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Creative Commons & Webcomics

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the intentionally-left-blank dept.

The Almighty Buck 144

xerexes writes "This week Comixpedia is publishing an article written by T Campbell called "Creative Commons and Webcomics" which features a roundtable discussion with comments from Lawrence Lessig, Neeru Paharia, Mia Garlick, JD Frazer and Cory Doctorow. Traditional copyright faces webcomics with an uncomfortable choice. Its restrictions, properly enforced, would mean a virtual end to crossovers and homages, fan art, fan fiction, and many other staples that make the webcomic a more entertaining creation and foster artistic growth. A total lack of copyright, however, leaves unscrupulous readers free to "bootleg" subscription sites, program tools to deprive comics of advertising revenue, and even profit from others' labor without permission. The Creative Commons license presents a possible solution. It lets copyright holders to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining others, through a variety of licensing and contract schemes, which may include dedication to the public domain or open content licensing terms. "

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144 comments

FIRST FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802232)

I AM A FISH!

Re:FIRST FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802256)

tasty

Re:FIRST FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802269)

You are mistaken, o cowardly one.

Profit (0, Flamebait)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802250)

Why are people so hell-bent on compensation beyond the value of their work?? Profit begets greed. Greed begets envy. Envy begets hatered.

If you aren't doing something for the love of doing it, don't do it at all. Society will be better off for it.

Re:Profit (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802270)

If the same copyright both works for them in some cases and fails them in other cases, than perhaps they should review their morals.

Re:Profit (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802305)

Mayhaps because hosting isn't free, art supplies aren't free. Perhaps because some of these people want to devote themselves full-time to their craft. Just because you don't see a monetary value in something, doesn't mean the rest of the world agrees with you.

Re:Profit (-1)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802389)

Something can have value without it being worth money. For instance, I have a sizable music collection, because it has entertainment value to me. However I didn't pay for it because I didn't feel that it was worth supporting a greedy and corrupt industry. I imagine that a lot of people here would agree with me on that count.

Re:Profit (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802438)

For instance, I have a sizable music collection, because it has entertainment value to me. However I didn't pay for it because I didn't feel that it was worth supporting a greedy and corrupt industry.

PMSL what a beautifully consise description of your own greed and willingness to steal the fruits of the labour of others.

Re:Profit (-1)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802490)

Neither the recording industry nor the artists lost a single cent from me downloading their music.

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802616)

I'm sure your employer would love to use the same logic. "Oh, by the way, we decided not to pay you this week, it turns out by not paying you, you don't lose anything. So therefore, we don't have to pay you."
Something tells me you would cry like a little girl if they did that.

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802809)

You are always free to quit working for a boss that doesn't pay you, and you probably would. The record companies / artists are always free to stop making music if they feel ripped off by downloaders. So why don't they?

Pfft. Can't you come up with anything better? (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802913)

Flawed comparison. The OP is still wrong, but your analogy sucks.

His situation: The marginal cost of his digitally duplicating one more copy for himself is pretty much nil. Any argument that the recording industry lost money is based on the idea that if he had not been able to score it for free, he would have bought the item, which is the logic that allows the BSA to declare "ONE HOJILLION DOLLARS" in piracy per week.

Your analogy: He can't sell his labor more than once. Labor isn't easily duplicatable. While 2 digital copies of "White Rap Song.mp3" cost the same as 1 digital copy, 2 hours of labor cost the employee (shocker!) twice as much as 1 hour cost him.

So, no, it's not the same. You fail it.

--grendel drago

Re:Profit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802759)

"Stealing" from dictionary.com

...
1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.
...

When you take music without paying you ARE taking it without permission. You may claim a moral right all you want, that doesn't change the fact that it is stealing. You can argue that they don't lose a cent, that doesn't change the fact that it is stealing. You can tell us how the music industry is corrupt, that doesn't change the fact that it is stealing.

The best you can claim is that your stealing doesn't hurt anyone. And that STILL DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT IT IS STEALING.

Re:Profit (3, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803679)

The problem is that there's no taking. Taking requires that you deprive the owner of the thing taken; copying doesn't do that. A better, though still imperfect analogy, would be to trespassing.

Basically, you should work on your vocabulary; just because something is illegal, or even wrong in your opinion, doesn't mean you should call it stealing. A different word might be more appropriate. Arson isn't stealing, for example. Nor is kidnapping.

As it happens, there is a term that is exactly the right term to use: copyright infringement.

It might not inflame your passion, but it's accurate. I value the latter more, especially since it's difficult to have a rational discussion with someone that's being so emotional that they can't think straight.

Re:Profit (3, Insightful)

richieb (3277) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804076)

Perhaps because some of these people want to devote themselves full-time to their craft.

That's nice. But wanting to devote yourself to some craft, does not automatically qualify you for compensation.

If you want to make money, you have to do something that people are willing to buy.

Re:Profit (1)

alva_edison (630431) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804512)

Yes, but based on subscription rates to some of the more popular webcomics, people ARE willing to buy. From what I've seen of webcomics, most start off as a hobby and -- depending on popularity and the ability to generate revenue -- become the artist's main profession. The most obvious example of this, in my mind, is Megatokyo [megatokyo.com].

Re:Profit (5, Insightful)

HyperBlazer (830880) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802325)

If you aren't doing something for the love of doing it, don't do it at all. Society will be better off for it.

If you don't mind me asking, what do you do for a living? If you hate it, then follow your own advice: quit and "don't do it at all." If you love it, then follow your own advice: quit and do the work "for the love of doing it," not for compensation.

The webcomic artists do love what they're doing, And some of them are trying to make a full-time job out of it, with the intent that they can provide better work that way. To my knowledge, none of them are really getting rich. They're just trying to make sure that they make enough to keep giving us our comics.

Re:Profit (1)

miscz (888242) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802327)

Maybe they love what they do. It doesn't mean they can't get money from it. I like scripts that automate the process of downloading strips tough :/

Re:Profit (2, Funny)

doubledoh (864468) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802339)

Who are the hell are YOU to decide what people's motivation should be?

