Sign of the Times

Free Ride just received a review in The New York Times, and it’s a two-page rave. Naturally, I’m thrilled. Apart from any commercial considerations, it’s great to have the respect of other writers – especially a prominent law professor. And I think it shows how public opinion on these issues is finally starting to change.

We are now having a vigorous debate over how to enforce existing laws online, as well we should, even if the quality of that debate occasionally involves asking the opinion of a teenage Canadian pop star who can’t quite name all of the continents. But people have started to realize that amateur media won’t replace the work of professional creators. They’re even talking about the debate as one between Silicon Valley giants and Hollywood media companies – and starting to notice that online activists have a financial bias of their own.

Have a great Thanksgiving.



32 thoughts on “Sign of the Times

  1. Well deserved. Free Ride is a must read for all artists in all mediums and conscious consumers. Congrats!

    Posted by TMD | November 26, 2011, 6:12 pm
  2. Congrats on the cool review in the NYT!

    Time is on your side, and I think your book will be accepted for what it is–the pro-artist/creator shot heard round the world.

    The sad thing is the silence of Lessig and his billion-dollar parasite buddies, who destroyed the creative middle class so as to make Sean Parker and themselves–the uncreative, agrregating class–billionaires.

    Make no mistake–Lessig is no friend to the indie artist and creator, but only to Sean Parker and his expensive habits.

    Facebook’s First President, Sean Parker, Was Fired Over A Cocaine Arrest

    History will look back and laugh about how Larry Lessig and his technocrats financed a system which encouraged artists and creators to voluntarily sign away their private property and ownership so that billionaire aggregators could profit at the expense of creators.

    Yes–yes–of course Cory Doctorow loses no book sales by giving his books away for free, but neither would Cory Doctorow lose any revenue from his basketball-playing skills if he taped himself playing basketball and put it on youtube. Does this mean that all basketball players like Kobe Bryant should play for free, upload their content to youtube, and then make money by selling t-shirts?

    In an earlier post here one of the commentators stated that those for DRM are against national security and are thus terrorists.

    Such are the ludicrous philosophies furthered by the anti-DRM billionaire fanobyz.

    Posted by stephan | November 26, 2011, 6:19 pm
    • Another strawman, Stephan? Would you mind limiting your comments about me to things I actually said?

      My comment with regards to national security had to do with the argument from Sandia National Laboratories that SOPA prevents the full adoption of DNSSEC, something our government considers to be of vital importance for national security. That has nothing to do with DRM, and neither did I claim that it did.

      Posted by Pieter | November 27, 2011, 7:20 pm
      • Dear Pieter,

        Perhaps you could explain how exactly SOPA undermines national security?

        How does asking people to pay for music from an indie band constitute a terrorist threat exactly?

        Posted by stephan | November 28, 2011, 6:42 pm
  3. I loved the picture they put as the lead-in. If Free Ride runs into a second or third edition, maybe you could them to put that on the cover. 😀

    Seriously, though, it’s a good review for a good book. I particularly found your section on newspapers to be convincing.

    That said, I suspect that the Music Industry would have eventually been forced to move towards selling singles even if they did take a more staunch pro-album stance, particularly for newer acts without established fanbases. I’m personally glad that they did, since I’ve always hated the “one radio hit sells the other 9 songs that nobody wants to listen to” model.

    Posted by Brett | November 27, 2011, 5:01 pm
  4. Congratulations, Robert. My ordered copy’s in the mail, so I should be able to read it soon. 🙂

    Posted by Pieter | November 28, 2011, 8:36 am
  5. Dear Stephan,

    Asking people to pay for music from an indie band (or any other band for that matter) has nothing to do with terrorism, nor do I claim that anyone in favour of SOPA is pro-terrorism, just like people who oppose SOPA are not necessarily pro-copyright infringement.

    The DNS filtering requirement of SOPA however prevents the full implementation of DNSSEC, which is considered a vital part of the anti-cyberterrorism effort to prevent DNS hijacking. The DNS protocol contains some fundamental security flaws that DNSSEC should fix, so legal requirements that prevent the usage of DNSSEC would leave those systems open to its security flaws. Now whether that’s a price we should be willing to pay to try and prevent copyright infringement is a different discussion, but that this SOPA requirement prevents the usage of certain anti-cyberterrorism measures like DNSSEC is a simple technological fact.

