12 March 2009

I don't like CC0 and I don't want it used for The Open Clip Art Library

I alluded in the past about my dislike about my dislike for CC0, the new license from Creative Commons, now that the license is foing to be officially announced and the damage control already kicked in, I feel like the best time to reinforce my opinion about it: I don't like CC0 and I don't want it used for The Open Clip Art Library.

[CC0 = shit]

I was asked what's my problem with this new license, so probably is fair to expect such an explanation from me: beside the license proliferation and the huge potential for confusion with other CC licenses, I don't see the real need covered by it. According with Creative Commons, the Public Domain dedication, for which CC0 is intended as a replacement, is valid, and can be valid, only under the USA legislation and impossible to follow in other jurisdiction. But for me it feels more like the problem with Public Domain, a name everyone understand, was that it does not contain the words "Creative Commons". I am sure the problem could have been solved without such intrusive branding.

Or how someone much famous than me, Mark Pilgrim, said:
"Seriously, stop making new licenses. I know your needs are extra-special and super-unique and nobody understands you but JUST FUCKING STOP."


  1. The problem with the PD is it is an US only concept. PD is not an licence and in Germany an artist can not give away his copyright (Urheberrechte). So, PD is a big grey area here in Germany.

    At least for me, as an German, CC0 is not an solution looking for a problem, but solves a real world problem.

  2. @Tobi: and that problem could not have been solved by slightly improving the wording in the current PD dedication?

  3. Any attempt to do so would create CC0. Seems like you just don't like the "Creative Commons" part of the name.

  4. There is no wording in the current PD. PD is a concept, not a license. That is the root of the problem.

    So, in other words, to spread the idea of PD you need a license.
    And if you would promote such a license, no one in the US would listen. Because it neither has a strong name nor does it matter for the US. That's not limited to the US, the same would be true for any other country.

    But CC is a strong name - and I must say, I like the idea. And that although I first heard about it today by reading your blog post.

    But anyway, if you don't like it: tell me a way to push (!) a license forward which gets accepted by the US masses which could replace the PD concept.

  5. @liquidat: there is a PD dedication we are using for years already: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

  6. @nico The PD dedication only explains the PD and you can't just add something because it's not an license.

  7. Tobi, ‘The problem with the PD is it is an US only concept.’

    Considering Public Domain was derived from the British copyright system, I have to disagree with you :^)

  8. I think the CC0 waiver is great and use it for all my work.

    CC0 separates works whose copyright simply expired from works whose creators waived copyright on purpose. More on that here... http://jorel314.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/goodbye-public-domain-dedication-hello-cc0-waiver/

  9. @jorel314: then more power to you, use what license you find the best for you.

    I read your blog post about your choice, do you think the users of your work care how the work was set free? I think is more important for them to easy understand the content is free and what are they allowed to do with it.

  10. "I alluded in the past about my dislike about my dislike for CC0, the new license from Creative Commons..."

    CC0 is not a license. It's a tool to make public domain dedication easier. in What way did Creative Commons make that fact in any way unclear?