Larry Lessig 50th Birthday Lip Sync Tribute from Daniel Jones on Vimeo. This video illustrates many famous goofs and and lesser-knowns who have endorsed Lessig's loopy technocommunist ideals starting with Joi Ito, venture communist. Only the children can be forgiven. Featuring Ethan Zuckerman telling us there is water at the bottom of the ocea. See Aaron Swartz at 2:38. This video has a CC license. I am using it because I can as an illustration to a critical post.
By Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Ever since I started this blog 2.5 years ago, I've been waiting for three things that might happen because of my persistent and strong critique of Creative Commons (which I call Creative Communism) and the copyleftist movement. I've called either to ignore and not apply the phony licenses to your work if you are creative, or to pressure CC to add a "pay me to copy" license.
Accordingly, given my strong and persistent stance -- many people criticize CC once or twice but never come back again because they are browbeaten to death by its supporters -- I have expected the following:
1) Someone who resents my critique and who is their supporter will call me out for "hypocrisy" on the fact that despite being a strong critique of CC, I use photos of people who have indicated they want a CC license. To be sure, I attribute the photos to those persons -- although I refuse to put any CC insignia or marks or notifications on my site -- but they may feel that if I use them *and criticize the idea of CC* I may be "hypocritical and "to be stopped".
2) Someone who resents my critique and is a CC booster will claim that if use attribution-only photos, not for commercial use, but have Google Ads on my blog for Adsense, that I am supposedly "exploiting" their non-commercial pictures "for commercial use".
3) And finally, someone who resnts my critique and supports Lessig and others will invoke the vague wording in the license for attribution -- "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work) -- and say that the mere appearance of their photo on my site implies "endorsement" and therefore they will ask me to remove their photo as they don't endorse me or my views.
And what's interesting is that despite the high potential for "trolling" and heckling and harassment and claw-backs and hatred on the Internet, and despite the near-cult-like fanatacism that some people bring to the whole Creative Commons shill, I've never encountered any of these issues ever on this blog.
Until now, regarding the first one.
And it's not surprising that it's from a persistent sniper and heckler, Pieter Hulshoff, and avid copyleftist and excuser of piracy who endlessly Energizer-Bunnies in the comments here against me, such as in the comments to my article about copyleftist law-faring where he says:
You know, for someone who bashes Creative Commons as much as you do, you use a remarkable amount of images released under that license. :) Since when is "there isn't an easy payment system" an acceptable excuse in your mind?
So...Why do I use Creative Commons "licensed" pictures?
The answer is simple.
Because I can.
Because they are there for the taking, for attribution, and in keeping with other terms they might use, i.e. no mixing, or mixing etc.
I simply given them the attribution they require under their fake "license" as a consideration I'd give anybody who released their work on the Internet for attribution -- and I link back to their page so that someone can go see more of their work and decide if they want to get involved in the CC thing themselves or not. I never put any CC on my own works -- they all say "copyright" and they all mean "pay me to use them".
The CC "licenses" and people who use them do not say, "You can use our system, only if you like our ideas and support us and are one of us". They don't say, "You can't criticize our system or you can't use it." They don't even say, "You must put the CC license jpeg/insignia on your site along with the attribution or you can't use it". But of course, they will likely come to that point some day precisely because they aren't what they seem and pretend.
Pieter is a good example of that duplicity, and a very good example of a shyster who uses fake morality to try to play gotcha in the eternal pirate's undermining of legitimacy for copyright.
He thinks that a critic who says to pirates "lack of ease for payment isn't an excuse to copy" can't therefore justify using a CC license by reverse logic. Basically, he's saying, "You can't use CC unless you support its philosophy, and you can't use CC if you criticize piracy or prosecution of copyleftists -- or else I will call you out as a hypocrite."
That's stupid -- and hey, I saw what you did there.
Like I said: the condition for use of CC isn't "you must refrain from criticism of our lack of a paid option". Or "you must refrain from being a hypocrite". It just says, essentially, "if you copy this, give me credit".