Henceforth, you shall me known as the Motivation Nazi.

Re:Profit (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802343)

Because they want to eat. And they want to eat in the future if they are not making as much money. Lets use JD Frasers Dust Puppy. All it is a bunch of scribbles with feet. But in the comics he gave the scribbles with feet a personality. Which is rather well known in IT. There is a lot of work and effort in givig this drawing a personality that people can relate to. Now other people who use it without compensiaton or permission can possibly do the following, Change or streach its personality to something the author doesn't want and doesn't want the reader to assoait with. Be Use his work in marketing and not getting a cut for his creative effort. C. Have the spin off become more popular then his verson and could be forced to change it to match the other version. It is not about money as much (although they perfer to have it) it is more of control of their work. If they want to make money off of it they should have the right to do so.

Profits don't always beget greed, Profits are nessary for survival, and standard comfort.

Re:Profit (1)

NamantH (174954) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802349)

As much as people call others "sell-outs" and all the other derogatory terms. Guess what, people need to eat, live, and no matter what imaginary world you live in, you need money to do it.

Web comics usually start out as free and when they get popular they try to make money off of them.

Re:Profit (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802366)

... Profit leads to greed, greed leads to envy, envy leads to hatred, and HATE... LEADS TO SUFFERING!

EHEH!

===

As an aspiring comic, I understand the desire for compensation but I'd publish my comic for free [well, cost, whatever] (my sketches are all on deviantArt, the real comics aren't posted because I am compiling a bunch so I can actually make a book-size compilation)

I just want to make people laugh!

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802373)

Proft begets money. Money begets mortgage payments...

Re:Profit (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802416)

Despite the fact that it's difficult to make happen, there are people who enjoy their jobs. Don't hate on them for that.

But moving along, this article wasn't really about compensation beyond the value of their work as much as it is about increasing the value of their work. More specifically, increasing the value of their work through sharing. And finding the right balance between freely sharing work, and protecting it.

And there are plenty of valid reasons to protect it. One of the examples given by the UserFriendly guy is that he's not comfortable with people replacing the dialogue in his strips with stuff he deems inappropriate for his characters. Not only does he feel like his artwork is being needlessly defaced, but there's the potential for the modified stuff to get confused with the real thing. But at the same time, these authors are trying to come to grips with the fact that their fans want to actively engage in these stories and characters, and that allowing them to do so can grow their audience, and enrich their art.

It's all about finding a balance, while working within some very convoluted and confusing laws regarding copyrights and trademarks. And it's not easy.

Re:Profit (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802450)

Why are people so hell-bent on denying others the right to make money off their works?

These people ARE doing it for the love of it, but they'd like to not be POOR while doing it. And sometimes that requires earning more money than you spend on creating something.

Re:Profit (2, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802558)

By all means feel free to donate your entire paycheck to charity and live at the mercy of others on welfare or in a commune. Me, I rather like owning my own home, driving my own car, putting food on my family's table, paying for my kid's college future, and saving for my retirement. I also would like to have disposable income and that means profit.

Profit != greed != envy != hatred. Such simplistic thinking removes human free will, human spirit, and accountability from the equation and is a cheap view of humanity. I think more of them than that.

Re:Profit (1)

Mant (578427) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803759)

Society requires lots of people do lots of things they don't actually enjoy to function. To get people to do those things they are paid money. As they want first food and shelter and later things like entertainment they do things they maynot do otherwise for the money.

Sociery wouldn't be better if they didn't. How many people would clean up trash for the love it? Or do a hundred other unpleasant but vital jobs?

Also, if you find something you love, wouldn't you want to be able to make it your job? So you can spend more time doing it?

Not about Copyright (4, Insightful)

larsoncc (461660) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802288)

It's not copyright that's the big limiting factor here. Any Web Comic with enough of a following to generate fan art should have its characters and logos trademarked. We're talking about leaving the realm of "doing something neat" and entering the realm of "making a living".

As far as trademark law is concerned, you either defend it or lose it. Fan art can exist in this realm, as it does with Lucas' properties, but Creative Commons isn't some panacea for all that ails these artists.

If they want control whilst allowing variations, they need to first pursue trademark protection.

Re:Not about Copyright (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802442)

How does Lucas get around the "defend or lose" part of trademarks? Do people who want to make a parody download a standard license from the Lucasfilm website and sign it, or what?

Re:Not about Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802728)

"Defense" doesn't necessarially require lawyers and courts. All Lucas has to do is say "hey, thats cool, I'll let you do that" and acknowlege that these people can use his trademarks in that way.

Re:Not about Copyright (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803611)

No he can't. That's known as naked licensing, and it means he loses his trademark.

A proper trademark license requires attention to quality control standards, i.e. the licensor can dictate how the mark is used, can require the licensee to provide examples and submit to spot checks, and can be terminated if used wrongly. In practice, they should be for a limited term of years, and should be valid contracts, which requires consideration, etc.

Lucas likely has good trademark licenses with Kenner (or whoever the hell makes the toys now). I doubt they have anything good with fanfilms makers, though not having looked into it, I can't say.

And btw, there is no form of human endeavor that doesn't require lawyers. ;)

Re:Not about Copyright (3, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802655)

Are you advocating that trademarks should be enforceable on fictional characters? Or just saying that a company that wants to make the most money possible should file for trademarks on everything in sight (true, obviously)?

Is there a net benefit to 'science and the useful arts' from trademark protection on Captain Jean-Luc Picard (TM)? Does it prevent unwary consumers being ripped off?

Why you should trademark characters and such (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12803115)

Is there a net benefit to 'science and the useful arts' from trademark protection on Captain Jean-Luc Picard (TM)? Does it prevent unwary consumers being ripped off?

