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Creative Commons Releases "Zero" License

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ain't-nothin'-to-it-baby dept.

Announcements 209

revealingheart writes "Plagiarism Today reports on the release of the Creative Commons Zero license, which allows you to waive copyright and related rights to your works, improving on the existing public domain dedication. This follows-on from their original announcement on CC0. The CC0 waiver system is a major step forward for the Creative Commons Organization in terms of their public domain efforts. Even though it isn't a true public domain dedication, it only waives the rights as far as they can be waived (Note: Moral rights, in many countries, can not be outright waived), it opens up what is likely as close to a public domain option as practical under the current legal climate."

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209 comments

Heh (4, Funny)

daxomatic (772926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005611)

I will Waive my First Post

How amusing (4, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005641)

I find it sadly amusing that copyright and similar concepts has gotten so far that there should be countries in which it is not possible to waive elements of it

Re:How amusing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27005653)

Indeed. If only there was a country where we could waive ALL our rights, what a country that would be!

Re:How amusing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27005681)

Exists. Unfortunately, for the residents, waiving all of your rights is obligatory...

Re:How amusing (1)

daxomatic (772926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005803)

I tried to say:
I one would not acknowledge something they would make/create/write, there is noting to waive?
AKA guerrilla style art(or fill in your poison) making..
Its there but know one knows who made it.

Perhaps i have should written it as a coward but then again, im not..

Re:How amusing (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005885)

In North Korea, the government waives them for you.

(sorry, couldn't resit)

Re:How amusing (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007241)

There is actually a logical backing for that. Think of the music industry, for example: they'll take anything they possibly can from their artists, if they can get away with it. Making certain rights legally impossible to waive puts a brick wall in the way of some of the more potentially abusive contracts that they would otherwise try to write up.

Re:How amusing (4, Insightful)

brusk (135896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007303)

Exactly. It's like certain rights under labor law: making them inviolable, impossible even willingly to give away, precludes certain abuses. Just as I can't give up my basic human rights in a contract (e.g., selling myself into indentured servitude), I shouldn't be able to give up certain rights over work I produce. For example, in France "moral rights" include the right of an artist to claim to have produced a certain work of art (which is distinct from ownership of the physical work or of rights to copy it). The artist retains the right to "disown" a work or to claim authorship of it. That could matter, for example, in the attribution of a literary prize, which depends on the authorship of a work but not on its copyright status. And it makes perfect sense that one not be allowed to sign away that basic right.

Re:How amusing (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007517)

Of course, that ignores whether or not authors should have such rights to begin with. Copyrights only ought to be granted if, and to the extent that, they provide a public benefit, ideally the greatest possible public benefit. The creation and publication of works is beneficial, as is having those works as unrestricted as possible, as rapidly as possible. In the US, we traditionally haven't granted moral rights, and we barely do now (most authors don't get them, as it happens). Yet we manage to have incentivized plenty of authors anyway. If a restriction (which is inherently bad) isn't mitigated by anything (as is the case here, with these restrictions having no material incentivizing effect upon authors), it is unjustifiable.

Plus, of course, it's absurd to compare waiving copyright with waving human rights. There is a good reason to not permit people to sell themselves into slavery. There's not a good reason to prohibit selling (or in this case waiving to the public) rights over a mere creative work. Sure, sometimes authors will happen to make a bad deal with a publisher. So what. That can happen to everyone. Should a person who sells land be allowed to take it back many years down the road, when huge oil deposits are discovered there? Authors are not children, and it is insulting and improper for the law to treat them paternalistically.

Re:How amusing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27007597)

In the US, we traditionally haven't granted moral rights, and we barely do now (most authors don't get them, as it happens). Yet we manage to have incentivized plenty of authors anyway.

It seems to me that moral rights - ie, being recognised as the original author of a particular work - aren't about incentivizing authors. They may have that effect, but their main purpose is more like trademark law: if I see a book written by J.K. Rowling, I want to know that it's actually been written by her, and not by someone else who has been forced to give up their credit.

I'm actually rather worried that attribution is being lumped in with distribution under the banner of copyright. I'd like to see exclusive distribution rights limited to a term of 6-12 months, but I'm perfectly happy with attribution rights existing in perpetuity.

Re:How amusing (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007883)

It seems to me that moral rights - ie, being recognised as the original author of a particular work - aren't about incentivizing authors.

If it isn't causing more works to be created and published, then it isn't outweighing the harm it causes, and ought not to exist.

their main purpose is more like trademark law: if I see a book written by J.K. Rowling, I want to know that it's actually been written by her, and not by someone else who has been forced to give up their credit.

So I take it that you are morally opposed to the Carolyn Keene corpus of works? Authors should not be compelled to take their names off of their works. But if an author is willing to do so, for whatever reason (usually money), then I trust the author to be the best judge of his own affairs. I won't second-guess him, and I certainly won't muscle in and compel him to do otherwise. If the author later regrets what he's done, then he's learned a good lesson. Just like anyone else who has made a bad deal. Making mistakes is a part of life; why are authors so special that they should be protected from themselves?

