Lessig on SA without NC

creativecommonsI just added an update to my post ‘That NC thing again’. And I felt that it is necessary to post it on the homepage as well so more readers will notice that update.

“What’s it all about?”, you might ask. Well, Lawrence Lessig comments on some of the issues of the article of Intelligentdesigns in his weekly ‘CC in Review’. Here’s a quote:

For example, imagine you’re in a band and you’ve recorded a new song. You’re happy to have it spread around the Internet. But you’re not keen that Sony include it on a CD — at least without asking you first. If you release the song under a simple Attribution license there’s no reason Sony (or anyone else) couldn’t take your song and sell it. And I personally see nothing wrong with you wanting to reserve your commercial rights so that Sony has to ask you permission (and pay you) before they can profit from your music.

Möller suggests you can avoid this problem by copylefting the song, using, for example, a CC-ShareAlike term. As he argues, “[a]ny company trying to exploit your work will have to make their ‘added value’ available for free to everyone. Seen like this, the ‘risk’ of exploitation turns into a potentially powerful benefit.”

But this is not quite right. The ShareAlike requirement kicks in only if the adopter makes a “derivative work” out of the song. Merely adding it to a CD isn’t a derivative work. So that’s not a sufficient protection against this particular form of exploitation. And it is thus for this sort of case that the NC term is designed.

I understand now that using SA without NC might be tricky. At the moment I will continue using BY-NC-SA because this is the best one for me I guess, because it offers commercial protection. At the same time it gives a lot of freedoms to users. Rights to copy and distribute it among friends, family and most important: my prospects (filmmakers, documentary producers etc.). And that’s exactly what I need.

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