Sunday, March 24, 2013

Will I Use Creative Commons Licenses? (Activity 9: H817OPEN

I feel a great deal of moral support for the Creative Commons movement and for use of the CC license, for several reasons:
  1. If you want to get something widely used, understood and appreciated, make it freely available (and get credit too).
  2. If you have benefited from the use of freely available resources, you have an obligation to 'return the favour.'
  3. It is similar to the GNU license for open source software, which has provided such immense value to computer users.
If you are going to make something freely available for reuse, however, I agree with those (for example, Moller 2005) who argue that restricting use for commercial purposes is counter-productive. I take this view for several reasons:
  1. Preventing commercial use is very difficult to detect and expensive if not impossible to prohibit.
  2. What's the problem? You've already said it can be reused. Are you just against filthy lucre and private enterprise in any form?
  3. The GNU license for open-source software allows commercial reuse and this practice has resulted in many fantastic commercial products, like the Android operating system for smartphones.
  4. If someone has figured out a way to make money from your CC resource, then maybe you can learn from it and figure out how to do the same thing.
  5. Also, perhaps not surprisingly, I agree with all of the points made by Moller (2005).
Having said that, I will continue to make choices in the application of the CC license to my intellectual property. I will use it on occasion. Complete devotion to the 4Rs (reuse, revise, remix, redistribute) for intellectual property is possible for those who are salaried or who derive income from other sources. If as in my case, one depends in part for a living on the sale of intellectual property, then it seems clear that at least some creative products must remain proprietary.


Moller, E. (2005) The Case for Free Use: Reasons Not to Use a Creative Commons - NC License [online]. Available at (Accessed 24-March-2013).

[This posting is for Activity 9 of the OpenU course on Open Education H817open. All text and graphics are released under a Creative Commons Attribution license.]