As for trademarks, nothing prevents authors from using trademarks to begin with, and many do make use of them. Why have two legal regimes, when one will suffice? Note, incidentally, that trademarks can be created or abandoned, and can be bought and sold. These features do not impair them. Note also that trademarks are meant to serve the public interest by protecting consumers -- specifically by allowing consumers to expect that like-marked goods originate from a common source, and thus are of similar quality. E.g. one bottle of Coke tastes just like another; there's no danger that one bottle will taste like Coke, another like Pepsi, and yet another like Moxie. Moral rights, though, don't serve a public interest. They aren't used to protect the public from deception, but only to protect an author's ego.

I couldn't care less about that, and as authors are demonstrably perfectly willing to create and publish in the absence of an attribution right, they don't actually care about it either, despite whatever noises they might make.

Re:How amusing (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007787)

As the other reply indicates, this ISN'T about copyright but about moral rights. They're not completely unrelated, but they are significantly different beasts. They're just hard to wrap one's head around in an Anglo-American legal context, because the concept basically doesn't exist. Things like attribution are treated as matters of "fact" in the British system and its derivatives, not as rights.

Re:How amusing (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007891)

because the concept basically doesn't exist

There is a good reason that it basically doesn't exist. Indeed, it entirely should not exist; moral rights are a stupid idea, with no redeeming features. Don't confuse my hatred for the idea for a lack of understanding. Indeed, if I didn't understand them, I probably wouldn't recognize them for the crap that they are.

One side effect of this license (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27005659)

Is that all of your licensed items will be zero calorie and sold by Coca-Cola.

So, then "Zero" is still... (0)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005757)

UNO?

"Even though it isn't a true public domain dedication, it only waives the rights as far as they can be waived (Note: Moral rights, in many countries, can not be outright waived),"

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005917)

I think that in the U.S. copyright law, the only moral rights that have been codified are for certain visual works. [wikipedia.org] Moral rights are a much more European idea, and never gained much traction here.

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005945)

In some countries, it can potentially be zero, in others it would be uno...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law) [wikipedia.org]

So it's more like "zero, or as close to zero as possible"

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (5, Funny)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006689)

Hey, has anyone done the physics of this. Given that lawyers deal in quantum states (guilty/ not guilty; mine/ not mine) and that the participants are all identical (equal rights), then when you get sufficiently close to zero, Bose-Einstein stats apply and you get a condensate. I'm not sure what the actual entity then looks like, but there must be a physicist out there who has also studied up on what poets or programmers do when they can use everything.

Reading up on the Wikipedia < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose-Einstein_Condensate> article, the thing to be wary of is a bosenova - a spontaneous explosion in which a whole bunch of participants disappear. As a near zero copy-left condensate looks very similar to a communist state, it looks very much like an opportunity for someone to propose a Bose-Einstein-Lenin condensate, wherein all the workers are equal, until a megalomaniac arises. Or if the work is in programming, a robotic overlord.

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007257)

Yes?

I presume given your sig, and your comment, that your interest, and therefore your consciousness is tuned toward quantum += mechanics, so thats how you relate to things.

But I think that basically what you are saying is what Karl Marx said about the transitions of government: Capitalism to Socialism to Communism, and then repeat, or reverse.

So fundamentally anything related to laws and regulations, may go through the same sort of cycle.

Or I could have misinterpreted what you said entirely. After reading the wiki you pointed to, perhaps what you meant was more like a radical freedom, or even what could be called chaos, and then inevitable reformation, but it's basically the same.

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (1)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007797)

My sig reflects a preoccupation with the ambiguity of language, and also I'm 60 and while I accept QM, I'm still gob-smacked by it.

I'm interested in history, but my competence is sketchy at best. However...

Marxism did not deal in cycles - it proposed that each transitional government/state had inherent contradictions, which developed into an opposition to the state. After conflict, that was resolved into a newer, better state, and so on to a perfect communist state. So it was more sinusoidal on an upwards slope. Marx was a philosopher, not a manipulative politician. Nice guy, killed lots of people. Religions do that.

Lenin on the other hand, destructively took over the Russian revolution, supposedly creating a soviet of free and equal workers. The implication was that the perfectly structured society had been created, now all they had to do was work together to make it physically perfect. Helleleua brother.

Incidentally, I agree with the concept of CC0 - but it is a mechanism for gifting fragments of work, not for applying to everything. The Open Source community and the open music community do envision CC0 as quite widely applying. Suppose it is so wide that it is the majority rule.

In a CC0 society, the workers are all equal. Government has withered away. They take from society according to their needs, and give of their bounty. It is a requirement that all be equal, but society can define that. My language play was on the 'zero' concept, whereby temperature in a quantum environment was similar and possibly identical mathematically to rights status. If enough material (code, images, text) is in a zero state that individuals can function as social animals, then the society could be described as a Bose-Einstein condensate. I am really playing with words in a way, but laws are rules, and physical objects seem to have become indistinguishable from rule sets. I really do not know where the borders are.

Suppose, from a programmers perspective, you have a right to take others code, grab snippets, build anew, and then return that to the code collective. The Open Source Soviet. It can work, provided you have no food, clothing or shelter worries, and status is a function of contribution. I am a bit too cynical to believe it is stable, except in a monastery sense. That is, isolated communist societies can exist, and be very stable, provided they isolate themselves from the main - monasteries.

