Thursday, February 03, 2005

CC's Internet Fixation

Karl Jonsson points to what he calls a Creative Commons (CC) "Bug", but I'd say is an example of the fixation of the CC license on online content and its distribution. When printing a page that is covered by a CC license, like this one, the information on what kind of license you're dealing with is lost, since the links are lost. All you see is the standard CC tag, while you can guess that my content is actually covered by an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license. A simple adjustment of the standard tag by changing the text would do the trick, though you will still not have an overview of the full license.

Karl Jonsson calls this a severe problem and that "This sort of defeats the purpose of the whole CC idea." I think that is a bit of a hard call. The CC license allows simple licensing for those who want to share their creations easily. And for a licensing scheme that seeks the widest dissemination of the content it covers, nothing is a more logical place to be applied than to on the internet. It might be interesting to see what on balance the distribution of CC licensed content is online and offline. I'd guess the average CC license dwells in a digital environment with 24/7 internet access.
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Update: Karl has a follow-up in the comment section of his posting, pointing out that two extra words to point out the specific license would not hurt and he quotes the Free Software Foundation's advice on Creative Commons licensing:

For other kinds of works, we recommend you consider the licenses proposed by Creative Commons.

However, when using them, we strongly urge you to reject the option to reference the license with a link to a URL. You cannot take for granted that the same URL will still function ten years from now; fifty years from now, URLs as they exist today may be entirely obsolete. If the URL does not function, that would disconnect your work from its license; then it would effectively lose its copying permissions, since people won’t be able to tell what is permitted. We therefore urge you to include a copy of the license with the work, for every work, all the time


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have posted some comments here:


3/2/05 11:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding the following code to your print stylesheet displays the URI after the CC-button when printed (works with Gecko browsers, Opera and probably also Safari):

a[rel="license"]:after {content: ' [URI: ' attr(href) ']';}

For a working example, see

3/2/05 18:49  

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