    Posted by Pieter | November 28, 2011, 8:06 pm
    • Thank you Pieter,

      I will now sleep better knowing that an indie band seeking to be compensated for their work, in accordance with the US Constitution, will not be singled out for a drone attack as a threat to national security.

      Posted by Great Books For Men GreatBooksForMen GBFM (TM) GB4M (TM) GR8BOOKS4MEN (TM) | November 28, 2011, 9:24 pm
      • Want to hear something funny?
        DNSSEC is a dozen years away from even being able to be even considered to be implemented…
        …you know what a dozen years does to any ‘standard’ being worked on in IT? (i’m still waiting for the FireWire 3.0 standard…)

        Congrats on the review Rob. You definately deserve it, and more good things to follow.

        Posted by James_J | November 29, 2011, 9:36 pm
  6. That’s odd; I can find dozens of reports on the progress of the deployment of DNSSEC, so how does that work if it’s not even considered to be implemented? Would you mind letting us know where you got that information?

    On a brighter note: With a little luck the copy of Robert’s book should arrive tomorrow. 🙂

    Posted by Pieter | November 30, 2011, 9:15 am
  7. I only know a bit about DNSSEC, but I find it odd that the only time we talk about security problems with the Internet is when copyright holders want to enforce existing laws. There are PLENTY of security problems with the Internet: Falsified security certificates, nationalistic Chinese hackers, you name it. The real issue is that we are using a system designed by computer science academics to share information for commerce, and it’s just not very good for that. The real question is whether we want to let computer science academics, and the giant corporations they now work for, shape the direction of our society. I think Vint Cerf is a gifted engineer, but I did not vote for him, and neither did anyone else. Google and other technology companies need to start following the laws we have before I will take seriously their desire to change our legal system.

    Posted by roblevine1 | November 30, 2011, 9:21 am
    • Actually, we talk about security problems with the internet all the time. Most of the time, non-technologists however are not interested, untill it hits one of their latest plans to prevent copyright infringement. In this case a non-working plan at that.

      Why would a system designed by computer science academics not be suited for commerce? Judging from the success of Amazon, Bol.com, iTunes, banks, etc. I’d say it’s perfectly suited for commerce. It’s also perfectly suitable for private communication, which makes it very hard to police what happens between two people. Actually, that’s not much different from real life, is it? You have no idea if that hard disk I loaned to a friend doesn’t contain 200 movies, and neither do you have the right to inspect it to find out if it does or not.

      I’m sure that if Google and other technology companies do not follow the law they will be held accountable for it in a court of law. That however is not what’s at stake here. SOPA is a NEW law, attempting to do two things:
      1. Shift liability for infringement to third parties.
      2. Make enforcement of such law the problem of non-related parties (DNS-servers, payment providers, etc.).
      If you make a cost/benefit analysis of this law, you have to conclude it’s simply a very bad law. It has practically no benefit to rights holders, but some huge costs to society. Its intentions may be good, but its implementation is not.

      Posted by Pieter | November 30, 2011, 9:45 am
      • It’s very hard to sell items that are not physical – you know that. It’s hardly “perfectly suited for commerce.” It’s just perfectly suited for Google and other companies lobbying to erode existing copyright protections.

        SOPA is a new law that would make it easier to enforce legal principles that are hundreds of years old. I find it too vague, and you are free to dislike it, but it’s not as new as you say.

        Right now, there is no working mechanism to enforce copyright law online. If you do not like the suggested mechanism, that’s fine. But at some point you ought to suggest your own. You continue to make the same points about SOPA over and over again; you have made your opinions clear. Same with DRM. Instead of continuing to say the same things, why not suggest a way that copyright law _can_ be enforced online. (The DMCA is clearly inadequate if you look at the number of businesses built on infringement.) I don’t want to hear about interesting business strategies, some of which can work. I want to hear about a way I can enforce my existing rights under the law. So far, the silence from the other side has been deafening . . .

        Posted by roblevine1 | November 30, 2011, 10:08 am
  8. As said before: just because something is a problem doesn’t mean there’s a working solution for it: http://mimiandeunice.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/ME_431_OfferSolutions.png

    iTunes is doing a pretty good job of selling non-physical items. So is Amazon with its e-books. Selling non-physical items is not the problem: enforcing copyright is. I’m all in favour of enforcing copyright, but just because there may not be a good solution doesn’t mean we have to adopt a bad one.