Marxism was supposed to be a science. I quoted Bose-Einstein to imply that you could apply 20th century science to it, where the workers of all lands had united. Maybe even make a sort of sense. That would be the fun bit. Like applying maths to financial systems.

The nasty bit is that societies really do seem to be groups wanting leaders, and that there are manipulative individuals who want to dominate. In short, the equality would break down. That is my cynic's evaluation.

So does a pool of rubidium atoms act as a nice model for a full copy-left society? Unlikely, but I am an aging chemist, not a physicist. Suppose they are a useful model, an analog social computer. The explosion observed in an actual B-E condensate, the bosenova, implies that they are not a perfect final state, a Soviet. So apart from cynicism, it is possible that a CC0 community has its inherent failures built in. Well, some of them have. It might be just a matter of spotting the causes, and snipping those bits out of the gene pool. You need a distant cold Gulag for the counter-revolutionary programmers. Call it Seattle.

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007849)

Are bosenovae in any way related to Bossanova?

Re:So, then "Zero" is still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27008003)

I think those are Boolean states, not quantum states

BSD (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005859)

Is this similar to the BSD license for software?

Come to think of it, can the CC licenses be applied to software?

goes further (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005995)

The BSD license is basically, "you may use this for any purpose, as long as you retain this copyright notice". There's also an implicit, "and as long as no other law prevents you from doing so". That's roughly equivalent to most uses of the Creative Commons Attribution license [creativecommons.org] ("cc-by") (cc-by users can require that you "attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor", which could lead to more onerous requirements, but most don't).

This license removes even the attribution requirement, and attempts to waive all of those other implicit rights, such as moral rights in some countries. It's basically an attempt to come as close as possible to: you really can use this for anything you want, absolutely no strings attached, I really mean it.

For software licensing the difference is somewhat smaller, because non-copyright restrictions like moral rights are applied fairly infrequently to software--- they're more often applied to things like artistic works. I'm guessing that's why BSD-licensed software has never worried about it much.

You can indeed apply CC licenses to software, though I would probably only do so with the non-restrictive ones, like this one or cc-by. If you want to apply a copyleft license to software, using something like the GPL or LGPL is probably better than the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike ("cc-by-sa"), because it makes more effort to define exactly what the viral nature does and doesn't do, while cc-by-sa leaves a bunch of stuff vague when it comes to thinks like linking.

Re:goes further (2, Informative)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006225)

You shouldn't use CC licenses for software. There are plenty of good licenses for that purpose -- too many. Use Apache2 or *GPL3. http://wiki.creativecommons.org/FAQ#Can_I_use_a_Creative_Commons_license_for_software.3F [creativecommons.org]

Re:goes further (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006349)

Those come with strings attached. There is nothing wrong with the BSD license.

Re:goes further (4, Interesting)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006443)

Nothing wrong with BSD (or MIT), though if you want a permissive license it makes some sense to use a modern one that includes some protection from patents, like Apache2. Bruce Perens explained on a recent /.'d post.

Bare licence or contractual licence? (1)

whrde (1120405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005887)

I wonder if these licences can be revoked after they have been dedicated to the public domain. If they are just bare licences then they can, they would have to be contractual licences to avoid that, but is there enough consideration in this agreement?

I doubt this would mean anything in reality, courts would find a way around this, but in theory these licences could be revoked at will by the copyright owner (with sufficient notice).

Re:Bare licence or contractual licence? (4, Informative)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27005951)

You forget one thing -- such licenses can no longer be revoked if another party takes significant actions relying on the license.

IOW, if you release a piece of code under CC0 and I use it as a basis to write a program which I then am marketing, you cannot revoke your CC0 designation and stop me from selling my program.

Re:Bare licence or contractual licence? (1)

whrde (1120405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006145)

It'd be nicer if we didn't have to rely on estoppel, is anyone campaigning to have dedications to the public formally recognised by the law?

Local law can still be a problem (4, Interesting)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006025)

Unfortunately, the concept of "public domain" is nonexistent in some legal systems. Polish law, for example, is extremely idiotic in this aspect - not only it's not possible in Poland to publish a work anonymously to give it a public domain status (because the law states that for anonymous works, the role of a "temporary" author is to be claimed by default by the "collective copyright management institutions", read "RIAA-alikes", at least until the author decides to announce himself - and their primary objective is of course making money in every way imaginable), it's not even possible for the author to waive his rights to monetary compensation for his works and control over their current and future use - that is, given the wording of the Polish law, it could be argued that, for example, a programmer could revoke a GPL license on an already published piece of code, retroactively. This, sadly, means, that in Poland the "Zero" license means almost nothing - and it could easily be used by a dishonest author to sue someone using his work as if the author really waived his rights to it, and in good faith because of how the license could be perceived.

Re:Local law can still be a problem (2, Interesting)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006331)

In theory, you may be right. In practice, we can test your theory. Are there no programmers in Poland releasing code under the GPL? There are. Public copyright licenses (and waivers) turn out to be useful tools for releasing work and building community even if in theory they can't work.

