January 16, 2003

More on Creative Commons, "economic problem"

Arnold Kling comments ("This is being touted as profound") on my remarks regarding Creative Commons :

...Umm, which "economic problem"? It seems to me that Creative Commons is about proving that the optimal setting for creativity is not infinite copyright. That's a social problem, not an economic one.

And states:

I don't think Lawrence Lessig would try to deny that copyright is an economic issue. Otherwise, why did he get help from these economists in his unsuccessful attempt to overturn the Bono act?

I don't think that anyone is trying to deny that copyright itself is an economic issue. However, I'd say the social issue is the concept that maximizing economic return is the end-all of of fostering creative contributions. And so Creative Commons is intended to provide some licensing tools for formalizing alternative copying permission models, based more on re-use and redistribution.

Frankly, this seems like a very mild and minimal undertaking. Where have the "Commonists" (I love that term!) said anything like "Creative Commons is a tool to defeat the entertainment industry" ? Admittedly, I haven't been following all the stories about the launch, so maybe someone got carried away with PR somewhere. But some cited examples of this view would be nice. It sounds like a strawman to me. The small experiments with flavors of licensing strike me as gentle, moderate, tests, not any attempt to "overthrow incumbent publishers".

As Renee Hopkins at IdeaFlow concurred :

... it doesn't solve an economic problem there's no evidence it was ever intended to solve.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on January 16, 2003 06:49 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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