Creative Commons ‘zero’ license

2009-03-01

in Economics, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Law

It says something about the current climate of intellectual property law that Creative Commons has released a new ‘zero’ license, which strives to do everything legally possible to put a work into the public domain. The new license is meant to be an improvement over their previous public domain dedication service:

The CC0 system works better internationally, is likely more legally valid (since one can not dedicate their works into the public domain in many countries and there are questions about doing so in the U.S.) and, if the icon and meaning becomes recognizable enough, more clear.

It seems a bit remarkable that it is so difficult to choose to give intellectual property away. I can understand the importance of legal protections to ensure that people don’t do so by accident (particularly children), but it does seem as though there should be a straightforward legal mechanism to waive all rights as the creator of a work.

The contents of this site are under a Creative Commons license: specifically, one that allows anyone to copy, distribute and transmit the work, as well as produce adaptations. It requires that the work be attributed to me, that any derivative works be subject to the same rules, and does not grant these rights automatically for commercial purposes. That is to say, if someone wants to use one of my images on a personal site, with attribution, that’s fine; if Visa wants to use it in a commercial, I expect them to pay for the usage rights.

Creative Commons licenses are very valuable because they allow creators of content to establish such regimes without needing to hire lawyers or spend a lot of time and money.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

mek March 1, 2009 at 11:48 pm

The inability of legislators to keep up with technology is a pretty new problem, but one that most of our generation are intimately familiar with.

As an almost unrelated anecdote, I frequently buy and sell WoW accounts as a hobby which generates some decent pocket change. This “industry” is unique in that transfers of electronic property are outside the realm of any law, criminal or civil. I’m basically bartering in back alleys, and both buyers and sellers can get away with anything with no repercussions. It’s an interesting situation and has taught me a lot about transaction security, understandably. And more than I ever wanted to know about Paypal policies.

I think we all agree that these are pretty crappy situations, and should be dealt with by (reasonable and intelligent) legislation. Unfortunately these areas are largely controlled by various regressive commercial lobbies (RIAA, MPAA, and the rest of the intellectual property posse) and inaction is probably better than the alternative.

Milan March 1, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Despite all the frustrations, trading WoW accounts is a worthwhile endeavour?

R.K. March 2, 2009 at 12:00 am

It does seem silly that it is so hard to waive IP rights, now and forever, if you choose to do so.

mek March 2, 2009 at 12:23 am

I’m quite adept at it now, and I get bored of characters so being able to convert them into cash is is a definite bonus.

Milan March 2, 2009 at 12:26 am

Do you mostly buy characters created by others? What kind of return can you produce for an hour’s work?

mek March 2, 2009 at 1:04 am

This is totally off topic! And mostly I acquire lower value (lvl 60-70) characters with poor equipment and bring them to the level cap with quality equipment, and then resell. It is not a good per hour return, but I do it for fun mostly, as I like to play the game. A good character typically goes for $300-600 US.

. November 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm

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