Defining “Non-Commercial Use” in Creative Commons…12.04.08

4 12 2008

From Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing today “What is Non-Commercial Use?” [http://www.boingboing.net/2008/12/03/what-is-noncommercia.html]–inquiring librarian minds want to know, doesen’t everybody?:

Creative Commons is running a study on what ‘non-commercial’ means to different people — creators, remixers, corporations, webmasters, and so on. Many of us give out our works under Creative Commons ‘non-commercial’ licenses (I do!), but there’s a lot of disagreement about where the boundary between commercial and non-commercial lies. Your contribution to the survey will help Creative Commons refine this border and come up with something that we can all point to when a disagreement arises.

As previously announced, Creative Commons is studying how people understand the term ‘noncommercial use’. At this stage of research, we are reaching out to the Creative Commons community and to anyone else interested in public copyright licenses – would you please take a few minutes to participate in our study by responding to this questionnaire? Your response will be anonymous – we won’t collect any personal information that could reveal your identity.Because we want to reach as many people as possible, this is an open access poll, meaning the survey is open to anyone who chooses to respond. We hope you will help us publicize the poll by reposting this announcement and forwarding this link to others you think might be interested. The questionnaire will remain online through December 7 or until we are overwhelmed with responses — so please let us hear from you soon!”

Non-Commercial study questionnaire 





“The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind” Sounds Like a Good Read on Copyright…11.30.08

30 11 2008

He is a book review by Cory Doctorow [http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/30/james-boyles-the-pub.html] on BoingBoing that made me want to place it on my reading list although copyright/copyfight has not been a major point of interest with me:

“Jamie Boyle, of the Duke Center for the Public Domain, has a new book out, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. Boyle ranks with Lessig, Benkler and Zittrain as one of the most articulate, thoughtful, funny and passionate thinkers in the global fight for free speech, open access, and a humane and sane policy on patents, trademarks and copyrights. A legal scholar who can do schtick like a stand-up comedian, Boyle is entertaining as well as informative.

I’ve got a copy on its way to me, but while I’m waiting, I’m delighted to discover that Jamie talked his publisher, Yale University Press, into offering the book as a free, CC-licensed download. And right there, in the preface, I’m hooked:

Each person has a different breaking point. For one of my students it was United States Patent number 6,004,596 for a “Sealed Crustless Sandwich.” In the curiously mangled form of English that patent law produces, it was described this way:A sealed crustless sandwich for providing a convenient sandwich without an outer crust which can be stored for long periods of time without a central filling from leaking outwardly. The sandwich includes a lower bread portion, an upper bread portion, an upper filling and a lower filling between the lower and upper bread portions, a center filling sealed be- tween the upper and lower fillings, and a crimped edge along an outer perimeter of the bread portions for sealing the fillings there between. The upper and lower fillings are preferably comprised of peanut butter and the center filling is comprised of at least jelly. The center filling is pre- vented from radiating outwardly into and through the bread portions from the surrounding peanut butter.

‘But why does this upset you?’ I asked; ‘you’ve seen much worse than this.’ And he had. There are patents on human genes, on auctions, on algorithms. The U.S. Olympic Committee has an expansive right akin to a trademark over the word ‘Olympic’ and will not permit gay activists to hold a ‘Gay Olympic Games.’ The Supreme Court sees no First Amendment problem with this. Margaret Mitchell’s estate famously tried to use copyright to prevent Gone With the Wind from being told from a slave’s point of view. The copyright over the words you are now read- ing will not expire until seventy years after my death; the men die young in my family, but still you will allow me to hope that this might put it close to the year 2100. Congress periodically considers legislative proposals that would allow the ownership of facts. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act gives content providers a whole array of legally protected digital fences to en- close their work. In some cases it effectively removes the privilege of fair use. Each day brings some new Internet horror story about the excesses of intellectual property. Some of them are even true. The list goes on and on. (By the end of this book, I hope to have convinced you that this matters.) With all of this going on, this enclosure movement of the mind, this locking up of symbols and themes and facts and genes and ideas (and eventually people), why get excited about the patenting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? ‘I just thought that there were limits,’ he said; ‘some things should be sacred.'” 








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