Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dvorak Off the Deep End

John C. Dvorak completely and utterly misses the point of the Creative Commons. I can't believe I just wasted 5 minutes of my life reading this crap. Dvorhack finishes his rant with, "And it seems to actually weaken the copyrights you have coming to you without Creative Commons." If he spent 5 minutes researching the subject, he would realize that's the point. He doesn't even seem to understand normal copyright law: "Now you just use the word 'copyright,' add your name and a date, and publish it." Actually, you can do nothing at all, and copyright law will still reserve all your rights whether you want them or not. The Creative Commons provides a standard, incremental framework for giving up your rights, not reserving more rights than the law allows. It's like an Open Source license. Why waste your time and money reinventing the license wheel just so you can give away your content? A creative commons license tells users how they can reuse your content without each and every one having to ask your permission. Users can learn the CC licenses and not have to parse umpteen million similar but slightly different copyright licenses. Update: That is not to say the CC is perfect. Far from it. Lawrence Lessig spoke at my company a month or so ago. He freely admitted that the CC has flaws and told a story about an earlier visit during which one of our founders asked if the CC could negatively impact the public's default rights to use content which isn't licensed under the CC. Could you imagine a world where an image search engine couldn't include a picture because the photographer forgot to tag it with a CC license?

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