    I think one of the main problems isn’t even the enforcement itself; it’s in the cost of doing so, and who should bear that cost. Rights holders have generally found that the cost of enforcement far outweighs the benefits, at least when it comes to enforcement towards people rather than companies. If that is the case, it is the case no matter who picks up the bill, so perhaps we should look for alternatives? The unions for musicians, dancers, and actors in the Netherlands for instance are in favour of legalisation in return for a levy system.

    On the other hand: if there’s so much money to be made by sites like Google, YouTube, TPB, etc. why isn’t the industry setting up such sites of their own?

    Posted by Pieter | November 30, 2011, 10:31 am
    • Try to find a solution. I don’t think companies have really tried. I think Google has put more effort into building a driverless car than they have into stopping infringement. Why wouldn’t they? They don’t have a motivation to stop bad behavior until they have some liability. We can argue about how much liability they should have – that’s a tough but necessary conversation. To suggest they should have full liability, as some in the entertainment business would argue, is foolish. To suggest they should have none at all, as almost everyone in the technology business believes, is stupid.

      >>>On the other hand: if there’s so much money to be made by sites like Google, YouTube, TPB, etc. why isn’t the industry setting up such sites of their own?

      This is silly. You are smarter than this. The money made by these companies is not enough to fund the cost of the art we now enjoy. Also, people like to find everything in one place but labels and studios have a very hard time working together because of antitrust laws. Mostly, though, if you look at the money a TV show could make on YouTube, it would not cover the cost of making the show. Pressuring rightsholders into bad deals using piracy as leverage works very well as a business for YouTube. It would not work for people who make TV shows.

      Posted by roblevine1 | November 30, 2011, 11:04 am
      • Stopping infringement isn’t something a company like Google can do. That would come into the science fiction realm of TPMs, which we’ve discussed before. Detecting possible infringement, now that’s a different matter. Google’s already done a great deal in that regard, especially on YouTube. I must admit that YouTube’s rather special in that regard, since it controls the format of the files on its servers. As such, it can actually do detection. Cyberlockers and UseNET for instance don’t have that option. On Google, any file an infringer can find, you as a rights holder can find. It just comes back to the cost vs benefit of bringing natural infringers (as opposed to companies) into court.

        The law doesn’t recognise the concept of “some liability”. You’re either liable, or you’re not. It’s like the discussion we had on “due process”. You can’t have “some due process”. Due process is a concept that requires access to ALL of your legal options, not just 1 or 2.

        We can debate how much companies like Google can do, and how much they should do, and who should pay for it. As a simple example: what do you think YouTube should do more than it’s doing now? Give me some concrete examples?

        Posted by Pieter | November 30, 2011, 12:09 pm
  9. Google does a very good job of detecting infringement BECAUSE VIACOM SUED THEM. Hello!

    Cyberlockers can take similar steps. RapidShare cooperates with rights-holders; Megaupload doesn’t. Why not?

    OF COURSE the law recognizes degrees of liability! “Some liability” is a poor way to express it, I admit, but recognizing degrees of liability is what negligence is all about. Ever heard of the concept of “duty of care?”

    (As far as due process, you are conflating a few different things; it’s complicated but the standard for seizing property involved in the commission of a crime is different from the standard for a guilty verdict and both are different from the standard in a civil case. You should read copyhype.com – you may not agree with him, but he does not work for anyone involved and he’s a very smart lawyer.)

    I think what YouTube does is fine. I’d call it filtering up to a reasonable standard. I would require that. Companies that meet this standard would be fine – and the expense of filing a legal action would discourage frivolous lawsuits (at least in the U.S.). Companies that don’t, like Grooveshark and Pirate Bay, would either have to adopt some kind of reasonable filtering method or face potential liability. Are filters perfect? No. But this would also create a market for developing better ones.

    I am sure you will find something wrong with this. But you need to focus on creating better solutions. From rights-holders, I hear ideas – some silly, others flawed, all interesting places to start a discussion. What I hear from technology companies is excuses. When Google has trouble protecting its own IP, it gets help from the NSA – at US taxpayer expense. They need to devote some of that energy to protecting my IP as well. Perhaps some of their gigantic lobbying budget could be diverted?

    Posted by roblevine1 | November 30, 2011, 12:52 pm
    • Google didn’t get help protecting its own IP from the NSA; they enlisted the NSA against cyber attacks. That’s a whole different ballgame. It would be like the MPAA enlistening the NSA’s help when their site is under DDoS. Let us not confuse two different issues, please.