Re:Local law can still be a problem (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006749)

Sure, in practice this particular problem is not that likely to happen and can be ignored with a decent safety margins in almost every situation. However, the general problem with laws (and many related things, especially formal contracts and agreements) is that you should never assume that a loophole of any kind will not be exploited just because of some inherent honesty of the people you're dealing with. Especially when they're not willing to fix it when pointed out, trying to reassure you in a suspiciously nervous way that there's no need to make a fix because it's not like they're going to use it against you, out of goodwill alone.

Re:Local law can still be a problem (1)

Celc (1471887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006755)

Then what happends in Poland when the copyright passes it's duration 50-70 after the author death (or whatever it is in Poland)? Does it go into the "collective copyright management instututions"?

Re:Local law can still be a problem (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007055)

Well, that's as close to the public domain as you can get and it's the only way. Short of commiting suicide, there's nothing you can do to make it happen any sooner.

Re:Local law can still be a problem (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006813)

it's not even possible for the author to waive his rights to monetary compensation for his works and control over their current and future use

Sure there is, just assign the copyright over to "RIAA-alikes" and you won't be compensated or have any control of your works ever again.

Re:Local law can still be a problem (1)

LihTox (754597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007371)

In this particular case, maybe someone could set up a "Public Domain Fund", a non-profit whose sole job is to hold the copyrights of works meant for the public domain (including anonymous works). Would this work? Can the charter of said organization be written so that there is no chance of them violating the public-domain nature of the works?

This Post (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006041)

This post is not covered under any license.
You are free to copy it, edit it, distribute it, delete it, mod it up, mod it down, etc.

Re:This Post (5, Insightful)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006133)

This post is not covered under any license.

The problem is, under copyright law (US at least), your post is automatically copyrighted by you, and I'm not allowed to redistribute it without your permission. Giving that permission (usually with qualifications) is what a license does. So without a license, what you say below is false:

You are free to copy it, edit it, distribute it, delete it, mod it up, mod it down, etc.

Is this is true, then you have licensed me (and the rest of Slashdot) to do all these things, and what you said above (that it is not covered under any license) is false.

Re:This Post (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006389)

Copyright != license.

Re:This Post (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007537)

So without a license, what you say below is false

Not if he placed those specific rights (if not the entire post) into the public domain. That is, after all, the only real way to reconcile the two statements, what with the second statement going a bit too far to make it just a restatement of what's permitted by copyright law. Putting things into the public domain doesn't require magic words, though absolutely clear and direct statements are certainly preferable to making people puzzle it out.

Re:This Post (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006747)

This post is very proprietary.
You can't do anything with it. In fact, you have to pay 25 cents because you read it...
Otherwise, it would be a shame if anything happened to your...everything. (/extortion)
Yes, I can do that with your zero license.

Re:This Post (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007951)

"This post is not covered under any license." .. meaningless in the US. especially given the text that follows.

"You are free to copy it, edit it, distribute it, delete it, mod it up, mod it down, etc." .. this is the license.

I always have the right to edit it, it's a copyright not a prevent-people-editing-it-right. But can I redistribute a modified version with your license, I doubt it? It was nice that I am allowed to distribute/copy, which implies the unmodified version. (I think that's how it works)

If I extend it with my own copyright material, with a license that is more restrictive (like sell a book of slashdot posts) then it appears I can do that with the license you have given me. so thanks!

(this post released under CC0 [creativecommons.org] license)

Obligatory cartoon (sort of) (3, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006043)

See thepiratebay.org for sort of an on-topic cartoon, if only at the opposite of the CC0.

Re:Obligatory cartoon (sort of) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006463)

See thepiratebay.org for sort of an on-topic cartoon, if only at the opposite of the CC0.

Any reason you couldn't use a live link [thepiratebay.org] to the cartoon in question?

Re:Obligatory cartoon (sort of) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006525)

I'm from Denmark you insensitive clod!

Re:Obligatory cartoon (sort of) (1)

larpon (974081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006555)

Tom Dane.. Is that you?

Re:Obligatory cartoon (sort of) (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007309)

Yep. Lazyness.

This sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006057)

This license sounds like the KOPIMI "license" http://www.kopimi.se/kopimi/

Re:This sounds familiar (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006537)

Not at all. Kopimi is just a symbol. Is it a legal instrument? Who knows. And it only suggests that you "want to be copied" -- nothing about adaptations. See if works under "kopimi" are accepted at Wikimedia Commons.

i respectfully submit (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006125)

that change, in any society, on any issue, occurs in one of two ways:

1. gradual, progressive, incremental change
2. stagnation, followed by massive revolution

#1 occurs when the system is such that it can absord gradual challenges to the status quo

#2 occurs when some sort of challenge, say, a technological one, such as the internet, represents such a dramatic fundamental modification to the order of a system, say, intellectual property law, that there is no way for the system to digest and incorporate

so this cc0 license, while laudable, seems to me like putting a bandaid on the stump of a severed hand: fruitless

no, he only thing that is going to happen here is revolution: individuals, not because they are amorla pirates, but just because they want to consume their culture (and it is their culture) within suitable parameters of inconvenience, will just reject the entire intellectual property legal system

currently, this is a very hot topic on slashdot, has been for years, but we are the canaries in the coal mine. none of this has really trickled down as a conceptual challenge to the average joe on the street. and when it does, and it is going to, the average joe on the street will, en masse, completely ignore current intellectual property law. he is doing so now, in dribs and drabs, subconsciously and not explicitly. but the tension will increase, and then boom: a veritable new legal landscape. change bubbling up form the bottom, rather than imposed from above