I think the lack of a payment option on CC "licenses" is cunning, conniving, and deliberate. It's not about the difficult of coding payment systems and coupling them to content distribution pages -- that's trivial and done everywhere now. It's not about pretending that payment and distribution are apples and oranges and they don't do those windows. No, it's about a concerted, central, ideological belief that people should not be seeking to commercialize digital items on the Internet. They want to deliberately smash the commodiofication of the digital, and remove any inherent commodification properties it has. That's why they endlessly cite this fake pirate fallacy that you "haven't really stolen anything" when you lift a copy of something that is copyrighted. Of course you have. You've stolen the ability to monetarize by the IP owner.
If people who want attribution also had an easy way to pay them, I'd pay them. But they don't. So I don't. Because I can. They didn't ask for payment. Flickr doesn't add payment options; other sites don't either. They send you to Getty Images sometimes for commercial use, but I'm not a commercial user, and it's too may steps for a casual user to try to convert as a moral action.
No, the Silicon Valley tilt away for payment for the user-generated content is deliberate, ideological, and methodically thwarted. It is no accident, comrade. So I won't be playing that game.
I take those images *because I can* and that's how it's going to be. I don't take them because they haven't made payment easy -- that's the pirate's logic. I take them because they've released them for attribution only, not pay. Full stop.
Trying to gin more out of it is just obvious "trolling" -- a word that I usually reject for usage because it's so overbroad and always used to hamper free speech. But it has a specific connotation for many in this: deliberately heckling and harassing someone over a perceived hypocrisy in the effort to try to get them to somehow concede their hypocrisy or give up. I won't be doing that because I'm not hypocrital, I just take people seriously when they put free content on the Internet for me to take -- with attribution. I do. Because I can. The minute somebody smartens up and bucks the Silicon Valley mandate on this and puts in easy payment options with microcurrency to make small reasonable payments, I'll be all over it.
As for these other two concerns that haven't come up -- they will, inevitably, some day. As my blog gets more traffic, as those people I criticize get more nasty and oh, decide they have "second thoughts" about themselves in pictures at parties with each other with wine glasses or whatever it is that they feel should have only been used by their little friends. And I expect that at some point, they will restort to gambits 2) and 3). They will feel, "Hey, that movie for Larry's 50th birthday should only be used by his friends and admirers to support him, not to criticize him or imply they're goofs". And the moment they do that, they will have proved that they aren't what they seem. They're not a global village; they're just a village.
No. 3 is easy to reject. The ads for my little blog produce minimal income, the blog is not high traffic, and it is impossible to characterize it as a "commercial" blog when nothing is sold on it. The intention of such an edict should be to ensure that, say, newspapers that are commercial entities and that normally have to pay for photos because they sell their newspapers and sell advertising, don't just lift CC photos casually. There is even a successful lawsuit in this regard in Holland by Adam Curry -- where else and by who else, eh?!
But in order to succeed with that notion, CC couldn't just arbitrarily harass little blogs with no income to speak of who aren't selling anything with these pictures -- they're just there to illustrate the blog post and help bring attention to the work of good photographers.
No. 2 I expect to see here some day because I've seen it in the Second Life context.
And the language is indeed overbroad, and those freaks who boost the CC system as a political action will be the first to try to claim an interpretation of that vague language to suit them.
I don't think that they should get to do that, and that if they do that, they will be merely revealing the true nature of Creative Commons as not really about what it claims -- a means for photographers and designers to get their work "out there" and recognized and attributed properly -- but rather a means in fact to actually create that digital commons that is the collectivist vision of the future these technocommunists have.
That's why I don't think they'll hesitate at all to use methods 1) or 2) or 3) to discredit their critics, even though in fact we're all supposed to be able to copy and use these images for distribution on our blogs if we give the people credit -- and they should not claw that back regardless of the free speech used around their freely-given images.
It's only a matter of time before some Marxist-Leninist Occupier who put his work for CC on Flickr demands that it be taken down from my blog because I criticize OWS and he does not want to appear as an endorser of my views. Not to put ideas into their addled little brains, but it's the sort of thing that is coming as the Internet becomes more and more of a contested space.