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Creative Commons’ Branding Confusion


About a year and a half ago I released my film Sita Sings the Blues under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. That license allows truly free distribution, including commercial use, as long as the free license remains in place. But my experience is that most people see the words "Creative Commons" and simply assume the license is Non-Commercial -- because the majority of Creative Commons licenses they've seen elsewhere have been Non-Commercial.

This is a real problem. Some artists have re-released Sita remixes under Creative Commons Non-Commercial licenses. Many bloggers and journalists assume the non-commercial restrictions, even when the license is correctly named:

H.O.P.E. for Free Culture

On July 16th I gave at talk at H.O.P.E. (Hackers On Planet Earth) called "Sita Sings the Blues: a Free Culture Success Story." 9 Minutes of excerpts are below, in which I discuss why I insisted on authentic songs, what is and is not property, how software is culture, the difference between Share Alike (copyleft) and other Creative Commons licenses, why I paid to legally license the old songs, how noncommercial copyright infringement is still illegal, legal costs, benefits of audience sharing & decentralized distribution, the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire (sitasingstheblues.com/store), open-licensed merch, audience goodwill, how fans support artists, rivalrous vs. non-rivalrous goods, the Creator Endorsed Mark, migrating Flash files to open formats, gift income, commerce without monopolies, why I encourage legal sharing, and more.

For those with longer attention spans, you can watch the entire unedited hour-long talk on vimeo. It includes even more topics like Minute Memes, cultural lineages, combining vs. originating, many Ramayanas, our impoverished Public Domain, understanding Free Culture, Content vs. Containers, and a more detailed income breakdown of the Sita Free Distribution Project.

cross-posted from Techdirt.com.

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