Why CC-NC should be prohibited

I started with announcing existence of Wiki World on the lists of different communities. People who are subscribed to the foundation-l list already know for the whole idea, because the idea was grown there. (The rest of the introduction you may read inside of my previous post.)

While one guy (I don’t want to say who πŸ˜‰ ) thinks that putting Google add ons on CC-*-NC-* content is not violating NC conditions, I will give here just one example: Imagine that Wikipedia is under CC-BY-SA-NC. And that Answers.com copies the whole Wikipedia content and makes money via Google add ons and other commercials. Would it be NC violation? Even I am not a lawyer, I think that the answer is very clear.

While I may understand why one professional photographer who is making his photos exclusively in digital format doesn’t want to give his photo under copyleft (he is living of selling such his photos) or a professional writer who doesn’t want to give her work under copyleft (she is living of selling her writings), I can’t understand the following cases:

  • A sculptor who doesn’t want to give photos of her works under copyleft because she thinks that she is able to make some money by selling photos (which is almost nonsense and contradictory; of course, if she is not some pop-star sculptor, but I don’t think that there are even 0.01% of such sculptors).
  • An activist who doesn’t want to give his written political work under copyleft because he doesn’t want to give a possibility to some company to make money on his written political work. Hm. It would be very funny to see some big company which spreads anti-capitalist political works. And if anyone else spreads such work for money, this means that (1) political ideas are spread; (2) person/company which spreads such ideas want to do that. And this may mean that (2a) such ideas are enough popular that someone not related to the ideas wants to sell them or (2b) it is sold by a person who is supporting those ideas.
  • Someone who is starting to make a collaborative free knowledge place on Internet and licensing data under CC-*-NC-*. Such knowledge is only useful while people have access to Internet.

When I said “to prohibit CC-*-NC-*” it was, of course, hyperbola. I don’t think that we should make some witch-hunting for CC-*-NC-* sites. But, I think that the community should start thinking about this issue seriously.

While I was not so against NC in the past (I explained why above), I realize now that NC (and, of course, ND) are the treason of the free knowledge community. Or their architects were very very blind. NC makes so huge problem to spreading free knowledge that documents licensed under those licenses are useless. You are not even able to copy some text in some newspaper or to put it on some big news site. You are not able to copy such text, print it and sell it for reasonable amount of money. It is a scum.

And Creative Commons supports such scum. I think that the only solution is to make a new version of NCs (and NDs) which would support only artist works, but not works which deal with science and knowledge. However, a big damage to free knowledge was already done. It is not the same when CC makes such license and when some other (even significant) project makes this. Compare, for example, how much free software is under GNU General Public License and how much free software is under Mozilla Public License.

By the way, note that I am an anarchist which oppose to the money usage. However, I am not living 200 years in the future inside of the beautiful anarchist colony at the top of Venus clouds, but right here and right now.

Please, don’t contribute to CC-*-NC-* sites!

And here is a micro FAQ for NC-witch-hunters:

  • Brave hunter: Remove all NC data from your site immediately and start new one licensed under GFDL or CC-BY-SA!
  • NC witch: But, it is useful, people may read that, people may contribute…
  • Brave hunter: Yes, they may do that only if they have an Internet connection. And do you know that only 1/6 of humans are able to access to the Internet?
  • NC witch: But, my site has 100,000 articles and 1000 active users! A lot of work will be destroyed!
  • Brave hunter: You said that your brought 1000 souls to the Satan??? And that they made 100,000 satanist prayers there??? Close it now before you take 10,000 souls and 1,000,000 satanist prayers! You will burn in the Hell!

~ by millosh on August 30, 2007.

5 Responses to “Why CC-NC should be prohibited”

  1. […] A unified license for free documentation? Or at least compatible licenses? And to prohibit CC-*-NC-* for any kind of documentation! […]

  2. Dude, “scum” is an unnecessarily harsh word. At worst they are misguided.

    Did you go to Wikimania? Joi Ito gave an interesting speech and talked about how there is a graduated range of “freeness” and we can do better by engaging those people on the fringes and convincing them of the benefits of greater freeness, rather than demonising them as in “this doesn’t meet my standard of freedom, ergo it’s not free, and you’re scum”. πŸ™‚

    However people who start wikis and choose an NC license deserve a bit of a poke. Maybe we should write a guide for people who are thinking about starting a wiki, about the benefits of choosing particular sitewide licenses.

  3. πŸ™‚ I was very irritated when I saw more then 24.000 articles on wikiHow.

    However, the real problem here is not about wikiHow and similar sites, but about Creative Commons: they are giving an institutional support for such [whatever]. And Joi Ito is the chair of the Creative Commons…

  4. About wikiHow and its licensing…

    First off, I should introduce myself. I’m Nicole Willson and I’m a wikiHow admin.

    There are some wikiHowians who realize that the NC part of wikiHow’s licensing was a mistake, Jack Herrick (wikiHow’s founder) and I chief among them.

    One of the future goals for wikiHow is to look into dropping the NC part of the license. To do this though we would need the support of most of the community. I don’t know if this will happen though. Microsoft has approached wikiHow about a proposed content partnership which may or may not even go through at this point. There are some community members that don’t want Microsoft to have permission to use wikiHow content. I’m afraid that since Microsoft is the first known entity to ask for commercial republication of wikiHow content that this may hurt the cause of wikiHow dropping the NC licensing.

  5. (Sorry for waiting on publishing your comment; anti-spam filter here is weird.)

    Then, switch to GFDL and MS will not like it πŸ˜‰

    I don’t think that you are able to switch to any free license now. AFAIK, the only possibility is to make a new site which would be, for example, CC-BY-SA. Otherwise, you would have to get permission from every contributor.

    However, I still think that less damage would be made if you switch now to CC-BY-SA on the new site (and keep existing read only) then to make 200,000 articles in the next couple of years under NC.

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