Re:i respectfully submit (5, Insightful)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006295)

If too many people had taken that attitude over the past 25 years we'd be figuring out the best way to download Windows binaries without paying instead of having a vibrant FLOSS economy that outcompetes proprietary software in many ways. We have the same choice to make with culture now. Imagining that suddenly things will change and copyright will then disappear or be reformed (in a positive direction) is a dangerous daydream.

half-baked reasoning (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006965)

in your scenario, there's more freedom of choice. so linux would be downloaded more, and would be on more desktops. you posit that the FLOSS wouldn't exist. bullshit

linus built linux initially not as some grand experiment in intellectual property, he built it because it was neato. so sorry, but you are wrong, we'd still have FLOSS, and we'd have more linux on the desktop. your reasoning is flawed, because you completely do not understand what really motivates people to write open source

Re:half-baked reasoning (2, Insightful)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007093)

If the people who did care about the damage being done by copyright (eg Stallman) waited for a revolution instead of acting, indeed, FLOSS as we know it wouldn't exist. Linus would've written code, as would've many others, but there would have been no structure for them to successfully collaborate in. It would have been an instance of failed sharing [creativecommons.org] , even if they weren't conscious of it.

no. flat out wrong (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007539)

you are saying the desire to be free is only dependent upon dogmatic control as a contrasting agent

i assert to you that the desire to be free is an organic desire in its own right, with no preconditions

freedom is not a product of slavery. freedom is an original impulse

i really don't know how else to articulate how completely and utterly wrong you are. your idea of cause and effect is completely bogus

Re:no. flat out wrong (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007605)

I wish you would try harder to articulate, because I really would like to understand.

Right now, I don't. I didn't say anything about the desire to be free. Please try to explain. Thanks.

i am presented an environment (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007941)

in which my creative output, which includes code, is consumed according to a strict legal regimen

i reject this strict regimen, i wish my creative output to be consumed however anyone likes

so far, we are both on the same page

this is where we differ:

you assert that this rejection of a strict legal regimen only occurs because the strict legal regimen exists in the first place, that it creates the desire to be free of it

i assert that the desire to be free of the strict legal regimen exists organically, regardless of the existence of the strict legal regimen or not

I disrespectfully do not submit (2, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007425)

You assume there's only one culture involved. In much of the non-Western world copyright is a culturally alien concept foisted on people as a means of economic colonialism. In many places it's worthwhile to encourage resistance to copyright instead of assuming that copyright is just there to stay and that observance of it can only grow.

Re:I disrespectfully do not submit (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007581)

No, I don't assume there's only one culture. If "resistance to copyright" means blithely ignoring copyright and copying Hollywood movies gratis (great, give them free advertising and cultural lock-in) in hope that somehow enforcement won't follow, that is as I said, a dangerous daydream. On the other hand, if resistance means encouraging alternatives to the copyright industries, why not actively renounce copyright so that those who live where it is enforced can cooperate with you and so you aren't screwed when enforcement does start?

I see that you do indeed explicitly put at least some of your work [wikieducator.org] in the public domain, which is great. So this is not a criticism of what you actually do, but the argument you're making.

Re:I disrespectfully do not submit (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007765)

I expect there is a lot of movie copying where the bandwidth is sufficient. But I also meant things like software, where if people are going to learn to create multimedia they're going to have to use unlicensed applications, and other kids of content, especially educational content.

As you noticed, I'm involved with open educational resources. And that's great, and the more of them there are the better. But the reality is that there's not enough open content available that's in a useful form, especially for K-12 purposes. And that means that right now poor kids in Lagos or Karachi or wherever are better off with an errant photocopy of a closed content textbook than with whatever can be cobbled together from available OERs. Even more so for kids who aren't learning in English.

I'm not saying that you all at CC are villains for promoting open licensing. But that doesn't mean that a healthy disregard for copyright might not sometimes be a better solution. And one doesn't even necessarily need to hoist the black flag to do that; even something like educators banding together to expand fair use/fair dealing for educational purposes could be part of that.

Re:i respectfully submit (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27008049)

Not necessarily. I posit that Linux would have even more traction on the desktop, since the patents on mathematical functions like MP3 compression or GIF image compression wouldn't exist. This would mean that Linux would be able to compete more equally with Windows, unlike the current situation, where Linux is crippled for desktop use due to its inability to include common multimedia software.

Also, in the absence of copyright, you'd see much more restrictive DRM on the part of Microsoft and other software vendors (since they wouldn't be able to rely on the legal system to seek recourse). This would also have the effect of driving more people to open-source software.

Finally, a looser intellectual property regime would make it easier for open source developers to reverse engineer closed binary formats, leading to improved cross compatibility between equivalent software.

Re:i respectfully submit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27007433)

shut the fuck up chink

Re:i respectfully submit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27007501)

Copyright and patents should be outright repealed, someone tell me by what right do people own my culture?

