Some Creative Commons licenses are free licenses; most permit at least noncommercial verbatim copying. But some, such as the Sampling Licenses and Developing Countries Licenses, don’t even permit that, which makes them unacceptable to use for any kind of work. All these licenses have in common is a label, but people regularly mistake that common label for something substantial.
He has a point, you know. I agree that the mentioned licenses are definitely non-free and, even if I would perhaps not go as far as saying that they are “unacceptable to use for any kind of work”, I can’t see a situation where I would use them.
Stallman also points to a real problem when he points out that far too many people don’t look “behind” the CC logo. The basic “Creative Commons License” is actually six very different licenses and there there are a few special licenses, like sampling and developing nations. To just say that something is CC licensed is not very informative. (related old rant)
This is now also on Slashdot
Hopefully, the situation here in Sweden is slightly better. For example, Stellan and I received a grant from Awapatent (Swedish patent/IPR consultants) to cover the costs of printing our thesis on CC licensing.
And if you feel you just have to discuss it with someone right away, there seems to be plenty of people hanging out in #gplv3 on irc.freenode.net.
I think this is a very good idea. Let’s face it, DRM sucks. It can take away your legal right to e.g. make copies of a CD for pesonal use and it is illegal (in many countries) to bypass it to exercise those rights. And what happens when CDs have been replaced completely by newer formats and you can no longer buy a new CD player to replace your old broken one? If DRM stops you from copying your CDs to newer media, you will no longer be able to play your CDs. You will be forced to buy them again if you want to keep them.
However, pledging to never purchase a CD that contains any form of DRM does seem a bit drastic. I would have signed immediately if the pledge had been something like “I will not knowingly buy a CD that contains DRM in 2006″ (It’s the season for that kind of thing anyway). This one requires more thought.
I absolutely detest the very idea of DRM. However, when Iron Maiden release their next album, I will not be able to not buy it. Unless it has some really unpleasant DRM that makes it unplayable, or unripable, under GNU/Linux, of course. I bought their last one without noticing that it was DRMed but the DRM was so bad (i.e. good!) that I did not even notice it. I’ve heard that the CD was difficult to rip on Windows PCs but I saw no signs of DRM myself.
But then again, Iron Maiden is a cool band with a very reasonable attitude towards file sharing.
I suppose that what I am trying to say is that while I agree with the goals of the pledge and already avoid DRM like the plague (except in special cases…), I am not prepared to sign. Those few special cases are just too hard to give up. After all, we all want music. That’s what all this fuzz is about.
So what would make me sign? Well, limits of some kind. A time limit, a possibility to make exceptions etc.
Something like Stallman’s Hollywood boycott:
The movie companies have been attacking our freedom persistently for a decade–they are no friends of ours. However, for many people the idea of a total boycott of Hollywood seems unthinkable. So I have an alternate proposal: never pay to see a movie unless you have specific reason to believe it is a good one.
This is not an absolute boycott of Hollywood, but in practice it comes pretty close.
Or maybe I just taking this all too seriously . . .
I’m sort of annoyed that the certificate does not show my grade, though. I got top marks (i.e. >95% correct answers) but the certificate only shows that I passed (which required >50% correct answers).
For those of you who are considering to sign up for this course, I must say that I wasn’t impressed. Then again, I have a degree in law, specialising in IP law. I must admit that I did not really study, I just skimmed through some of the material and did the multiple choice test at the end of the course.
But, of course, when it’s free and you get a certificate . . .
I just wrote about this in Swedish but I have to let my non-Swedish readers know as well. A new political party has just been started in Sweden. They are called Piratpartiet (meaning “The Pirate Party”) and they hope to get into the Swedish parliament after the elections in September 2006.
On the agenda is the abolishment of intellectual property as well as stronger privacy protection (e.g. non-implementation of data retention). They refrain from having an opinion on any other issues, so as to not alienate anyone or “shift the left-right balance”.
Update: About to be Slashdotted
Finnish authorities recently developed new anti piracy laws which would allow record companies to place names of convicted file sharers in major newspapers, and then charge them for the ad.
I forgot to blog that when I first heard it. Hilarious! Scary, though.
I found this over at the Gnu Girl Gazette. Food blogger Jason of D.C. Foodies was having a meal at a restaurant and, since he blogs about food, he took some pictures of the food he was served. During desert, the chef turned up to inform him that he needed to get her permission before using those pictures for anything.
And now for the interesting part. He actually got a letter from the restaurants lawyer demanding
. . . that you cease and desist from showing any pictures that you may have taken of the food and facilities of the said restaurant. . . The food and contents of the said restaurant are propriatary and confidential.
Wow, I have heard of secret recipes but proprietary plates of food?