Main Blog Post: Sustainable Cultural Production

Medosch argues that: “CC does not pay any attention at all to the issue of an economic model for supporting cultural production” (Reader, page 315).

Discuss while giving an example online.

The main idea behind the vision and mission of Creative Commons (CC) are about participatory culture, free culture, maximizing creativity, sharing and innovation. Unlike other capital driven user generated content sites like YouTube and Flickr, CC is still a not-for-profit social movement aimed at sharing contents in the World Wide Web for free (Medosch 2008). Foong (2010) writes CC is a tool for people who do not sell their creation to make a living. Indeed, there is a lack of attention to the issue of an economic model for supporting cultural production on CC.

Screenshot of Wikipedia Homepage

Using Wikipedia as an example, it is the most popular site that uses a CC license for its content (it is ranked 7th on Alexa). The non-profit Wikimedia Foundation supports Wikipedia. As an online encyclopedia, Wikipedia rely on volunteers to write and edit articles. Similar to CC, Wikipedia is a user generated content site but not capital driven. There is no economic model such as advertising space on the website, supporting the production of encyclopedia articles on Wikipedia. It solely relies on public funding through donations and fund raising drive on the web. Wikipedia uses the Creative Commons Attribution – ShareALike License, which means that the organisation still hold some rights to the content.

Medosch (2008) writes CC co-inventor Lessig is assuming that the economic model (or lack of) for cultural production will be resolved automatically in the future. However, Lessig’s assumption may not be overly optimistic.

Although CC does not pay any attention to the issue of an economic model for supporting cultural production, there are instances where a business model has been derived from using CC licenses. An example would be American rock band, Nine Inch Nails. The band released two albums under the CC (Attribution Non-Commercial ShareALike) license and made the first nine tracks of the album free for sampling. In doing so, the band sold digital copies for the rest of their music tracks and earned $1.6 million in one week. The success of their sales is long term despite facing threats from peer-to-peer file sharing sites (Foong 2010). Hence, Techdirt came up with this business model for the success of Nine Inch Nails:

Connect with Fans (CwF) + give them a Reason to Buy (RtB) = $$$.

This is an interesting and practical formula to explore, which can be extended not only to music artists but also to CC users. In order for CC to thrive, it should take the leap and pay attention to the issue of an economic model to support cultural production. Renowned artists and academics are put off by the idea of CC, as their hard work cannot be translated to economic incentives. The current CC concept is unfair for professionals who spend their entire life creating cultural content and expecting them to share it for free (Medosch 2008). With the formula, CC could come up with adaptations of the business model tweaked to suit the different interests of CC license users. This would be a good economic model to consider supporting cultural production. It will also encourage more professional artists to take CC more seriously and not a concept suited for amateurs seeking recognition in their cultural content.

References

Marc Garcelon, ‘An Information Commons? Creative Commons and Public Access to Cultural Creations’, New Media & Society 11.8 (2009): 1307-1326

Foong, C. (2010) ‘Sharing With Creative Commons: A Business Model for Content Creators’, PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication, A Creative Commons Special Edition (December): 64-93.

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Main Blog Post: Creative Commons – Towards free sharing?

Explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.

Creative Commons LicenseWhat does this logo mean? Click here to find out!

This week, we talked about Creative Commons in lecture and read the cause behind this license aiming to disseminate information freely. So, I was given the option to add a Creative Commons license and I decided to do so. There are 6 licenses to choose from and I chose the one that matches my concerns and interest.

So let me break down the logo in words for you what it means if you are too lazy to click.Here are the four keywords:
1. Creative Commons
2. Attribution
3. Non-Commercial
4. Share Alike

Why this license?
The combination (Attribution, Non-Commerical and Share Alike) addressed my concerns and suited my interests in looking for a suitable Creative Commons license. Attribution is of utmost importance because I strongly believe in crediting the work of the original author/creator. As much as I am willing to share my ideas for the greater good, I want my ideas to be attributed if other people choose to use it. The non-commercial criterion was also equally important to me because I am running an academic blog and it is strictly not for profit. I do not think it is fair for other people to use my ideas and works for commercial purposes to their benefit. Lastly, Share Alike encourages the act of sharing which I feel is the main purpose of this license and it also helps to promote and create awareness of Creative Commons. Hopefully, people will be more receptive towards it.

Photo by Tyler Stefanich - Creative Commons License

Relevance of license
Copyright or Copyleft? As this is an academic blog, I’ve chose left. Creative Commons license is relevant as it allows information to be shared freely. I can gain recognition from my work through attribution by other users and it also gives me an idea how my thoughts and ideas have improved or impacted other people.

Thomas Jefferson argues ideas should remain in public domain rather than bound by legal restrictions. He also writes Creative Commons provide alternatives oligopolistic control of distribution of creative work (Garcelon 2009). The arguments resonate with me. As much as I believe in the importance of copyright to protect one’s intellectual property, sharing of ideas should be made easier for people who wish to do so. Copyright legal implications restrict the sharing of ideas in the World Wide Web and steer humans in believing to protect their self-interests rather than moving forward together as a society. Creative Commons license is good for budding artists to gain recognition. Take for example the photo above taken by Tyler Stefanich. It was taken for a Creative Commons competition. With the CC license, the photo gained recognition and it was even used for lecture in University of Sydney.

Creative Commons branches such as CCMixter, Flickr and CCText provide platforms for budding musicians and photographers to share their creative works. In an interview with Victor Stone, Garcelon (2009) writes struggling musicians have to choose between giving their music away free for recognition or reserving their rights and no one will ever hear their musical tracks. I would choose the former option as recognition is the key to a successful music career.

Flickr Creative Commons is another platform for users to search for images not having to worry about copyright infringement. Users just need to attribute the source.

There is a lot of room for Creative Commons to grow. However, it is difficult to engage successful commercial entities to join the Creative Commons family. Look at iTunes and its success – it is a wet blanket to CCMixter because it doesn’t necessarily mean that what’s free makes it popular. Despite so, Creative Commons is still relevant to my blog as it makes it easier for people to share and obtain information.

References
Garcelon, M 2009, ‘An Information Commons? Creative Commons and Public Access to Cultural Creations’, New Media & Society, Vol.11, no. 8, pp. 1307-1326

Creative Commons 2011, Creative Commons, Massachusetts viewed 13 May 2011, <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/&gt;