      Under current law, YouTube has no legal obligation to do anything beyond notice-and-takedown. Certainly not spend their own money developing infringement detection tools. Still, they did so anyway, probably because they’d also prefer their service isn’t used for infringement.

      Cyberlockers cannot implement automatic detection of possible infringement, because they do not control the file formats used. RapidShare only implements notice-and-takedown, as they should under the DMCA. I believe they were also found legal under current law. Still, I thought notice-and-takedown wasn’t enough in your eyes, so you believe they should do more? If so: what? If MegaUpload doesn’t have notice-and-takedown, then I’m sure the courts will punish them for it, as they should.

      Grooveshark may be able to implement something of this nature, at least for the music files on their own servers. TPB however cannot, since they don’t even host the files, let alone control their format. That’s also why it’s hard to convict TPB of anything other than inducement: they can’t takedown any infringing files, because those files are on the computers of the P2P users. They can’t even detect infringement, unless they were to download the files themselves, in which case they’d be liable for direct copyright infringement.

      Yes, I do find fault with some of this (certainly not all of it), because some of it is technologically impossible (at this time?). I hate copyright infringement as well, but that doesn’t mean I can wave a magic wand, and make it all go away.

      Ok, so better solutions. What else do you feel Google should do then? You said what they do with YouTube is fine, but they can do that because they control the format, and the files are on their own servers. How do you think Google can do more? Also: who will pay for the development of such technologies, and why?

      As said before: perhaps some of what I say isn’t what you’d like to hear, but at least I’ll tell you the truth as far as I know it. If I see options that undermine my own viewpoints, I will at least tell you about it. Personally I don’t think Grooveshark should be obligated to police their servers, but I do believe that given the type of service it’s technologically possible to do so to some extend. The same goes for YouTube.

      In the end, will it help? I seriously doubt it. First it was Napster, then it was Gnutella, then Kazaa, now TPB, cyberlockers and UseNET. While we’re busy chasing the latest service abused for copyright infringement, the next one will be just around the corner, and in the process of failing we’re leaving one hell of a collateral damage. We either have to take infringers to court or think of other ways to make sure artists get paid. After all, in the end it’s not important how much infringement takes place. What’s important is that the artists get paid properly. Copyright is only a means, not a goal.

      So, let’s assume for a moment that there is no solution for copyright infringement, and that none will be found either. Judging from how the industry’s doing at the moment that may not necessarily be problematic, but let’s assume for a moment that it will be. How else could we make sure that artists get paid? Do you believe, like the Dutch unions for musicians, dancers, and actors for instance, that a levy system or perhaps a blanket license would work? What other alternatives do you see?

      Posted by Pieter | November 30, 2011, 2:12 pm
      • >>>Google didn’t get help protecting its own IP from the NSA; they enlisted the NSA against cyber attacks.

        They enlisted the NSA BECAUSE THEIR IP WAS THREATENED.

        You don’t know whether YouTube behaved legally; that’s now being appealed. I think they didn’t, but we’ll see. Either way, they should have the requirement to filter. They do it now, so it can obviously be done.

        The Pirate Bay guys should be in jail – plain and simple. Eventually, they will be. I think the guy behind Megaupload will eventually be in legal trouble as well. I think that will send a message: Exercise some responsibility or face the consequences.

        If you think this is collateral damage, think for a moment of the artists whose rights are being violated as Larry Page says under oath that he can’t remember whether or not he wanted to buy YouTube. THAT is collateral damage. I will not throw out 300 years of law so the DNS system doesn’t have to be changed.

        Posted by roblevine1 | December 1, 2011, 12:05 am
  10. Writing in caps doesn’t validate your argument, Robert. Please cite some sources. The NSA deals with national security; why would they be interested in protecting Google’s IP? They handle (cyber)terrorism cases. Even if there was no Google IP on those servers (I don’t even know if there was), they still wouldn’t want people hacking them.

    Copyrights have only expanded over the last 300 years; this is about the ability to enforce those laws, not about the loss of rights. How much should third parties be willing to invest to make you an extra dollar? 10 cents? A dollar? 10 dollars? How much should fourth parties invest? That’s what we’re talking about here: third party liability, and fourth party obligations. If global DNS servers, companies that have NOTHING to do with infringement, have to invest $100M to reduce infringement by $50M, is that ok? If they have to invest $10M to reduce infringement by $50M, is that ok? Will you reimburse them for the costs they have to make? After all: they’re not even a party to the copyright lawsuit.

