Creative Commons
February 11, 2002
SF Gate's Hal Plotkin on Creative Commons

SF Gate's Hal Plotkin has written a column about Lawrence Lessig's Creative Commons project.

This seems as good a time as any to announce that I am the Technical Architect for the Creative Commons. Although I am not at liberty to discuss the details of what we are doing publicly at this time, Lawrence Lessig was kind enough to spill the beans about some of them in Hal's article.

I'll be providing the details of what we're building at my presentation at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference in Santa Clara in May 2002.

Check out:
All Hail Creative Commons: Stanford professor and author Lawrence Lessig plans a legal insurrection,
by Hal Plotkin for SF Gate.

In a boon to the arts and the software industry, Creative Commons will make available flexible, customizable intellectual-property licenses that artists, writers, programmers and others can obtain free of charge to legally define what constitutes acceptable uses of their work. The new forms of licenses will provide an alternative to traditional copyrights by establishing a useful middle ground between full copyright control and the unprotected public domain.

The first set of licensing options Creative Commons plans to make available are designed mostly for people looking for some protections as they move their wares into the public domain. Those protections might include requirements that the work not be altered, employed for commercial purposes or used without proper attribution.

Lessig adds that it's possible Creative Commons' licenses may eventually evolve to include options that permit or enable certain commercial transactions. An artist might, for example, agree to give away a work as long as no one is making money on it but include a provision requiring payments on a sliding scale if it's sold. As participation in the Commons project increases, a variety of specific intellectual-property license options will evolve in response to user needs, which in turn would create templates for others with similar requirements.

Within a few months, artists, writers and others will soon be able to go online, select the options that suit them best and receive a custom-made license they can append to their works without having to pay a dime to a lawyer, let alone the thousands of dollars it typically costs to purchase similar legal services.

Posted by Lisa at February 11, 2002 07:51 AM | TrackBack
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