You don't think so? In that case, I have an "official" Captain Jean-Luc Picard (TM) "Make it so!" Talking Toilet Bowl seat that I want to sell you. It programmed to offer such encouragement as:

"Make it so!"
"Tea, Earl Grey, Hot!"
"Engage!"
"These are not the droids we're looking for!

Yours for only four easy payments of 29.95!

It's about a lot more than copyright (4, Insightful)

serutan (259622) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803271)

It's interesting to me that most of these discussions assume that preserving the making of money in the entertainment business overrides all other considerations. As Doctorow sums up, "The inkers, artists, writers and pencillers should be protected by statute and practice in a way that guarantees them a decent wage and the means to care for their families." This is always taken as a given. The enterteinment business must endure.

Why?

Would a world without professionally produced entertainment be as bad as a world in which you need approval from some central authority every time you access a hard drive or move bytes from one piece of equipment to another? I can live a pretty full life without Madonna, Spiderman or Star Wars. I can't live nearly such a full life if every action I perform electronically is monitored, and everything I personally create and distribute must be checked for possible infringement or I risk losing my house in a lawsuit.

Preservation of copyright in the modern world creates these consequences. Like the War On Drugs, which currently accounts for 65% of our prison system, the War On Infringement will entail greater and greater enforcement costs. I don't want to pay those costs to preserve an industry that contributes only a few percent to the economy. I also don't want to further entrench the modern notion that ideas and property are one and the same, or that rights and property are one and the same. Given a choice between preserving the profitability of entertainment for the few people who earn a living that way, and perserving the personal freedoms that the other 99.999% of the population will lose -- and it IS a binary choice -- give me the latter.

OH GOD FUCK YES MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12803940)

IP Industry:
Please cease and desist infringing my privacy and free speech rights immediately. If you fail to comply with this request we will be forced to initiate copyright infringement against you.

It's about a lot more than just me. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12804703)

"It's interesting to me that most of these discussions assume that preserving the making of money in the entertainment business overrides all other considerations. As Doctorow sums up, "The inkers, artists, writers and pencillers should be protected by statute and practice in a way that guarantees them a decent wage and the means to care for their families." This is always taken as a given. The enterteinment business must endure."

It's not the perservation that's the issue. It's those who feel that being entertained is an entitlement, and will do everything in their power to see that that happens.

If people truely put actions to words then they wouldn't have ANYTHING (buy, possess, talk about) to do with the commercial industy, and subsiquently they would collapse, IP laws or not. Instead being the ethical "sprinters" [slashdot.org] they are. They take the short-term easy solution to the issue.

"Would a world without professionally produced entertainment be as bad as a world in which you need approval from some central authority every time you access a hard drive or move bytes from one piece of equipment to another?"

As opposed to a world were artists refuse to produce anything in the face of a respectless audiance. Were whatever you produce is seen by the audiance as "theirs" not because they had any hand in it's creation, but just because "they can".

"I can live a pretty full life without Madonna, Spiderman or Star Wars. I can't live nearly such a full life if every action I perform electronically is monitored, and everything I personally create and distribute must be checked for possible infringement or I risk losing my house in a lawsuit."

The fact that there's widespread dissemination of copyright material means that while you can "do without". that doesn't mean the majority can.

"Preservation of copyright in the modern world creates these consequences."

More like "perservation of the unreasonable aspects" than the idea itself, but a lot is created by those who've either never learned what morals or ethics are, or don't care to learn. [slashdot.org] It's easy to blame the laws for the consequences. It's much harder to look at one's own heart and see the consequences arising from it's nature.

"Like the War On Drugs, which currently accounts for 65% of our prison system, the War On Infringement will entail greater and greater enforcement costs."

If it does, it's because people on BOTH SIDES either didn't do what they're suppose to, when they're suppose to. Or did do something they weren't suppose to. Actions have effects. Rights have responsabilities. That is an immutable rule, that humanity still refuses to come to terms with.

" I don't want to pay those costs to preserve an industry that contributes only a few percent to the economy."

And once again slashdot demonstrates it's myopic world view. Just as there's a world beyound the US. There's a world beyound just the "content industry" The contribution from all the individuals and companies, amoungst others who produce IP is incalcuable. IP rules are for everyone.

"I also don't want to further entrench the modern notion that ideas and property are one and the same, or that rights and property are one and the same."

That's not what's being etrenched. The basic idea that a man can enter in reciprocal agreements with his fellow man for the purposes of earning a living is what's being entrenched.

No one see's a problem with this idea when physical goods are being discussed. But when it comes to digital goods and services. Suddenly that rule no longer seems to apply, and it's every greedy person for themself, damn any agreement.

"Given a choice between preserving the profitability of entertainment for the few people who earn a living that way, and perserving the personal freedoms that the other 99.999% of the population will lose -- and it IS a binary choice -- give me the latter."

It's far easier to dictate to others what they should and shoiuldn't do as long as you're the dictator instead of the dictatee. However as I've said previously there's a third choice. Don't have anything to do with what you disagree with (don't buy, don't possess in any form), and follow-up your disagreement under established social and ethical procedures (no "Robin Hood").

Copyright mis-abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12803564)

Is there any way to correct the misleading copyright statement for the NY Times news article archive http://query.nytimes.com/search/advanced [nytimes.com] of 1851-1922?

Aren't the articles from 1922 and earlier are now in the public domain.

As an example of how well things can work... (4, Informative)

Denyer (717613) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802301)

http://www.queenofwands.net/d/20050223.html [queenofwands.net]

http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp02242005.shtml [somethingpositive.net]

http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com/d/20050224.ht ml [checkerboa...htmare.com]

http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/fanart/queenofwan ds.html [irregularwebcomic.net]

Of course, this being Slashdot, five people have probably already posted this by now...

Re:As an example of how well things can work... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12803184)

I know there is no discussing tastes and all, but those are booooring!

