The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 November 2004

Digital rights mismanagement

Costa Tsiokos considers the freebie CD packed with the November issue of Wired and points out one potential stumbling block for Creative Commons licensing:

[T]he makeup of the disc is a perfect example of the marginal support the Creative Commons scheme can expect to receive. Major acts like the [Beastie Boys] can afford to lend their support, because they've already made their money from their years of work in the "old" music business. Obscure and unsigned acts latch on strictly as a way to gain wider exposure and dissemination of their work.

Yet as a showcase, the Wired CD doesn't show much. Tracks that wouldn't make the final cut on moneymaker albums? It gives Creative Commons a poor image.

I haven't played that disc yet, but I can see where this leads. And a two-tier copyright system, with some works protected under the traditional system and others released to Creative Commons, is very likely, I think, to result in exactly this reaction to most potential purchasers: "He must not think much of it if he's letting it go out like that." Cynicism of the marketplace? Maybe. But it's the marketplace that rules in these matters.

For the record, stuff on this site is covered under traditional copyright, though the 1998 revisions to the federal copyright act motivated me to repudiate all extensions beyond the Berne Convention's provision of protection for 50 years following the death of the author — like all this stuff isn't already forgotten while I'm still alive, fercryingoutloud.

Posted at 12:42 PM to Almost Yogurt