There is an ongoing debate on the internet over the merits of Creative Commons licenses, either because it is not radical enough, or, because it is wrong to support the copyright culture, of which CC is an emanation, and which it paradoxically re-inforces.
This is not a critique that I share, and other collaborators at the P2P Foundation, such as Sam Rose, have defended the CC license, because it gives freedom to the individual, which is primoridial.
Here’s another defense and ‘critique of the critique, from the Liquid Culture blog:
It first establishes the context:
“There is a type of criticism against Creative Commons which has grown quite prominent within the copyleft recently. The main tenet in this line of argumentation seems to be that CC through its reliance on the existing copyright regime actually reinforces copyright. For example, Crosbie Fitch recently examplified this stance on the fc-uk-discuss mailing list: “CC is flawed in that it consolidates the perception that the artist should be able to control the use of their art.”
After an excursion into Gramscian theory, the entry goes on to argue:
“What I want to ask here is: Why this fear of the author, and this stress on limiting the author’s authority over his/her work? Why this almost populist embrace of the alleged collective of consumers? Why this fundamentalist opposition to institutionalising the rights of the producer – seemingly over the whole spectrum of cultural production?
Because isn’t it really the case that what really aggravates us free-thinking anti-authoritarian individuals isn’t copyright per se, but the absurd extremes of the current copyright regime? Post-mortem rights (70 years after the death of an author); DRM (unnecessary and dangerous extra layers of restriction of digital content); the selling and trading of copyrights (they are no longer bound to the original author); draconian interpretations of what is “fair use” or not; etc.
For me, these are all deeply serious issues, affecting the cultural ecosystem of the early 21st century in negative ways, blocking creativity where there could be prosperity and innovation. It’s against the corporate powerhouses – in the extreme stratospheres of copyright – where we should fight the fight, for example prohibiting the extension of copyright expiry dates, the selling and trading of copyrights, the commodification of what is essentially something that should be uniquely tied to the author and acting ways that are as non-interfering as possible on our precious cultural commons.
But rummaging around in the undervegetation, fuelled by a hate towards anything authorial, acting against all forms of copyright, or copyright-like concepts (=CC)? I think it’s a bad idea. Moreover, it’s fundamentalist, narrow minded and counterproductive. Small cultural producers need protection, we all know that.”