Re:As an example of how well things can work... (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803886)

An interesting fannish thing I came across yesterday is this [1632.org]. It's a science fiction premise (rednecks transported back in time to 1632), where people can write stories, which then go into an online slush pile, where others can give feedback. An interesting alternative to the traditional model, and it looks like people are having fun doing it.

Why? (2, Insightful)

blazer1024 (72405) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802319)

Okay, I didn't RTFA, so I'm guilty of being a slashdotter. Also, IANAL and other standard disclaimers. But why would you need some special general purpose license?

You can already just give anyone you want permission to use your work... why would giving someone permission to use your characters in a crossover have anything to do with someone bootlegging your site? That makes no sense to me.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802799)

But why would you need some special general purpose license?

Because of that "IANAL" thing - true of most people with web content. And just putting a message like "You can copy my stuff within reason" is pretty much equivalent to "Help yourself to everything" if you ever want to take it to a courtroom.

The CC licenses, on the other hand, ARE written by lawyers. So they say exactly what you want them to say, and when you say "You can do this, but not that" you know that you're not leaving a dozen loopholes to be exploited.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803518)

Well, I am a lawyer (though not copyright) and I would say theoriginal poster has a point.

Licenses are simply a way to diseminate the different rights granted by copyrights. The thing is, though, that our new (post-1972) copyright law has an enumerated list of granted rights, any of which may be given or reserved by choice of the creator. Licenses simply are a legal mix of flexibility and technicality that covers the disemination of those rights in a set fashion.

So, if I were a webcomic author, I can say "Derivative works are allowed [insert hoops such as such works not being sold for service or profit]. All other rights to [stuff's] content are reserved solely by [me]."

And you can be sure of what you're saying there if you're smart, because there's a hundred years of precedent telling everyone what derivatives work (I'm pretty sure it's even written into the law).

Licenses don't create rights. They just distribute them. When you're dealing with something stupidly simple ("go ahead and make fanart! Just don't steal my stuff!"), a big license simply doesn't make sense when you're only worried about a few provisions of the relevant law.

Re:Why? (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802900)

It's easier. I could either give you a big license to read, make you email me, or just say "CC Remix License" (or whatever). Having a common, named license means that licensors don't need to find and whackamole every legal angle, and that licensees will (after enough familiarity) have an easily-recongized definition of their rights.

It also benifits in that a popular common license will have more talk about it, such as third-party legal explanations for the layman and guidance for users, because it is common and easily referred-to.

adblock (0, Offtopic)

ajservo (708572) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802330)

On commercial sites, I really only run adblock on (mostly news) sites that don't know the bounds of rational taste and good judgement on advertising on their site.

Yes, this includes Slashdot.
And, I've got a massive block on IGN as well.

But on sites I enjoy reading for their original content, like VGCats, Penny-Arcade, or PVP, I leave the adblocks off, and frequently I'll purchase goods and services from those advertisers they support.

Does anyone... (0, Offtopic)

Shads (4567) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802361)

... actually see ads anymore...? I universally block them across the board, most people do I think. Been quite a while since I saw one.

I donate to a couple webcomics i frequent (somethingpositive.net most recently), but there is no reason I'll look at ads at any site. If i want a product-- i'll look for it. I don't like, appreciate, or accept people throwing commercials up in the middle of my relaxing online browsing experience.

Privoxy+Firefox+A few manual blocks = no ads, ever. Also manages to take out about 99.99% of the virus crap that shows up for other people.

Re:Does anyone... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802668)

The problem is, your argument is a variation on the "I'm special, it's OK for me" argument. What if every single web user does what you do and blocks all ads? You would either see the death of free access to professional writing on the web, or the growth of more insidious advertising methods like paid for context links.

I see you don't have a /. subscription, so you don't like to support every site you use.

Re:Does anyone... (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802933)

I predict you'd see evolution. Like you said, "insidious" context links, more aggresive popups, or something like product placement.

Not worried. (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803333)

As long as hordes of naive users are acting as DDoS zombies, are installing spyware, are buying things from spammers, are still using IE 5.5...

Then I think the proportion of Slashdotters adblocking everything and spoiling the commons isn't dangerously high.

--grendel drago

Re:Does anyone... (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803901)

I wish every user *would* do like I do and block the ads. I remember the web when there *weren't* ads. Then I remember banners, those weren't bad... then the banners became popups... then popunders... etc... it only keeps getting worse because people are willing to put up with it.

You're absolutely right, I don't support even half the sites I visit... and given the choice between paying for any of the those sites that I haven't donated to and not reading it, I'd rather not read it. I pay for sites that are *worth* something to me, sites i feel have gone above and beyond and provide something worth paying for, I read alot of sites to blow time... but I can do that equally well mudding, programming, chatting with friends in im, email, etc... and beyond paying for a connection to the internet (which you can get freely) those are all free. The web shouldn't be why?

Re:Does anyone... (1)

jfortman (891800) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804403)

I wish every user *would* do like I do and block the ads.

I host my comic on Keenspace, a free collective of webcomics. The only reason it's free is because hosting for these 7000+ webcomics is provided entirely by ad revenue. Artists are not required to manage the ads, buy web space or bandwidth. This is all taken care of by the people at Keenspot Entertainment who graciously host Keenspace on their servers and by the Keenspace admins who essentially volunteer their time to keep Keenspace running.

I BELIEVE the last estimates I heard for bandwidth usage on Keenspace was in the range of 140 gigs a day (feel free to correct my numbers), not counting the forums which are on a different server. A single webcomic can generate as much as 10 gigs a month in traffic but may not get enough page views to cover the bandwidth. (Mine is one of these.)

If it weren't for ad revenue, places like this would not exist and my comic would never have seen the light of day.

given the choice between paying for any of the those sites that I haven't donated to and not reading it, I'd rather not read it. I pay for sites that are *worth* something to me, sites i feel have gone above and beyond and provide something worth paying for

Okay, so tell me then how you determine whether a site is worth reading if you would opt not to read it if it wasn't free?