Re:i respectfully submit (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007949)

Just the fact that copy restriction schemes require lots of resources to police will be their downfall, as some countries show that they can make more without them, and not waste any resources on trying to prevent people from copying culture.

exactly (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007999)

its a game of diminishing returns this ridiculous impossible enforcement of all these tiny little gates

in the new world order, anything that can be digitally consumed: books, movies, music, code, will be nothing more than free advertising. the precedent for this not so earth shattering status quo is called television, radio: free content (supported by advertising, but on the internet the content IS the advertising)

advertising for what?

the creators!

creators will make their living off of ancillary benefits of wide adoption of their creative output:

1. the musician will derive a livelihood from live concerts
2. the book writer will get a nice check for the movie adaptation
3. and the movie itself will still be consumed in movie theatres. television was supposed to kill movie theatres, the vcr was supposed to kill movie theatres, and now the internet is supposed to kill movie theatres. no: people like to go, even with the babies and cell phones. its true. the movie theatre is not dying, its very healthy. with imax, 3d: it has a bright future
4. and the coder will simply have one awesome resume in which to get a really good high paying job

thats the future: digital content IS the advertising, for the creators

please note: no distributor needed. the internet replaces bertelsmann, harlequin, virgin, barnes&noble, the dvd aftermarket, etc.: all history, all dead. all gone

well, they probably will morph into shadows of their former selves, 1/10th to 1/100th of their previous economic footprint. someone will still make money promoting teenie bopper bands and pulp fiction, and receiving a share of income for the hype

mod Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006193)

Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006219)

It seems like not allowing the uttermost basic right of ownership/credit is a good thing though. Being able to claim something as mine even though I didn't actually do it is generally considered ... bad. Say I write a research paper and want to have be completely "public domain" with "no license attached." Ok, so now Joe can pick it up, put his name on it, and claim it has his completely legally? What happens when a school refuses to accept him for a Master's program, claiming that he didn't write it? Hmmm. Seems like NOT being allowed ot simply claim it as your own work when it's not (plagiarism) and licensing, at an extremely basic level, have to be cooperative.

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006411)

Just because giving credit is generally worthy doesn't mean it should be legally mandated in all situations. Nor do legal mandates magically prevent the scenario painted above. Nor does not legally mandating credit disallow you from claiming credit for your work. And copying without credit is not always bad in a straightforward manner. Check out some of the articles linked at http://techdirt.com/search.php?q=plagiarism [techdirt.com] for some explorations of pluses and minuses. And of course you don't have to use the instrument if you don't want to.

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006437)

Hmm. So, can I produce something and be completely legally separated from it?

It seems that at a very, very basic level, a "license" and "ownership" and the "responsibility for creating it" are intertwined. Hm. Thinking out loud on slashdot. Not good. ;)

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007331)

Yes, under certain regimes. In France one can abandon one's "moral right" over a piece of art, for example, and artists have done this over pieces of work that they did, in fact, produce. Though I doubt this could be used a defense in, for example, a slander case.

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27008111)

Yes, you can create something, and, as long as you don't violate others' rights to life, liberty, or property in the process of doing so, you can give up ownership of that work.

Think about it - ownership includes the right to give up ownership. After all, if you can't give something away, do you really own it in the first place?

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006477)

I'm not sure what you mean by "claim it as his".

Can he tell the school he wrote it? No.

Can he legally get copyright on it? No.

Can he use your paper as a start, add another 25% to it, and then copyright that? Yes. Is it plagiarism to submit it to a school without properly referencing your work? Yes.

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006993)

Ok, so now Joe can pick it up, put his name on it, and claim it has his completely legally?

Only as far as copyright law is concerned. Fraud is still illegal in many cases.

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

imhennessy (1425987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007133)

I don't know for sure, but doesn't claiming credit or ownership of public domain material cross a line?

If I were grading papers and found some non-quoted, non-attributed public domain material in one, I wouldn't hesitate to flunk them.

IANAL, and also not a teacher or professor.

ivan

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007441)

Authorship doesn't go away just because you give up your copyrights. This CC0, as I understand it, gives up your *attribution* rights, but you still wrote the work and are still the author. If someone claims your work as their own, it is still plagarism, and in many cases, fraud.

Hamlet is in the public domain, but that does not mean you can legally claim that you wrote it. (Except in comedy skits, etc).

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007541)

OK. I see where you're coming from. After all, your idea allows me to reveal that I wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I am also Spartacus.

Re:Aren't basic rights good, though? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27008089)

In that case, the school wouldn't be rejecting him because he violated your license, they'd be rejecting him because of his intellectual dishonesty. Just because you've made it legal for Joe to use your work as his own doesn't mean its right for him to do so in an attempt to gain entrance to a program for which he'd be otherwise unqualified.

Those who can, do... (0, Troll)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006249)

Those who can't, write licenses.

Re:Those who can, do... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007781)

No. Those who can't write laws, thereby obligating those who can to spend time they could have spent doing writing licenses instead.

Is this different from existing "zero" licenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006289)

Is this any better or worse than, say, the Do What The Fuck You Want To [zoy.org] license? (aside from having a more family friendly name)

0+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006353)

The CC0 waiver system is a major step forward for the Creative Commons Organization in terms of their public domain efforts.

While for some the CC0 license might sound interesting, I think that a bigger step forward is the CC+ license.

