mfioretti: public domain* + culture*

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  1. The No-Derivatives option, frankly, is not very popular. People can tell it’s self-defeating.

    The Share-Alike option, on the other hand, is quite popular. And it’s the one that kept me using CC the longest. Even those of us who are OK with others using our content for commercial purposes find it repellent to think that those others could wall off their derived works from the commons, refusing to pass on the benefit they themselves had received. It’s such a compelling argument that the P2P Foundation is promoting a whole new license to prohibit exactly that. But, as discussed by Dave Wiley more than eight years ago, Share-Alike-licensed content can only be combined with other content with an identical CC license, which is very limiting—and that’s really just a subset of the general compatibility problems with CC-licensed content (updated various times and still complicated). This really defeats the purpose of the commons, as Wiley illustrates with another graphic. As the saying goes, the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

    In essence, the problem is that Creative Commons allows people to grant others freedom, but with very specific and often mutually exclusive conditions. And that’s only sort of freedom. Does that mean people who use CC are evil, and that I’m boycotting their content? Certainly not. It simply means I find it simplest and most effective to use the public domain (with a fallback to CC0 in jurisdictions that don’t recognize the public domain) to build the commons.

    That leaves the question of free riders, meaning those who would copyright their derived works. At this point, I don’t believe that a further fragmentation of licenses that are complicated to apply and almost impossible to enforce will serve to both build the commons and prevent this problem. Of the two, my priority is the former, but I do still want to keep corporations from strip-mining the commons.

    One way might be to simply ignore them and keep doing our own thing. It’s important to remember that they cannot remove anything from the public domain, nor can they copyright an idea in the public domain itself, only a work derived from it. So, if future iterations of an idea in the public domain are better than those derived works, then the gamble of having produced them will not pay off. Similarly, if small workshops make and sell the products in short runs, not bothering to copyright them, large corporations simply won’t be able to compete. Copyrights take a minimum of three months to register, and that’s enough time for P2P production to move on to something better. In fact, the threat of a copyright might actually spur innovation.

    Another consideration is that corporations creating derived works doesn’t have to result from content being in the public domain or in the commons. They repeat each others’ ideas all the time, in spite of trademarks and copyrights. It’s the idea that attracts attention, not how it’s licensed.
    http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/thinking-about-licensing/2015/11/05
    Voting 0
  2. One of the most exciting things about widespread access to 3D printing is how it has started to push cultural institutions to begin digitizing their 3D collections. Now, in addition to being able to see free high quality 2D scans of paintings like a 15th Century Italian Pentecost and 18th Century Japanese Woodcuts, you can see (and sometimes download, print, and modify) high quality 3D scans of the Cooper Hewitt Mansion, Abraham Lincoln’s face, and Musette the Maltese Dog. With objects reaching back thousands of years scattered across cultural institutions around the world, it isn’t hard to imagine a future where the world’s cultural heritage objects are available to anyone with a 3D printer (or, say, a Shapeways account).

    a question about copyright is lurking in the background of this glorious future. Specifically, a question about copyrights in the scans of the objects themselves: are 3D scans protected by copyright? If the answer is yes, scanning could drag parts of cultural heritage objects away from their home in the public domain and lock them up behind proprietary walls for decades. That would make it much harder for people to access their own cultural heritage.

    Fortunately, at least one court in the United States has found that scanning an object does not create a new copyright in the scan. That means that scanning a 9th century Hanuman mask doesn’t wrap the scan in a new copyright. However, a paper from earlier this year by Thomas Margoni illustrates that the copyright status of scans is not as clear in the European Union. That lack of clarity alone could slow the dissemination of objects housed in Europe’s finest cultural institutions. Hopefully, the EU will move to clarify that 3D scans of objects do not create entirely new layers of copyright protection.
    http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archive...blic-domain-in-the-public-domain.html
    Voting 0

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