December 3, 2008  ·  Lessig

From the Creative Commons blog:

As previously announced, we’re running a questionnaire on understanding “NonCommercial” use. The questionnaire runs through December 7. It takes 15-25 minutes to complete.

Click here to start the questionnaire.

Your input is greatly appreciated. CC CEO Joi Ito explains:

“The study has direct relevance to Creative Commons’ mission of providing free, flexible copyright licenses that are easy to understand and simple to use,” said Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito. “The NC term is a popular option for creators choosing a Creative Commons license, and that tells us the term meets a need. However, as exponentially increasing numbers of works are made available under CC licenses, we want to provide additional information for creators about the contexts in which the NC term may further or impede their intentions with respect to the works they choose to share, and we want to make sure that users clearly understand those intentions. We expect the study findings will help us do a better job of explaining the licenses and to improve them, where possible. We also hope the findings, which will be made publicly available, will contribute to better understanding of some of the complexities of digital distribution of content.”

You can also help by sending your friends and colleagues to the questionnaire.

  • Crosbie Fitch

    Answering as a copyright abolitionist:

    I strongly agree with all the following:
    1) Someone may disapprove or criticize of my works.
    2) My works could be used for some purpose I find objectionable (for example, pornography or political propaganda)
    3) My competitors might find out what I am producing
    4) An individual or organization could derive financial gain from my work without sharing the profits with me
    5) I consider public sharing a violation of my privacy

    If I’m expected to deduce that I must disagree in order to state that these are not my concerns, the survey is flawed.

    But, heck, the whole concept of NC is flawed, as is the notion that a self-publisher may afford a lawyer to sue someone they suspect is making money from copying or otherwise infringing the copyright of their published work for financial gain.

    All commerce is exchange. All sharing of intellectual works is cultural exchange. Why begrudge another their liberty to exchange their cultural labour in a free market? As long as they don’t misrepresent another’s work as their own, they have made an honest exchange.

  • Han Rusman

    Done, hope it will help :-). It reminded me, how complicated the whole issue is, and I don’t think CC make it a lot easier.

  • joe

    It’s way too long. I spent 10 minutes on it and was 43% done… couldn’t afford then next 10 minutes. Apologies… but you may get quite a bit of responder bias in this sense

  • Chris

    Have to agree with Joe, the survey is way too long.

  • Jens Ayton

    Many of the questions are vague in ways that don’t feel helpful, often followed by ones that are overly specific. It feels like the survey is continually trying to lay traps.

    The question “Thinking of all the works that you have shared online and licensed as 100%, what percent have you licensed in each of the following ways? Enter a percent for each approach listed below. Your answers must total 100%.” is flawed. The answers “Standard license that I prefer to use for all my works” can overlap with other answers such as “Free public license available online”, so an answer that actually makes sense would have a sum greater than 100 %.

  • joy g

    I actually thought the survey quite fascinating.

  • Willian Galdino

    A pleasure.


  • Tero

    Done and I am glad to be able to help. I warmly welcome the effort to clarify the NC clause.

    Are the correct answers going to be available (for the questions where a legal answer is available)?

  • Kyle

    Just to point out to Crosbie, many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means a small publisher would be able to afford a lawyer because if he loses, he owes the lawyer nothing, while a victory assigns some amount of the award to the lawyer.

  • Crosbie Fitch

    Kyle, ‘no-win, no-fee’ lawyers also need to be able to afford to prosecute an infringer, and as the record labels are discovering there’s a heck of a lot of infringing publishers out there unable to pay damages sufficient to cover a lawyer’s costs – without at least severely impacting the plaintiff’s reputation if the lawyer persists in attempting to extract them.

    You may be able to persuade CC to operate as if RIAA, and act as a brokerage of contingent lawyers willing to prosecute any infringements of the NC option. That would be an ‘interesting’ development.

    Do not exploit your privilege to prosecute your audience in the enjoyment of their natural cultural liberty, even if they exchange their labour in doing so in a free market.

    Better still, abolish copyright.

  • Daniel Stern

    I would like to request a few things for future surveys:

    1. The ability to review your answers, or have them emailed to oneself.
    2. I would like to be able to see other people’s answers.
    3. I would like to have a copy of the report automatically emailed to me when it is completed. (Kind of a reward for spending the 15-25 minutes)

    Otherwise, I only recently started reading the Berkman websites and am in the process of applying to HLS, and hope to get involved in the future. Thanks for all the great content, and good luck with the RIAA!