What's the best license for professionals to use? Our fantasy answer is CC-PRO, the Creative Commons license we'd like to see...
Professional work deserves to be recognized.
CC-PRO is a Creative Commons license that meets the specific needs of professional authors, artists, and musicians. CC-PRO uses Creative Commons' most powerful license to ensure high-quality work goes further and is recognized more. It offers the strongest protection against both plagiarism and censorship. It invites attention, collaboration and recognition from your most important audience: other professionals.
Strongest protection against:
archiving and preservation
collaboration with other professionals
Professional work deserves to be recognized. Use CC-PRO.
So what's CC-PRO?
The Creative Commons licenses have done artists a great service: they've spread the message that freedom is a factor, and that different behaviors can arise if you allow your audience more freedoms.
But more and more, we've seen professional artists choose Creative Commons licenses that consign their works to a non-professional ghetto. We're referring to the Creative Commons "Non-Commercial" family of licenses: licenses that essentially say "Do what you want with this, as long as you don't make money from it." While that might at first seem like it simply reserves to the artist the right to use the work professionally, it has the much larger effect of removing the work from most professional contexts entirely. Another way to put it is: if you allow other people to make money using your work, some of that money will find its way to you. Excluding your work from the world of professional activity (except as specifically approved by you) limits its life and limits your audience's ability to help distribute it. The best license is the one that grants your audience and other artists the same freedoms you have.
Creative Commons has been careful not to recommend any one of their licenses over another for professional artists. The CC mantra has been "choice", and that may have been a wise course so far, because it lets artists open up this new world at their own pace. But now we'd like to offer a direct answer to the question "Which license should I use?" CC-PRO: the license for professional artists, and the license that treats your audience and fellow artists with the same respect they give you.
(Thanks to Nina Paley for the idea and the remix.)