    In the case of DNS, it’s not even so much about the fact that it needs to be changed. Implementing DNSSEC is a change too after all. It’s about the fact that that change reduces the security of those systems, and increases the cost of running them. That’s even aside from the fact that it won’t help to reduce infringement.

    You didn’t answer my questions though:
    – What more do you think Google should do to prevent infringement?
    – What more do you think RapidShare should do to prevent infringement?
    – If no good solution can be found to prevent infringement, what alternatives do you see to get artist’s paid?

    PS: Damage of copyright infringement is not collateral.

    Posted by Pieter | December 1, 2011, 8:09 am
    • This was reported in Vanity Fair. I am shouting because you seem to have trouble understanding that technology companies have to follow the law.

      >>>this is about the ability to enforce those laws, not about the loss of rights. How much should third parties be willing to invest to make you an extra dollar?

      I am getting tired of this. It is not about making me an extra dollar. It is about following the law, like every other company does.

      As far as getting artists paid, there are ideas in the book. But all of those ideas – every single one – required companies to follow the law in some way.

      It is not my responsibility to help your friends follow the law. (I have suggestions in the book, however.) In every other area of human endeavor, from farms to factories, there is some liability. We need some on the Internet. If we make it your responsibility to follow the law – and if we provide serious penalties – you’ll figure something out. RapidShare does cooperate with rightsholders, incidentally; infringement has gone down on that site. (Look at online poker; one big arrest seems to have chilled the entire market.) Is this difficult? Yes. So you better stop making excuses and get to work!

      Just as an exercise, imagine that you’re running MegaUpload and the government is going to put you in jail tomorrow unless you come up with a way to slow – not stop, slow – infringement. That ought to get you thinking!

      Posted by roblevine1 | December 1, 2011, 3:17 pm
      • Also, remember, if sites cannot find a solution to limit infringement, they can always shut down. The RapidShares of the world will make a better effort – not perfect, but pretty good – to limit copyright infringement. The Megauploads of the world will shut down. The world will not miss them. There is no right to run a site like that. This is not about making me money; it’s about the principle that we are a society of laws and not one where might makes right.

        Posted by roblevine1 | December 1, 2011, 3:20 pm
  11. Of course technology companies have to follow the law, and as far as I know they are. If not, then I’m sure they’ll be convicted before long, and justly so. The part of you shouting was about whether Google asked help from the NSA due to IP infringement as you claim or due to cyberhacks as I claim. I’ve found tons of articles online supporting my explanation, and I don’t have access to Vanity Fair, so I can’t collaborate your explanation. Since NSA stands for National Security Agency I find my explanation a bit more plausible to be honest. If you have something readable for me that says otherwise I’d love to take a look at it.

    Why do you focus on people obeying copyright law? Copyright law is not a goal in itself. The goal is to give artists incentives to create. Copyright law is simply the means to that goal. If the means no longer work, perhaps we should find better means rather than making the mean into a goal. If in the end, through some magic means, everybody obeys the (copyright) law, yet it doesn’t add a cent into the artist’s pockets, what have we achieved?

    You wish to add a new law (SOPA) in order to try and enforce another law (copyright law). This new law not only requires third parties (like YouTube, Grooveshark, and RapidShare) to take action in order to avoid liability, but also for unrelated parties (DNS server companies, payment companies, search engines) to take action. Even assuming that it can be done, and that it will actually help, who should pay for this? I can understand certain cost to be shifted to third parties, but why should unrelated parties have to pay? Also: what should the cost:benefit ratio be before this can be considered a good idea?

    As a simple example: if the tech industry has to invest $100M to implement this law, and the benefits to the industry will be $50M, why not just let the tech industry give you $60M, and be done with it? The tech industry has to pay less, you gain more, and we can stop the discussion. Again: copyright law is a means, not a goal. Considering the size of the tech industry, if you push them too hard they may simply buy the entertainment industry. Without the massive lobbying power of the RIAA and MPAA, these kind of laws wouldn’t stand a chance. Actually, considering the latest actions of Google, Amazon, and Apple, I’d say this is already happening. They’re more and more taking over the roll of the publishing industry by contracting artists directly.