Seriously, my comic is MOSTLY free and clear to the world except for a single ad banner across the top of the site. By visiting my site and downloading the banner image, you are paying for my comic's hosting. (not to me, of course, but you're still paying)

Is that ad harming you in any way? Is it detracting from your comic reading experience? If the ad is beneficial to the site you're visiting and it doesn't detract from the experience, what's the problem with giving a little in return?

bittorrent vs advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12804705)

If you want to publish your stuff free without any advertising, you should use bittorrent. Instead of hosting the entire thing online, you just need one page with a couple of samples and a link to the torrent. You'll have to help seed it, and maybe run the tracker, though there are free public ones you can use. All of this is quite possible to host off a home DSL connection - which presumably you pay for anyway, right?

or, perhaps (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804429)

they would create merchindise.

That's where most paper comics make their good money.

"...methods like paid for context links."

which very few people would suscribe to.

Money, money, money (5, Insightful)

Rekrapt (813221) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802374)

I've always found it ironic that a company like Disney, who made tons of moolah using works that had fallen to the public domain, are the first to sue day care centers and such for painting Mickey Mouse on the wall. They wouldn't be where they are today were it not for the public domain.

I believe all copywritten works should go to the public domain after 20 years. Period. That should be plenty of time to make money off your work. And if you don't make any money, then it should pass to the public domain so someone else can take it and maybe make some money off of it. The majority of artists/musicians/filmakers/writers never get rich from their work. (Like me!!!) I would imagine that in the public domain, you might have another chance to get some recognition for your art. If you didn't make any money, letting somebody else alter it and re-package it could help you receive some recognition and lead to some $$$ for your other works. Maybe... what do I know... I'm a peasant.

Re:Money, money, money (3, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803702)

I believe all copywritten works should go to the public domain after 20 years. Period.

How about 14 years with the option to renew for another 14? You know, how it was orginally way back in 1790.

Since we're on that note anyway, Copyright Timeline [cni.org]

Re:Money, money, money (1)

mi (197448) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804389)

They wouldn't be where they are today were it not for the public domain.
They did not break the law. But if they don't sue your poster day care centers now, they'll lose the trademarks completely -- opening up the doors for cheap Mickey mice on everything.

Legality bites (3, Insightful)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802400)

As an aspiring comic myself, I have to say the concept is pretty good (of flexible license as opposed to copyright)... one of my larger worries is that my actual comics (not just the sketches on my art site) ... will be stolen and/or plagerized, this provides at least a source for advice and subject for consideration.

If you didn't read the article and are a comic or other artist, it's worth a read through!

Re:Legality bites (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804263)

" As an aspiring comic myself, "
your aspiring to be a comic?
Or do you mean:
"as a comic artist, I am aspiring to make a living off my work."?
If yuou are successful, they will be stolen.

every see a photocopied dilbert cartoon pinned to a cube? Technically, copyright infringement.

This may have changed, but years ago I read the bill watterson never liscened his work for anything but the comics. How many Calvin and Hobbs shirts and stickers do you see?

Re:Legality bites (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804367)

At present, more aspiring to be a comic, I figure if I can come up with enough ideas I won't suck for a year or two if I try to do anything with it.

===

Indeed, it is hard to protect a joke or likeness, impossible even...

Just because it is hard, though, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done... artists need food, same as anyone else

Fair use, Fan Art and the plague of my daily life (4, Informative)

StreetFire.net (850652) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802413)


This reminds me a lot of a problem my company is facing. One of partner sites that uses our free video hosting software http://video.freevideoblog.com/ [freevideoblog.com] gets a lot of "fan" dedications to popular TV shows like Buffy the Vampire slayer or Anime music videos set to popular songs. It's damn good work, and IMOHO only creates more awareness and popularity to the original work, but because we're paranoid of getting sued by the RIAA and MPAA, we have to delete those videos from the system.

I have to wonder how the Music industry gets around this as often I hear music that "samples" tracks from other artists, or even sound bites from TV and the movies. So I know there is a process in place to take an original work and modify it (And combine it with your own original work) to create your own unique art...but I don't know what it is, or where that shade of gray turns black.

I have to say that in this lawsuit happy time I'm more inclined to ere on the side of caution, but I feel a lot of unique and original work is lost or covered up by folks like myself moderating content off the system.

Anyhow just some idle rambling from my own experience.

-Adam

Re:Fair use, Fan Art and the plague of my daily li (3, Informative)

Saeger (456549) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802557)

I feel a lot of unique and original work is lost or covered up by folks like myself moderating content off the system.

It's not that bad.

Most people mixing up their own derivative works for fun will share within their circle of friends privately, or via centralized services that haven't grown big enough to care about being legally anal, or via decentralized p2p (which is where I find most of those anime music vids, halo vids, GTA trick vids, CS cheater vids, WoW "hammertime" vids, and whatnot).

Re:Fair use, Fan Art and the plague of my daily li (1)

StreetFire.net (850652) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802714)

Most people mixing up their own derivative works for fun will share within their circle of friends privately, or via centralized services that haven't grown big enough to care about being legally anal, or via decentralized p2p (which is where I find most of those anime music vids, halo vids, GTA trick vids, CS cheater vids, WoW "hammertime" vids, and whatnot).

True, but it's still unfortunate the really good stuff can't make it onto more mainstream web-sharing services. Bit Torrent is great, but I wouldn't call it mainstream or even user friendly when it comes to the "can my grandmother use it" test.

Re:Fair use, Fan Art and the plague of my daily li (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802722)

warcraft hammertime? got a link?

Want profits? Gotta take liabilities (1)

StreetFire.net (850652) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803077)


PS: As an aside to my above post. My company is currently operating in the negative (as any new start up does). So if the RIAA/MPAA comes a knocking asking for a cut of the profits, right now we'd just hand them a bill :-)

Re:Fair use, Fan Art and the plague of my daily li (2, Informative)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803828)

I have to wonder how the Music industry gets around this as often I hear music that "samples" tracks from other artists, or even sound bites from TV and the movies. So I know there is a process in place to take an original work and modify it (And combine it with your own original work) to create your own unique art...but I don't know what it is, or where that shade of gray turns black.

