1. Content
  2. Index
  3. Search
  4. RSS/Subscribe

Copyleft vs CopyZeroFriction · Thursday June 04, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

I’m obliged by Lucas Gonze to reappraise CC0 having read his blog article entitled advocacy for CC 0 over BY-SA which responded to Victor Stone’s article Consider: Zero.

I think we’re seeing the crossover of friction vs constraint between software and other art.

The GPL is a license that restores liberty to the public (otherwise suspended by copyright and patent), albeit at the expense of friction (easily surmountable by coders used to it). CC-SA is somewhat similar.

The CC0 is a license/waiver that unencumbers the art from constraint by the author’s copyright, and friction due to (well intentioned) licensing conditions, albeit at the expense of not being able to liberate anyone apart from the immediate users. It may be that opprobrium will be enough to prevent derivatives of CC0 works from being re-encumbered with copyright.

There is a similar issue (and confusion) between manumission and laissez faire between the GPL and BSD licenses (as between CC-SA and CC0). The GPL is actually freer (in restoring more people’s liberty), whereas the BSD is least encumbered by licensing conditions (the licensee is free to suspend others’ liberty).

There is a FAQ for the CC0.

It is disheartening that in conflating legal rights (privileges) and natural rights (moral rights, etc.) CC is giving ‘rights’ a bad name by suggesting that CC0 is a way of surrendering/unreserving as many rights as possible, as if this was a worthy aspiration. It compounds this insinuation by saying that in some jurisdictions it is difficult or impossible for some rights to be waived or licensed. That’s because they are natural and inalienable rights, not commercial privileges!

As I’ve often said before. Artists should surrender none of their rights. They should divest themselves only of their privileges, and by so doing restore the public’s rights their privileges would otherwise annul. Rights are good (natural rights and derivatives), privileges are bad (copyright and patent).

Copyright (via CC license) may provide a holder with the apparent ability to demand attribution, but there is no natural right to it. What there is a natural right to is truth, and thus a right against misattribution. Lawrence Lessig created this confusion in the first place, and now people who are relinquishing their privilege to demand attribution will assume they are also relinquishing the right not to be misattributed.

Somehow I suspect CC has a hidden agenda in conflating the privilege of copyright (and all the ‘legal rights’ it engenders) with inalienable, natural rights, i.e. that it wishes to cement the popular delusion that copyright is a natural right, in order to facilitate legislation that secures it as if a natural right (making infringement a crime). To thus provide liberal licenses/waivers with one hand whilst reinforcing the privilege as if a right with the other hand is crypto-IP-maximalism.



 

About

Contact

Recent Articles

Recent Comments

Topics

Rights

Natural Right

Legal Rights

Life

Equality

Fraternity

Violence

Privacy

Being Privy

Confidentiality

Personal Data

Publication

Truth

Attribution

Authenticity

Moral Rights

Plagiarism

Representation

Veracity

Liberty

Censorship

Disclosure

Freedom of Speech

Freedom vs Liberty

Official Secrets Act

Piracy

Property

Apprehensibility

Facility

Identifiability

Copyright

Copyfarleft

Ineffectiveness

Modulation

Neutralisation

Patent

Software

US Constitution

'exclusive right'

Sanction

Contract

Inalienability

Licensing

NDA

Abolition

GPL

Business

Models

Incorporation

Immortality

No Rights

Regulation

Culture

Miscellany

Links

Principles

Amnesty International

Copyleft (Wikipedia)

Electronic Frontier

Free Culture F'n

Free Culture UK

Free S/w Foundation

Pontification

Against Monopoly

One Small Voice

Open...

P2Pnet

Question Copyright

Paragons

GratisVibes

Jamendo

SourceForge

Wikipedia

Protagonists

Downhill Battle

Publishers vs Public

Proof

Rethinking Copyright

Papers

Against Monopoly

Ecstasy of Influence

Libertarian Case

Post-Copyright

Practitioners

Janet Hawtin

Nina Paley

Rob Myers

Scott Carpenter