September 11, 2003

Creative Commons in Slow Motion?

Dennis Kennedy has commented on the Creative Commons warranty issue on his blog, essentially confirming my opinion that a warranty has no business popping up in a license designed to give away content for free.

One quote from his post:

(Dennis Kennedy) "I mention this because the Creative Commons blog yesterday posted about the new streamlined process and other responses that were made as a result of comments and suggestions made in the last nine months. If you look at the two postings from, you’ll probably conclude, as I have, that the comments did not result in any changes and that the critique was rejected."

Actually, only Creative Commons insiders can know if the critique has been rejected. It may look to everyone else that way, since nothing seems to have been announced since Glenn Otis Brown said on May 14 that the issue would be discussed at the next board meeting. But there seem to be no public records of Creative Commons board meetings available.

Whatever. I think it is about time that Creative Commons showed some kind of reaction in this issue, even if it's only something like "we're still discussing about what to do".

And the most urgent task seems to be to remove the misleading language in the FAQ

(Creative Commons) "Does it cost me anything to use your licenses?

Nope. They're free."

It does cost licensors a lot, potentially their whole net worth, to use CC licenses with warranties that have no dollar limit whatsoever. It costs every licensor exactly whatever is the economical worth of that warranty. That cost may vary with circumstances, but if it's zero in all cases, there would be no point in having the warranty in the first place.

For all I know, Creative Commons may have already decided on the issue and is only waiting for the best timing for announcing their solution.

But in the eye of those who have no access to inside information, they look like moving rather slow, or even having dismissed the critique without following up.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at September 11, 2003 01:24 PM | TrackBack