Message Of The Day

Thu, 25 Mar 2004

09:33 [zork(~)] cat money_near_mouth.txt

Money, mouth, near each other, good

So, <a href="">Free Culture</a> is available online, under the <a href="">Attribution-NonCommercial</a> license. You can get the whole thing on <a href="">this page</a>, or <a href="">download it through BitTorrent</a> on <a href="">Legal Torrents</a>.

Let me take this moment to point out that I was TOTALLY WRONG, and that Double-L comes through again. Go go Larry Lessig!

Fri, 19 Mar 2004

22:11 [zork(~)] cat founders_found.txt

Founders Found

Ah, so, according to <a href="">this press release</a>, Dr. Lessig "will release" his first two books, as well as his "next book", under the <a href="">Founders' Copyright</a> dedication. That's the semi-license that dedicates a work to the public domain in 14 or 28 years -- either the same or double the original copyright duration in the USA.

I'm not sure if the press release counts as such a dedication, or if there's some other document showing that the work has been dedicated. But, hey: free-as-in-freedom book in 2018! or 2032! Hooray!

07:21 [zork(~)] cat lessig_book.txt

Free Culture

Does anyone know if the <a href="">new book</a> by <a href="">Larry Lessig</a> is available under a <a href="">Creative Commons</a> license or any other freely-distributable agreement?

Dr. Lessig has two other books -- <i><a href="">Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace</a></i> and <i><a href="">The Future of Ideas</a></i>. AFAICT, neither one is freely downloadable or redistributable.

If this is true, why? Is Open Content just for losers and nobodies who can't sell their books or music or films or photos to a "real" publisher? Or is it more important to get out the message of Free Culture than to practice it? Does Dr. Lessig have some personal, economic or political reason not to publish his own books under CC licenses?

I realize that it's probably hard to sell the idea of having a book freely redistributable to a major publisher like <a href="">Penguin</a>. But if people like Dr. Lessig don't make that effort, it's harder for people like me or you to do it when the time comes. When I want to publish my novels as Open Content, it'd be nice to have some precedent.

I dunno; looking over the list of <a href="">staff and directors</a> of Creative Commons, I don't see anyone but <a href="">Eric Eldred</a> with even a tiny bit of experience publishing Free Content. Why the fuck not?

Tue, 27 Jan 2004

21:46 [zork(~)] cat new_license_version.txt

New CC License Version

The 2.0 draft versions of the <a href="">Creative Commons</a> licenses are now <a href="">up for public review</a>. The CC licenses have attracted a lot of attention to Open Content, and have really spread a lot better than other previous attempts to make Open Content accessible. Even dumb bloggers are interested, which is pretty amazing, considering what a clatch of narcissistic mouth-breathers they tend to be. (Except <a href="">Seth</a>, of course.)

Creative Commons has only posted the 2.0 draft of the <a href="">Attribution-noncommercial-sharealike</a> license, since it contains all the license elements that have been changed. The licenses were revved to deal with some perceived faults in the 1.0 versions, including the following changes:

<ul> <li>There are provisions for automatic upgrade of licenses; that is, there's now an "any later version" clause. This was missing from the 1.0 versions, making it hard to future-proof Open Content works. <li>There are stipulations for mixing works under different sharealike (kinda sorta like copyleft) provisions, resulting in a work licensed under a combination of all restrictions of the parent works. <li>Authors can now require attribution through a link-back URI. <li>The <a href="">controversial</a> warranty provision has been dropped. In the previous version, the licensor asserted that they had cleared the rights to publish and redistribute the work, and warranted users and creators of derivative works against problems with copyright, trademark, privacy rights, etc. This section was one of the most <a href="">criticized</a> parts of the licenses. In the 2.0 version, an "as-is" disclaimer of warranty has replaced this section. </ul>

(List copied from a <a href="">k5</a> story I posted on the topic.)

Personally, I'm not terribly happy about most of the new revisions, at least in my persona as co-founder of <a href="">Wikitravel</a>. The lack of warranty means that contributors are no longer even nominally responsible for clearing the rights on their submissions -- making my headache that much larger, and making our content that much less useful to downstream publishers.

And the ability to "remix" sharealike licenses means that someone could take Wikitravel's <a href="">copyleft</a>ed work and re-release it under a more restrictive license -- say, noncommercial -- that would make us unable to re-incorporate their changes. Letting downstream developers take away freedoms we tried to grant to the world is pretty lame.

Anyways, commentary is welcome on the <a href="">cc-licenses</a> mailing list. I'm pretty sure you can just send mail to <a href=""></a> without being subscribed.

Thu, 11 Dec 2003

16:46 [zork(~)] cat partay.txt

Birthday party for Creative Commons

Hey, so, if you don't already know, there's a <a href="">Creative Commons first-anniversary party</a> this Sunday, December 14th, at 111 Minna Street in the City that Knows How.

<a href="">Creative Commons</a> has really revitalized the field of <a href="">Open Content</a> and gotten a lot more long-hair bearded Mac-using hippy musicians and artists into the idea, instead of the long-hair bearded Linux-using hippy programmers and sysadmins that had be in the forefront before.

The upshot: go to this party, and boogie down (or something -- I have no idea what the schedule is). Yay Creative Commons Yay!

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