    As the law stands now, RapidShare already follows the DMCA. If in your eyes they don’t need to do more, then why are we considering SOPA? Alternatively: if you wish to consider SOPA, what more do you think RapidShare should do?

    Posted by Pieter | December 1, 2011, 3:49 pm
    • You keep saying the same thing: Answer my question first.

      >>>Without the massive lobbying power of the RIAA and MPAA, these kind of laws wouldn’t stand a chance.

      This nonsense is tired already. Last year Amazon and Intel EACH spent more money lobbying than the MPAA.

      Posted by roblevine1 | December 1, 2011, 11:03 pm
      • I didn’t notice a question mark in your post; care to repeat the question? As for my questions: I’m just trying to understand where exactly you stand in this discussion.

        >>Without the massive lobbying power of the RIAA and MPAA, these kind of laws wouldn’t stand a chance.
        >This nonsense is tired already. Last year Amazon and Intel EACH spent more money lobbying than the MPAA.

        That’s not what I said, was it? I’m saying that if the RIAA and MPAA weren’t lobbying for SOPA I doubt it would have gotten any anywhere. How many senators do you know that would put bills on the table based on the ideas of a few authors? It requires major lobbying to get these bills on and off the table. I’m not claiming the tech industry is any less evil on this than the entertainment industry; especially the telecom industry has a bad reputation on these matters.

        Posted by Pieter | December 2, 2011, 10:23 am
  12. And thank God that they do lobby on our (creatives) behalf.
    So does every industry.
    But, not every industry has their own chief exectutive in the Presidents Cabinet… (AS GOOGLE DOES…)

    “Obama has created an exquisite problem by hiring so many senior executives from Google – some of the Oompa Loompas don’t seem to realise they no longer work for the company. Now a Congressman has called for an enquiry.”

    “President Obama will sit down with a pack of Silicon Valley tech titans on Thursday evening in San Francisco. Among the attendees: Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google soon-to-be-ex-CEO Eric Schmidt.

    “A discovery motion filed part of an investigation into Google’s former chief lobbyist turned Obama’s “Deputy CTO” failed this week.

    Former lobbyists are prohibited from involvement in policies that affect their former employer – in the case of Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s former Head of Global Public Policy – it’s hard to see how this can be upheld. McLauglin hasn’t been shy of rolling his sleeves up, and getting stuck in.

    McLaughlin’s cosy relationship with his former employer was exposed – ironically – by Google’s Buzz privacy snafu, when McLauglin’s private GMail backchannel came to light. McLaughlin was using GMail to share policy information with Google lawyers and lobbyists. McLaughlin was reprimanded in May.”

    Posted by James_J | December 2, 2011, 7:19 pm
    • Considering the outrage from artists at some of the legislation pushed through by the RIAA in the past decades, I wouldn’t be too quick to say that they’re lobbying on our (creatives) behalf. 🙂 Still, a bit of balance in that regard doesn’t hurt I guess, although I’d prefer is such positions were held by independent people. I dislike a Google executive in office about as much as having the wife of the Vivendi CEO handling copyright matters as a MEP in the EP.

      Posted by Pieter Hulshoff | December 3, 2011, 11:36 am
  13. >>>I dislike a Google executive in office about as much as having the wife of the Vivendi CEO handling copyright matters as a MEP in the EP

    You must HATE Creative Commons then. Vice chair is Sergey’s mother in law. That is what corruption looks like.

    Posted by roblevine1 | December 3, 2011, 12:19 pm
  14. I did, and it’s a load of crock IMHO. CC to me (I couldn’t care less about the organisation behind it) is just a license (out of many) that I can choose to use or not use when I release the music that I play, just like the GPL is a license I sometimes use when I release software. I decide when or where I will or will not use it. I’m not giving the CC organisation any rights that I’m not giving other users. If they can profit from my work (because I allowed a CC license that allows that; not all do), then so can anyone else who can figure out a way to do it. That’s why I release some of my music under a CC license: because I don’t care who profits from it; I just like it when people listen to it. I just find it convenient that I don’t have to write my own license to do so.

    So, someone can take a piece of music that doesn’t belong to them, and attach a CC license to it. I’ll tell you a little secret: you can do that with any license, including one that claims you release it into the public domain! Just because someone can commit fraud by attaching a license to something they don’t own the rights to doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with that license. That someone can still be held accountable in a court of law, and it’s still infringement to copy that song.

    Posted by Pieter | December 5, 2011, 10:35 am

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