Goodbye public domain dedication. Hello CC0 waiver.

I just got tipped by Free Culture News that CC0 is now ready to use. I first heard about CC0 from Brian Rowe (see transcript below).

When someone uses CC0 for a work they created, they waive all copyright related to the work. You know when you see “Copyright © 2009 Company. All rights reserved.”? CC0 is the opposite of that, “No rights reserved.” Anyone can do anything with your work without giving you compensation or credit.

That sounds familiar. Isn’t that the same thing as dedicating your work to the public domain? What’s the difference?

As seen by my project “Set Free“, I’m on a quest to find great works whose creators consciously reject copyright on purpose. When searching through public domain works, I get a few results that I want and also several results that I don’t want. The public domain results that I don’t want are the works whose copyright simply expired.

CC0 will make finding the results I want easier since it only includes people who choose to waive copyright on purpose and excludes all works whose copyright just expired. Quoting Brian…

Having open content is good, but it is even better if people can find it to use.

When people start embracing CC0, I should be able to find many results by simply googling

link:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/zero/1.0/

The search results lead to sites that link to the human readable CC0 waiver. Sites that have a link to the human readable CC0 waiver are likely to have works by creators who rejected copyright.

In conclusion, if you choose to reject copyright for your work, please consider using the CC0 waiver instead of the public domain dedication. A future where the majority of people choose to share their work openly is what I’m working towards. That reminds me of another good quote I came across from a blog that I frequent.

A utopia by choice is heaven. A utopia by force is hell.

- eksith

Conversation with Brian Rowe

Subject: Public Domain
————————

From: Jorel Pi
Date: Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 12:03 PM
To: Brian Rowe

Hi Brian,

Just came across your blog. Glad to see another blog under the public domain.

I’m in the process of creating a list of notable people who dedicated
works to the public domain. The beginnings of the list can be viewed
here:

http://setfree.wik.is/

Just wanted to ask if you knew anyone else off the top of your head
that can be added.

Researching this topic doesn’t yield many results, so I thought I’d
start asking people familiar with the subject.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Jorel

———-
From: Brian Rowe
Date: Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 8:17 PM
To: Jorel Pi

Hmmm that is a good question. I do not know of others using the public domain dedication. I am currently in Boston at the CC tech Summit, I will ask around and see if anyone knows an easy way to look that information up.

GL with the project,

-Brian

———-
From: Jorel Pi
Date: Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 8:34 PM
To: Brian Rowe

Thanks for your efforts Brian!

———-
From: Brian Rowe
Date: Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 1:59 PM
To: Jorel Pi

I talked to several people at CC and no one knew of a good resource for finding people using the PD dedication. The CC network is still in its early stages but may have options for search profiles later on. CC is also coming out with a new PD license, CC0 (CCZero). Good Luck on the project, I will keep in touch if I find a better way to find PD marked works. Having open content is good, but it is even better if people can find it to use.

Best,

Brian Rowe

———-
From: Jorel Pi
Date: Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 2:29 PM
To: Brian Rowe

Great to hear from you Brian. Thanks for the CC0 link. I haven’t
heard of it yet.

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5 Responses to Goodbye public domain dedication. Hello CC0 waiver.

  1. eksith says:

    Good find!

    The one problem I see is that it doesn’t have some sort of indemnity clause. I.E. “Author is not responsible” etc… etc…

    Other than that, it seems the CC0 is the same thing that I’ve been doing with my content.

    I’ve just started a research project into the paranormal (I know, it sounds silly), but I’ve been trying to think of a way to distribute all the collected research data without hiccups.

    So far I’ve settled on the public domain, but if CC0 works out, I may go with that.

    I want to have the least amount of copyright associated headaches as possible.

    So far, my “license” has gone as follows :

    You are free to use this content for any purpose, provided you agree to the following disclaimer :

    THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS” AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

    Notice, I purposely avoid any mention of copyrights.

  2. Pingback: CC Zero: Creative Commons & the Public Domain : Victor Godot

  3. Nicu says:

    From the other side of the fence, I am someone considering CC0 of little use: do you think the users of your work care how the work was set free? I think is more important for them to easily understand that the content is free and what are they allowed to do with it.

  4. eksith says:

    @Nicu I completely understand your point.

    But you must also understand that this isn’t what users care when it comes to our work. It’s what we care about the future of the work.

    We would like our work to be unhindered by laws, policies, public sentiment (such as yours) today and into the future. This is not possible without explicit declarations such as the CC0 which deals with delicate subjects such as copyright.

    Sometimes authors run into trouble with copyrights even though our intentions are good.

    So it isn’t so much about the works being used for free by anyone (they’re free to do so either way) it is to make sure that it stays that way unencumbered by copyrights, decades into the future.

  5. jorel314 says:

    Ideally, I’d like to go back to a time before the 1886 Berne Convention.

    Before that convention, the default was when a work was created it was available to the public, and copyright for the work had to be declared. Today, it’s the opposite of that.

    Today, we also have the perfect copy machine which is the internet. When the printing press came about which is a less perfect copy machine, we had good times during the Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment.

    Even with our perfect copy machine, I think those times of progress have slowed down largely due to copyright.

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