The test of legality used to boil down to something like "does the work stand on its own without the sampled material, and does it not detract from the value of the original."

So Skinny Puppy could get away with using tons of dialogue from television and film in the 80s, because:

- Their music didn't depend on the samples, it just incorporated them.

- Using those samples didn't devalue, for example, Bugs Bunny cartoons, Charles Manson documentaries, or incredibly awful Canadian vampire movies.

- The samples were used to provide commentary on society.

Over time, sampling became more about swiping someone else's bassline, or another part of their music. There's nothing necessarily wrong with this (although I think the incest factor makes the new work less interesting), but it did change the nature of using sampled elements.

Today, basically if you are a major-label band, you *must* clear all your samples, no matter how short, or there will be a legal battle.

Most copyright holders seem to ignore bands on non-mainstream labels (e.g. Metropolis), but if there is enough publicity, and the copyright holder takes issue with the music, there have still been court battles.

You can't buy Apotheosis' "O Fortuna" new anymore, because Karl Orff's estate sued over it. Granted, that failed the "does it stand on its own?" test miserably, but on the other hand even the total worldwide sales of that track wouldn't have covered the licensing costs for the music, so it would never have been made "legitimately" anyway.

The money issue is a big one for smaller bands. Some copyright holders will charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for the use of a single sample, even if it's for an album which will sell 2000 copies at most.

The pricing makes some sense in the inflated world of major labels, but it stifles independent artists. For example, I once estimated that to clear the samples in *one* of my tracks from back in 2000, it would cost something like $50k-$100k, far more than the entire album it was from would ever generate even in gross profit.

Personally I think it's illogical to the point of frustration that a visual artist can make and sell collages made from Chiquita banana stickers and newspaper clippings all day, but using audio samples is somehow different.

Re:Fair use, Fan Art and the plague of my daily li (1)

StreetFire.net (850652) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803950)

Thanks for the input it sounds like you have some solid industry insight. I too have to wonder why Audio/Video copyrights get protection to the point of stiffling other artist, yet visual arts have more lenient creative commons...probably because less money is at stake.

Prohibiting parody? (2, Interesting)

HyperBlazer (830880) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802476)

From TFA, quoting JD Frazer:

a bitter ex-fan decides to take the strips and replace the writing with, say, something you might find in Penthouse Forum. Not to say that there isn't a market for that kind of thing, just that UserFriendly has always been PG-rated for very specific reasons. I also don't appreciate someone else taking years of my own sweat and tears and in minutes turning it into something of which I don't particularly approve.

Could someone with more legal knowledge than me clear something up: wouldn't such use of Frazer's comics be considered parody, and therefore fair use? Or at least, so the "bitter ex-fan" could argue.

Re:Prohibiting parody? (2, Insightful)

introverted (675306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802851)

Could someone with more legal knowledge than me clear something up: wouldn't such use of Frazer's comics be considered parody, and therefore fair use? Or at least, so the "bitter ex-fan" could argue.

My understanding is that to be parody, it would have to be "poking fun" at the original material. Just "changing the words" constitutes a derivative work and that falls under copyright. (That distinction is what led the folks who thought they owned "This Land" to threaten legal action against JibJab [jibjab.com]. What got JibJab off the hook was that the copyright had expired )

As a comparison, The Brothers Grinn [brothersgrinn.com] took a number of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" articles that were circulating on the web and rewrote them to make fun of the original material.

I knew it! (1)

arose (644256) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802486)

program tools to deprive comics of advertising revenue, and even profit from others' labor without permission
wget is evil!

Bull-pucky. (4, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802496)

Stuff and Nonsense.

With traditional copyright, you can still authorize people to do all of the things mentioned. Sometimes, I think the only reason there is a movement to create something new is because people don't understand the current standard.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

mav[LAG] (31387) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803226)

Hmmmm, let's see. You could start a cultural sharing movement based on either a) mass education of people as to the capabilities of the existing law or b) acknowledge the capabilities of the traditional law and use them to encourage sharing through a specific set of licenses that emphasise that only *some* rights are reserved.

One of these movements has a future and one of them does not.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

Mant (578427) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803820)

Then the point of the exercise is to help the Creative Commons people, not the webcomics creators? Because in terms of helping the webcomics the parent seems right, they manage crossovers and fan art just fine right now under current law.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

mav[LAG] (31387) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804521)

You're absolutely right and I think I misunderstood the GP. I thought he was saying the whole of the Creative Commons movement was a waste of time because of the capability of existing copyright law - not that it isn't that helpful to start a new webcomics movement when the laws work as they are.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

Fermatprime (883412) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803336)

A defining feature of most "open-source" copyleft programs, though, is the ability to make the creator of the derivative work use the same system as you. I wasn't aware that you could do that with traditional copyright.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804032)

I think the real reason that people are creating a new 'movement' with regards to copyright is to distance themselves from the decaying foundation that copyright is built on.

After all, would you really want to be part of the run-of-the-mill copyright system when a new bill to be passed in the not so distant future may change or compromise your intent for a work's enjoyment?

The reason that people don't understand the current standard is partly because it keeps changing. Trademark rights over URL names is a joke, and most DRM practices are being actively cracked. In an age as reliant on the internet as we are, we have almost no real protection against the new host for our work given our current model. For heaven's sake, they're still extending the copyright to kill public domain for traditional publishing instead of caring about internet related copyright, which should have been at least twice as refined as it is now.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804209)

none of which has anything to do with creative commons.

All creative commons does is give a packeaged choice to creaters, based on current copyright system.

Re:Bull-pucky. (1)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804471)

I didn't mean to sound as if it actually is a new copyright system. Rather, I think that CC attempts to lay out packages in plain english terms.

