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Copyright and Commercial Use: the Problem with Creative Commons’ Non-Commercial Use Licenses

6 comments to Copyright and Commercial Use: the Problem with Creative Commons’ Non-Commercial Use Licenses

  • Tal Niv

    I really enjoyed reading and I want to offer my support for literally every sentence. Just one minor question, have you thought about the possibility to encourage use of the CC0 in lieu of licensing for free Jewish resources?
    Would be glad to assist in any way and will of course continue reading your posts.

    Tal Niv
    Creative Commons, HQ

  • Aharon

    Thanks for reading, Tal. Content contributors to the Open Siddur Project are offered a choice of the three non-conflicting free/libre licenses from the Creative Commons: CC0, CC-BY 3.0, and CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported. This ensures that by the time our Open siddur web application is built, all of the content contributed is already available for remixing without needing to return to the content creators. By quantity of text, most of our content currently is licensed CC0. When, Efraim Feinstein, our lead developer (and author of the essay above) converted the text of the Westminster Leningrad Codex to the XML schema we use (JLPTEI), he licensed the output with CC0. Such is our policy when making digital editions of any text or art in the Public Domain. Most contributors of contemporary work under copyright choose to license their work with the CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported because attribution is important to them, and they would like a chain of attribution preserved in any derivative works.

    Aharon Varady
    Founder & Director
    The Open Siddur Project

  • Tal,

    Thanks for commenting!

    I think there’s a place for both licensing and public domain dedications. If someone does use a public domain dedication for new works, CC0 is definitely the way to go. My philosophy on it can be summed up like this: primary data which derives from the public domain should remain public domain, independent of any insertions that are questionably copyrightable anyway (like markup). For the questionably copyrightable material, CC0 may have some advantage over the new public domain certification, even if the “licensing” backup isn’t required.

    For original material, authors frequently want notoriety for their ideas, and I’ve found that some educators have a particular interest in assuring attribution aside from copyright issues and are leery of even allowing non-attribution. For them, CC-BY is a good choice.

    I found that the most common fears about freeing works are: (1) fear of association with a modified work that the original author doesn’t agree with. In places without moral rights (like the US), the licensing requirement to identify modified works is a potential answer, and (2) the fear of exploitation. It’s the latter that pushes a lot of people into NC licenses and I think ShareAlike/copyleft is a great answer to that concern.

    Also, the anti-TPM (technological protective measures) restrictions may be attractive to some authors who don’t want to see their original works introduced into proprietary works exploitatively.

    The above, though, are only concerns for those who actually think about the issue. The vast majority of Jewish new media sites just copy-paste legal boilerplate into their terms of use agreements that makes their content non-free and sometimes even undermines the entire stated purposes of the sites. Our two goals here are to educate the public about the issue, and help them make the right choices.

  • […] “Efraim” has a new post on why content creators should decline to use the Non-Commercial clause as part of a Creative Commons license. From the post: One argument that I have heard promoting the use of the non-commercial term is the fear of a larger bogeyman. The identity of this bogeyman differs depending on who is making the argument. For content developers, the bogeyman is often a large publishing house. The new media entrepreneur worries that a larger publishing house will either take their free data and undercut their price or sell their free data without returning anything to its source. […]

  • […] non-commercial use licenses • the open Siddur project. Retrieved July 4, 2016, from Advocacy, http://opensiddur.org/concerning/open-source-judaism/advocacy/why-to-choose-a-free-creative-commons-… When we share, everyone wins. Retrieved July 4, 2016, from […]

  • […] The universe, through its physics, applies its own standard. Scientists and engineers apply their standards in order to interoperate. And so too, do linguists, grammarians, and literary stylists. What’s important to me, and I hope so too, for you, is that we honor and respect what is useful to interoperate giving freedom for the evolution of culture and its languages. (And this is why all of the Open Siddur Project content is shared with free-culture attribution licenses.) […]

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