Creative Commons

From: Chris Zielinski <informania_at_SUPANET.COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 12:01:38 -0000

As the former head of an authors' collecting society, to me Lessig's
Creative Commons project looks like nothing more than applying copyright
in a collecting society model for digital rights management.

For example, the licensing options/protections mentioned among the
Creative Commons plans (the descriptive article is at
creatcom.DTL) sound very familiar: "work not to be altered, employed for
commercial purposes, or used without proper attribution" - the first and
last are conventional moral rights, while the middle one is a right
enshrined in copyright.

It seems that the licenses proposed envisage permitting commercial

"An artist might...agree to give away a work as long as no one is making
money on it but include a provisions for requiring payments on a sliding
scale if it's sold."

Well, yes - if no-one wants to buy it you give it away with expressions
of chaste virtue, but as soon as there is a rustle of the readies you
adjust your stockings. Consider what happens when you replace the word
"artist" in that sentence by "academic researcher", and you see where
this is taking us (this would be an artists/authors' collecting society
position, in fact).

The other aspects - the bolt-on licences, the machine-readable licensing
tag, the "conservancy" role (="let us manage your content") - also all
seem the stuff of modern collective licensing, which is already being
carried out for rightsholders of all kinds throughout the world.

Any other takes on the originality of the Creative Commons?

Chris Zielinski
Director, Information Waystations and Staging Posts Network
e-mail: and
web site:

-----Original Message-----
From: September 1998 American Scientist Forum
Sent: 12 February 2002 13:02
Subject: Re: "Copyleft" article in New Scientist


On your point about " different circumstances", I would suggest that the
Creative Commons" project --- see the link that "Arthur" passed on this
a.m.--- is worth further study and commentary.

Alan Story

-----Original Message-----
From: September 1998 American Scientist Forum
Sent: Tuesday 12 February 2002 12:24
Subject: Re: "Copyleft" article in New Scientist

I seems to me that the problem with copyright is that you have it
whether or
not you want to use it. Those who want to use what you own have no way
telling whether or not you want to enforce your rights or not, or to
degree you might wish to enforce or waive them. What is needed is an
internationally recognised system for indicating just what owners are
to allowin different circumstances. I hope to be working with an
international agency on thisissue shortly.

GrahamP Cornish
Copyright consultant
Received on Thu Feb 14 2002 - 12:36:15 GMT

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