You surely know about The case for Free use: reasons not to use a Creative Commons -NC license but for anyone else reading this, the linked thing has a bunch of arguments, primarily written by Erik Moeller in 2005, though it has been tweaked by a number of people since, several of them among the tiny number of people who have visited this site, eg @wolftune and @solstag. Its “further reading” section points to a few other resources.
I’d enjoy seeing someone develop new material specifically intended and tested/iterated toward getting NC licensors to join the commons. I have three related suspicions:
- Successful material will might start from an understanding and even sympathy with the conceptions of fairness and prestige and professionalism creators assume go with commercial exclusivity.
- NC licensors are a trivial target for such material, if it existed. The biggest failure of NC is lack of adoption by many with a stake in the property-based system; non-licensors constitute a vastly larger and more important target. My pet theory about why freedom advocates get worked up about NC (and semicommons licenses generally) is that it represents an identity crisis, not that it is a problem worth expending energy on, given vastly greater problem/opportunity of unmitigated copyright.
- The most helpful thing will not be new arguments or new material based on the status quo, but more culturally relevant or better culturally dominant venues for which committing works to the commons is a requirement for full participation. Therefore my interest in concentrated platforms for promoting free works and commoning advertising.
But (3) is a different sort of task and regarding (2) it’s entirely possible that people reading this have some kind of comparative advantage in communicating with people who already know about free and semifree licenses, so that’s who we should attempt to communicate with despite the relative triviality of that audience. So I’d still really enjoy seeing material developed targeting NC licensors.
Towards doing that, another useful activity might be to collect stories of former NC licensors who have transitioned to using free licenses. I have a built a latent collection of these over the years, could probably put together a decent list given a few hours of searching email and the like. A complementary approach would be to do a widely publicized survey. I kind of want to do this now. Thoughts?