Professor Ginsburg on the Creative Commons License/Deed/Whatever

I’ve identified some problems with the shoddy Creative Commons “audio” license/deed/whatchamacallit (second rate legal work at best). One would think that with all the millions of dollars that Creative Commons (the organization) has raised they could manage to get it right.

I guess it takes a lot of money to give things away for free. At least that would be my…bet…if you catch my drift.

I’m not the only one who has anted up on this topic. ASCAP’s Joan McGivern has a great piece on the subject which is well worth a read.

Professor Jane Ginsburg of the Columbia Law School has an excellent piece (Public Licenses: The Gift that Keeps on Giving) that I recommend, particularly since Professor Ginsburg has far more patience with these people than I do and is very even handed in her approach. So if you don’t believe me, and he won’t believe ASCAP, maybe you’ll believe one of the leading copyright scholars of the day.

“[T]he author may come to regret the free, perpetual grant of rights in future modes of exploiting the work, particularly if she adopts the default license and does not reserve commercial uses and derivative works. If new technologies create new markets for the work (as they surely will), the CC-licensing author will have in advance surrendered her exclusive rights to determine how (or indeed, if) her work should be exploited in those markets.”

3 thoughts on “Professor Ginsburg on the Creative Commons License/Deed/Whatever

  1. You come off as a serious money grubber. Don't you realize that many (in today's internet world – MOST?) people create with no intention of monetizing their creations at all?


  2. Actually, I think Professor Ginsburg summed it up best elsewhere in the quoted piece: "The features that may make these licenses highly attractive for creators with well-remunerated “day jobs” (such as law professors) may pose some problems for the professional author." And I think this passage from “The German Ideology” hits the point you are making: "…in the [remix] society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity [or ownership] but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic [or expert].”If you think that its "money grubbing" to be able to earn a living from music, film, journalism, or writing, then I am guilty as charged. But I take your point–there is so much piracy on the Internet that there's no reason for anyone to think that they would ever get paid for a creation.


  3. @yoshPersonally, It truly rubs wrong when someone assigns the "money grubber" tag to someone, but that's an entirely different discussion. It's should be every person's right to monetize their creations and without the threat of willful theft. If I desire to have this right preserved it's hardly a net loss for those that choose to waive it. However, the same doesn't apply in reverse; strip me of my ability to claim this right and I can't waive it back.


Comments are closed.