December 24, 2002 · Lessig
I missed a string of comments about CC licenses and software. Shelley raises some great questions. Here’s the problem. We’re trying to develop tools to enable people to express their preferences as simply as possible. We can’t do much to make the underlying law simple.
I’ve tried to answer some of the questions in the extended entry. But I’m afraid Shelley will be right again: The answers will only raise more questions. There’s lots here to work out, and we can’t do all the working out.
First, here’s the mandatory disclaimer: I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice. It is part of a conversation that a community must have.
The RSS/content puzzle is a great one. Like an envelope that says “the content included is under license X” but the content says “I’m under license Y”: How to read the two together? I agree there are potential problems, but I’m not convinced the solution is to terminate RSS license expressions. Part of the reason is that I don’t think we know where RSS will go. So let it grow, and let’s see.
But on the theory that we want to enable people to do what they want most easily, what makes most sense?
Regarding Jon Udell’s extraordinarily cool project, Matt is right. Though this is creative work, and one can license the copyright part of it using the CC license, the CC license doesn’t make the source/object distinction that other software licenses do. Again, this is a focus of the future, but we’re not there yet.