get that first one?
We already have the US Federal government. Given that no one else has
followed that I'm not sure the position that if we can get one content
producer to do it they will all follow will work too well.
Sometimes companies will do it as a one off (the new scientist
published a copyleft article a few years back) but given that their
entire profit model is based around controlling content I can't see
that becoming widespread.
If we can't even get public libraries to cooperate (response to asking
if I could use some of their scans of PD work under CC-BY-SA I get
"yes you can use it on your website" no helpful.). I don't think we
have much of a chance with companies who's entire operating model is
based around content control.
So in terms of choice of targets public libraries, museums and the
various national archives might have a slightly higher chance of
(Thanks for not much to Creative Commons for making
some versions of
CC by-sa 3.0 - not all, just some - not actually free licenses, with
onerous codification of moral rights that are default anyway in the
countries affected. Well done. And then you have wikis using licenses
like by-nc-nd that are nonsensical in a wiki context - thinking a No
Derivatives license doesn't contradict the whole idea of text anyone
can edit, because it's Creative Commons. Stallman was right again.)
However given the number of homespun lisences that add wierd and
contradictory terms (you may use this under the GPL as long as you ask
permission first) I don't think we can really blame CC for that one.