CC+ is a protocol to enable a simple way for users to get rights beyond the rights granted by a CC license. For example, a Creative Commons license might offer noncommercial rights. With CC+, the license can also provide a link to enter into transactions beyond access to noncommercial rights â" most obviously commercial rights, but also services of use such as warranty and ability to use without attribution, or even access to physical media.

Re:0+ (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006567)

"CC+" is NOT a license.

timed-release license? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006429)

I've always wondered why the creative commons doesn't offer a timed-release license, so to speak -- a license that kicks in at a certain future date. For example, instead of "you are hereby granted the right to do x," we might imagine, "you are hereby granted the right to do x on january 1, 2020 and any date thereafter." At one point they had something called the Founders copyright (do they still?), but it required transferring copyright to the creative commons, or some kind of nonsense like that. It seems like it would be quite easy to write this kind of license. Is there some technical legal reason why it can't be done?

Re:timed-release license? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006717)

Can't you simply take one of their licenses and add that clause to it? Or are you not allowed to modify their license (which would be ironic)?.

Re:timed-release license? (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006805)

You can http://creativecommons.org/policies [creativecommons.org] just don't call it a "Creative Commons license"

Re:timed-release license? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006817)

Sure, but that would lose two of the main attractions of the CC licenses: (1) that they've been vetted by actual lawyers who supposedly know what they're doing; and (2) that they're readily available on the CC web site for anyone who wants to use them. If I wrote my own license, it would not encourage other people to use the timed-release license, and I'd leave out some magic legal word that would probably invalidate the whole thing.

Re:timed-release license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27007083)

I really doubt you need to be a lawyer to say (in America).

All Rights Reserved, until June 1st 2020.

At that date you may at your option use this work under the terms laid out below
Quote CC0

Re:timed-release license? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006809)

Re:timed-release license? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007487)

Right, that's the one I meant, thanks for the link. You can see it's a tremendous hassle compared to slapping a notice on your work.

Re:timed-release license? (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006887)

There might be legally technical problems (but IANAL) but more significantly, 1) it isn't clear such would need to be built into the licenses 2) added complexity is inherently bad 3) take as a lesson the near total lack of such practice in free software -- the only significant instance I know of, Aladdin Ghostscript, ended the practice [gondwanaland.com] approaching 3 years ago, now going straight to GPL and 4) licensing work n years in the future just isn't that valuable (consider discounted present value) -- same analysis showing that even non-retroactive copyright extension doesn't increase incentive shows that timed-release doesn't increase value of the commons much.

there are a few others (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007397)

id's games are probably the biggest remaining example of the "recent stuff is proprietary; once it's been out a while it goes free software" model.

Re:timed-release license? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007599)

These are interesting points, thanks for your input. I have some quick responses. Re: 1, how would you put a piece of work into the public domain n years into the future if not via a license? Re: 2, I think added complexity is only inherently bad if it's for no reason. For example, rocket fuel is more complex than water, but rockets don't go if you put water in them. In this case, the simpler license is certainly better in terms of simplicity, but it's much worse in that it fails to grant rights that I would like to grant, namely the rights to use my work for anything whatsoever beginning in, say, 20 years. Re: 3, software is very different from other kinds of creative works, like books and music. Certainly I agree that this kind of license would make little if any sense for software. Re: 4, does this analysis consider only software, or are books and music considered as well?

Certainly the value of the commons would be greatly increased if works written today would fall into the public domain while still relevant. That horizon is much longer for books and music than for software, but not infinite.

Re:timed-release license? (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007685)

1) presumably with a statement saying the license itself becomes effective on some date, ie why bake it into the license? But as I said, IANAL

2) Sure, there's always a tradeoff, and it's just a question of how much complexity is warranted.

3) Yes, software is different. But in what manner is it different that time release would be significant and positive for non-software when it hasn't been for software?

4) Analysis applies to anything, simple economics.

Value of commons not necessary increased by a new option due to substitution. Time release would only increase value (and again, big question of whether it would do so significantly) if time release option primarily pulled in works that would not have otherwise been freely licensed. If it primarily was used on works that otherwise would've been licensed immediately, it is a big negative.

Re:timed-release license? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27008033)

1: That's exactly the question I was raising initially. If it were that easy, presumably there would be no reason for the Founders' Copyright. But the team of lawyers at the creative commons felt the Founders' Copyright was necessary, for some reason.

3: Consider music. Music you write now might, in 20 years, still make a nice soundtrack for a school project movie you want to make available publicly, or a viral video. It might make, after a bit of processing, good background music for a free computer game. It might make a nice ring tone, or maybe someone would want to sample or otherwise adapt it for a new composition of some kind. There are a million potential uses for music, most of which are restricted by copyright, and many of them would be quite relevant in 20 years. The music would have much more value to the commons than to the copyright holder. By contrast, code ages much more rapidly, especially the kind of code liable to be released under this kind of license. The kind of code liable to be released into the public domain would generally be valueless to anyone unless released much sooner.