I know it may sound silly, but I think it gives some people a little peace of mind to know their liscense actually means rather than think of liscensing terms as 'someone else's job'.

To me, knowing the actual rights I have gives a feeling of separation from the normal copyright system because I don't need a lawyer to interpret all the definitions. Creative Commons is easy enough to find and understand that it gives the illusion of being a different entity. I can't find fault in CC for seeming to 'create something new is because people don't understand the current standard' because the current standard can be quite difficult for the average person to understand. It's like promoting copyright literacy, and I'll stand up for that. Almost anything can be pirated, but if people are aware of what they can do about it, I don't care if they're claiming to be a movement or a revolution.

Re:Bull-pucky. (2, Insightful)

kitty tape (442039) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804038)

That's kind of the point of these Creative Commons licenses. They are not trying to create new laws. They are taking existing laws of copyright and saying "here are some prepackaged ways you can give everyone specific rights". Otherwise, people would have to make up their own copyright statement each time or license to different people individually.

Speaking of Comics (2, Insightful)

Crapshoot (880704) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802581)

Sinfest.net is one of my favorites - great strip, now available as a book.. And the idiot who argued that people shouldn't get paid for their work - pray tell, what is your job ?

Profit from others' work is bad, eh? (1, Troll)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802608)

You mean like how Metallica wants to stop you from stealing their CD's? I guess if it's a "cool" cartoon, it's bad to rip it off, but if it's an "evil" CD, then it's OK to rip off. I hope this article helps people see why copyright issues are so complex -- you just can't treat one media differently from the other. Many hours of labor are involved in the initial creation of ANY product, and the people who put in those hours deserve just compensation and equal protection under the law.

Doujinshi (2, Insightful)

pbooktebo (699003) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802638)

I love the Creative Commons license, but I actually think that the example Lessig gives in his book "Free Culture" of the douginshi is a better market example.

Doujinshi are illegal comics that are openly tolerated because the legal owners know that the comics actually help the overall market (a fan fiction that keeps people interested, trains aspiring artists, and promotes creative freedom.

Of course, another reason that they flourish, was provided to Lessig by a Japanese buisinessman, who said, "we don't have enough lawyers," to prosecute the cases. If only!

The same issue exists for all artistic endeavors (although music, through sampling, seems to be at the forefront these days). It really is worth considering the dampening effect that these policies have on creativity and innovation.

Been there, done that. (2, Interesting)

DigitalWar (864198) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802647)

Already done that. Myself and several others produced a print suitable minicomic in pdf format that is free to download, read, print, sell. The only restrictions we had were no changes to it allowed. There've been some distributed at various conventions in dead tree format. Watch out for "Deadly Bear Attacks". As for my normal comic, I don't worry about it. It's purely a hobby and I'm not after any compensation for doing it.

Re:Been there, done that. (1)

jfortman (891800) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804670)

There've been some distributed at various conventions in dead tree format. Watch out for "Deadly Bear Attacks"

Deadly Bears Attack can be found here [keenspace.com]. It's a thread on the Keenspace forums with links to various sites where the PDF might still be hosted. Feel free to download and distribute the PDF file. It's licensed under Creative Commons to allow making and selling copies but not modification of the content. Instructions for printing the comic are also available in or linked from the thread. If you would like to mirror the file, please let us know so we can link your mirror in the thread.

The problem with Deadly Bears is that it's a sampler of comics available online for free. I put 10 issues in my local comic store and over the course of 2 months managed to sell 4 of them.

I printed issue 1 of my own comic and put it in the same store. Again, I managed to sell only 4 copies (at least two went to people I know). People would notice that my comic was available online and not buy the print version.

Having a free webcomic is great if it's free. I see printing comics as a significant expense and would like to be compensated for that. The same with paid advertising. If I'm going to put money into my comic like that I want something in return. Art supplies and such I can deal with. $10 for a pad of bristol board every 5 months is worth while for me as an artist because I get enjoyment out of writing, drawing and inking. The bristol allows me to show off my artwork as well. It's sturdy and I don't worry about it banging it up by carrying it around in my back pack when I go to cons and get togethers. If spending $15 to advertise my comic on onlinecomics.net or gains me 2 readers, I will never see a return on that $15 unless I'm able to sell $15 worth of merchandise because of the advertising. Since I have no merchandise to speak of, I can't justify the expense.

Hold on a sec (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802845)

... program tools to deprive comics of advertising revenue ...

Now WTF does *that* mean?

You don't have things like Adblock in mind, do you? Let me point out that no one has a RIGHT to advertising revenue. I am quite sure I don't have any obligation, moral or legal, to look at the ads.

Re:Hold on a sec (1)

lucas_picador (862520) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803254)

Let me point out that no one has a RIGHT to advertising revenue. I am quite sure I don't have any obligation, moral or legal, to look at the ads.

I hope you're right, but this issue hasn't been litigated and might well come down the other way once it is. A web page, served with embedded ads, may be considered a work covered by copyright and therefore protected from unauthorized derivative works, e.g. abridgments or ad-free versions.

The closest analogous case we have is ArribaSoft, which deemed thumbnail images of online photos in an image search engine to be fair use. This implies that user-managed, personal-use-only download of single images (e.g. comics) without the accompanying ads should also constitute fair use. It definitely flies in the face of the Terms of Use of most commercial publishing sites, but Terms of Use are generally overridden by first amendment considerations.

Other legal theories than Copyright may be brought to bear if commercial publishers decide to make this an issue (which they probably won't: see e.g. the NYTimes online moving to a subscription model, having decided that ad revenue is too unstable a business model). Publishers might make a case for Trespass to Chattels, or Trespass, or Unfair Competition, or some other garbage tort that would boil down to "the courts are obliged to support my dumb-ass business model".

The problem here is that when you get into the actual legal justification for ads and commercial speech, the existence of ad-blocking refutes the whole theoretical basis for allowing it. Commercial speech is supposedly a social good that informs consumers about market opportunities. If you go crying to the court that 99% of your readers are blocking your ads, that theory starts looking like the horsehit that it is.

