Nyan Cat awards are given for outstanding achievement in disinformation, web myths and general web based idiocy.
I just read with some amusement this article in the UK Guardian whereby author Phillip Pullman rightly calls piracy “Moral Squalor”. But that’s not the part that’s funny. It’s the quote that they use for “balance” from Creative Commons Chief Cathy Caverly.
“By default, copyright closes the door on countless ways that people can share, build upon, and remix each other’s work, possibilities that were unimaginable when those laws were established.”
NO IT DOESN”T. IT JUST MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO ASK PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR OF THE WORK IF YOU USE IT PUBLICLY AND/OR COMMERCIALLY EXPLOIT IT. HOW CAN ANY DECENT HUMAN BEING BE AGAINST THAT?
Permission is the foundation of civilization or have you forgotten that Ms Caverly?
But it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Chief of Creative Commons would utter such idiocy. For they claim they offer a license “that lets creators take copyright into their own hands”. WTF? It actually does the opposite. Isn’t this a false statement? False advertising? Fraud? Reading that statement I can’t imagine there are NOT artists out there that unwittingly put their now valuable work into Creative Commons thinking they were gaining more control over their work when in actuality they were doing the opposite. I’m not a lawyer but isn’t there a problem misleading people in this manner?
Plain old normal copyright IS creators right to their works in their own hands.
Creative Commons licenses are a permanent surrendering of some or all of your copyrights as an artist. To use the same analogy these CC licenses take creators’ works from their hands.
Now some people see Creative Commons as a elaborate put up for a particular large Internet corporation that would like nothing better than to monetize every book, film, photograph and song without ever having to ask permission of the author. They often point to Sergey Brin’s (Google) financial support of the organization and the fact that his mother-in-law is the vice chair. Or they point out that their board is completely dominated by people with ties to technology companies and opponents of Copyright. I don’t agree with this. The pseudo-intellectual Creative Commons movement was afoot long before Google existed. Still one can certainly argue that Creative Commons are “useful idiots” and I won’t object.
But here is the question that no one is asking:
“Why are Creative Commons licenses even necessary?”.
For you can do everything you do with Creative Commons that you can do with old-fashioned-non-googly copyright! For instance I allow the non-commercial sharing of recordings of my bands live shows on the non-profit Internet Music Archive. There are thousands of our recordings on the internet music archive. All I had to do was state on our website that we allow this. Voila. Thousands of recordings appeared.
Neither do we object to fans posting ukele cover versions of “Take the Skinheads Bowling” on their facebook pages. And may I remind you that the Grateful Dead enacted their famous taping policy without a Creative Commons license?
Photographers who wish to freely share their photos in any manner commercial or non commercial may state so on their websites without using a Creative Commons license. Plus they have the added advantage of being able to change their minds later. Something that is not possible with a Creative Commons License.
Why is it left to me rather than a real journalist to point out that there is no point to Creative Commons licenses? Where are the grown-ups?
Well perhaps I’m too hasty. There may be ONE point to these Creative Common licenses:
They serve to confuse the public as to the true nature of copyright. And that looks suspiciously like propaganda to me. “Useful idiots” indeed!
Therefore we hereby present our 3rd Nyan Cat Award to Cathy Caverly of Creative Commons. Enjoy.