4: I thought the analysis was obvious enough, but I'll be explicit. Consider books. If it's not possible to create a timed-release license, virtually no books will be released into the public domain immediately. Most books will have no special license, which is to say that they will enjoy the almost perpetual copyright protection they do currently. In 20 years, all such books written today will still be under copyright protection, and will not be available for various uses. While many of the authors of such books will still be alive in 20 years, some will be dead, some won't want to bother trying to get the word out about their 20 year old books, etc. If such a license is available and legal, then 20 years down the road it will magically come into effect, and it will already be attached to every existing print or electronic copy.

It seems surpassingly unlikely that the timed release option would be used by someone who would otherwise release their work into the public domain sooner, and that this would somehow discourage them from releasing their work anyway. Four years from now, if you want to release your self-published opera score into the public domain, you're not going to be somehow deterred just because you originally published it with a timed release license on page one instead of a plain copyright notice. But with a timed release license, you'll definitely release it in 20 (or whatever) years. Without it, you most likely won't. It's really hard to imagine a scenario in which a timed release license will decrease the value of the commons, but it's quite easy to see how it might increase value.

Fix the Underlying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27006585)

Why can't someone just bring sanity to the copyright code instead of letting Disney lobby to amend it every time Mickey is about to fall into the public domain.

Re:Fix the Underlying (4, Insightful)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006773)

Go for it. In the meantime, consider that if over the past 25 years instead of releasing free software, hackers had just waited for "someone to bring sanity to copyright" ... we'd be figuring out the best way to download Windows binaries without paying instead of having a vibrant FLOSS economy that outcompetes proprietary software in many ways. We have the same choice to make with culture now. Pegging hopes on copyright reform (when all such has been in the wrong direction for many decades) is a dangerous daydream.

Official CC0 launch coming early March (4, Informative)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007011)

Hi, I work for Creative Commons (and occasionally get sucked into responding to /. comment threads...) --

We soft launched CC0 recently, and will be doing a hard launch in a couple weeks. If you want to know more, I urge you to check out http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0 [creativecommons.org]

Here's a copy of the page for easy reading. Please mod this up. :-)

About CC0 -- "No RightsReserved"

This tool is at 1.0 and is ready for adoption. If you would like to participate in a formal announcement, please contact legal@creativecommons.org [mailto] .

CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright-protected content to waive copyright interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright.

In contrast to CC's licenses that allow copyright holders to choose from a range of permissions while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers yet another choice altogether - the choice to opt out of copyright and the exclusive rights it automatically grants to creators - the "no rights reserved" alternative to our licenses.

The Problem

Dedicating works to the public domain is difficult if not impossible for those wanting to contribute their works for public use before applicable copyright term expires. Few if any jurisdictions have a process for doing so easily. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as to what rights are automatically granted and how and when they expire or may be voluntarily relinquished. More challenging yet, many legal systems effectively prohibit any attempt by copyright owners to surrender rights automatically conferred by law, particularly moral rights, even when the author wishing to do so is well informed and resolute about contributing a work to the public domain.

A Solution

CC0 helps solve this problem by giving creators a way to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works to the fullest extent allowed by law. CC0 is a universal instrument that is not ported to any particular legal jurisdiction, similar to many open source software licenses. And while this means that CC0 may not be completely effective at relinquishing all copyright interests in every jurisdiction, we believe it provides the best and most complete alternative for contributing a work to the public domain given the many complex and diverse copyright systems around the world.

Using CC0

Unlike the Public Domain Dedication and Certification, CC0 should not be used to mark works already in the public domain. However, it can be used to waive copyright or database rights to the extent you may have these rights in your work. In addition, you should only apply CC0 to a work if you own all relevant copyright or database rights in it, or have the necessary rights to apply CC0 to another person's work.

Public Domain (3, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27007251)

I've just been labeling my works "Copyright 1821 by The Joseph Wind Publishing Company, All Rights Reserved". Retroactive copyright extension has a while before it gets back that far.

Similar license (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27007901)

What happened to the DWTFUWWI license?

Am I the only one not liking Creative Commons? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27008071)

I don't particularly care for the idea of the Creative Commons, where content creators get to pick and choose among several different variations of the terms under which they want to license their stuff.

I would really prefer a bifurcated Internet, the strong walls of which would serve to just as happily keep closed content out of my sight as it would to keep those who have walled themselves in with copyright, DRM etc. to keep people like me out.

Since we each respectively view the other party as riff-raff, then let's each keep the other riff-raff out.

When THEY log onto the Internet, they don't want people like me taking their content. Fine, then let's make the part of the Internet in which they play somewhere else.

For *my* side of the Internet, I don't want to have to go sifting through different variations on licenses. I want a free-for-all, where I never even have to think about licenses.

My ideal Internet would have two parts, theirs, and mine. I don't care what their side looks like. For all I care it can have rock solid impossible-to-break DRM. It doesn't really matter to me. What matters to me is that their DRM infected Internet not be allowed to pollute my side of the Internet in any manner.

So, what's the value of multiple Creative Commons licenses? I want to only see, ever, just one license, the free-for-all license. The ideal Internet is everybody playing by the rules ... the rules being that anyone can copy, mash-up, mix and match whatever at any time ... and nobody is ever allowed in that would ever try to impose a more restrictive rule.

Maybe technically the way to do this is through a portal, a CC site or a search engine which only returns free-for-all content. But the non-free content needs to be kept out of the results so it doesn't get in the way.

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