Re:Hold on a sec (3, Insightful)

Kaa (21510) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803504)

A web page, served with embedded ads, may be considered a work covered by copyright and therefore protected from unauthorized derivative works, e.g. abridgments or ad-free versions.

Nah, I don't think this will fly. At all.

Under this theory, for example, I would be prohibited from doing anything destructive with a book -- e.g. tearing out some pages. This theory would immediately make the fast-forward button on VCRs/DVD players illegal. I guess it would make the mute button on the TV remotes illegal as well.

In fact, given the recent law explicitly giving permission to non-copyright-holders to modify and redistribute movies (primarily to take out cursing/sex/violence) -- I estimate the chances of this theory making it past the appeals court at zero.

Publishers might make a case for Trespass to Chattels, or Trespass, or Unfair Competition, or some other garbage tort that would boil down to "the courts are obliged to support my dumb-ass business model".

There might be a case against someone who strips ads and redistributes web pages (adless) to other people. Not against the end user, though.

Yes, I understand that you could make it a contract case -- make the user explicitly agree to a contract on the first page of the web site and then you can sue him for breaking that contract. However this has to generate so much ill will and bad publicity that I'd actually want to see someone try it.. :-)

Re:Hold on a sec (1)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803761)

This theory would immediately make the fast-forward button on VCRs/DVD players illegal.


That's absolutely correct, actually, if I remember the Betamax decision correctly. Fast-forwarding through commercials creates an unauthorized derivative work.

Re:Hold on a sec (2, Interesting)

lucas_picador (862520) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803989)

I think you're right. The courts seem to think you're right, for the time being. The problem is that the copyright statute says you're wrong, and only the vauge fair-use balancing test stands in the way of the statutory language. The House Report on the 1976 Amendments is ridiculously broad in its characterization of unauthorized derivative works: reading their comments, you start to realize that a personal discussion of the plot of a movie you just watched with a friend would constitute copyright infringement.

But, as you say, the courts have so far refused to take them seriously, because of a little thing called the First Amendment. Unfortunately, fair use is an affirmative defense, which means that plenty of people can be bullied into compliance by the threat of litigation even if they think the courts will side with them. And the courts are pretty fickle when it comes to copyright infringement and the Internet: the DMCA safe harbor provisions, which should have applied to Napster according to the statutory language, were ignored by the court because they decided they didn't like Napster's "unfair" model. Similar notions of "fairness" might influence a judge to prop up ad-based online publishing against ad-filtering software or services. Do I think it's likely? No. But I also don't think it's impossible. And I'm certain that publishers will try to bully anyone who threatens their revenue model by taking ad-blocking mainstream, if they haven't already.

Re:Hold on a sec (1)

fartymenams (890764) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803755)

The US Congress -- even though it's the bitch of movie studios -- recently passed the Family Entertainment Copyright Act, which allows for people to use the fast forward button to go past "objectionable" content. Now that Bush has signed the legislation, not only are ClearPlay's smut-/violence-/etc.-free DVD players legal, but the fast forward button is, too.

I think a case could be made for one's HOSTS file falling under the same rubric -- you're filtering out objectionable content from Websites. You object to tacky advertising (or porn ads, let's say) -- you redirect it to 127.0.0.1 and voila, no ad. Derivative work? Maybe, but it's your choice, and Congress has made it legal.

And yes, under the same legislation, you can now go to jail for sharing a copy of Episode III, too, but ostensibly that's not the main point of the law. The studios didn't want people to be able to skip objectionable content, period.

Re:Hold on a sec (1)

lucas_picador (862520) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804041)

... yes, and the legislative history of the Act will bear on the interpretation the courts give it, and they might well take a narrow view of what constitutes "objectionable" content. The courts have again and again propped up commercial activity as laudable and sexual speech as subject to censorship. There's nothing to stop them from making the same distinction here.

On the other hand, maybe the courts will be the good guys here and use this tool -- created by Republican cultural censors -- to expand the degree of control individuals have over their media environments. That would be terrific, but I'm not holding my breath. Judges tend to be culturally conservative, and while they often like civil liberties, they also like strong copyright protection.

Jab? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12802902)

Parody fan art?
Visit jabcomix.com
the forums have fan art of jab's parody art, ahahaha.

Another "me too" (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 8 years ago | (#12802903)

As an aspiring comic-writer (see .sig) I would love to quit my job and draw all day long. As a realist, I know that this will likely never happen. However, if it /does/ happen, I would like some way to profit from it while giving people the right to do with it what they want. Being also very busy, I haven't looked into it (considering it will likely never be an issue).

Huh? (1)

Tickenest (544722) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803145)

An article having to do with webcomics and absolutely no plug for Penny Arcade in the Slashdot post? Amazing!

from the dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12803246)

"from the dept." From what dept?!

Educational materials (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#12803670)

Interesting note in there about Creative Commons being a perfect fit with educational materials. I agree that it's good to distribute educational materials as widely as possible, but when one of your prime concerns is accuracy, you might not want "remixing," etc.

Of course, a lot of this happens in curriculum development anyhow. When you're stuck for ideas, you look at activities and lesson plans others have written and pull what's relevant to adapt to what you're doing - no reason to reinvent the wheel. As long as you don't copy it all wholesale, there's not much worry since you can't copyright an idea. (When you do pull an entire graphic organizer, activity, graphic, etc from another source, of course you've got to cite it and get permission.) So that sort of "license" is, in a way, taken for granted in the educational community. I'll have to actually go to their site and look at the science section to see what they're all about.

Not Profit! (1)

lousyd (459028) | more than 8 years ago | (#12804441)

...and even profit from others' labor without permission.

My god, not that. Oh, Jesus, I think I'm going to vomit. Just the thought of someone profiting from others' labor without permission makes me sick.

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