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Discussion on: Creative Commons WM license?

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hessel profile image
Hessel van Oorschot

“you can embed this via these means”.. ok, I hear you. The answer is not black or white. Even within the open licensing communities you will find multiple answers. The core feature of Creative Commons of course is the "allowed to share" mentality. So we think our glass is half full / most people are good people.

On top of someone's copyright is an agreement (the CC License) asking you to respect the rightsholder's wishes and allowing you to do certain things with the copyright protected work e.g. download, share, build upon, monetize etc.

But that's part of the story. If hundreds of thousands of people download music on your website, do they understand what is allowed and what isn't allowed without additional consent? And in this case I am talking about rightsholders who are not playing with WM models yet.

But now you want to add a WM model to a downloadable song. So on top of the CC conditions you are applying a fair revenue model based on a payment pointer. So misusing the CC conditions is illegal and replacing the payment pointer is illegal or in many cases unfair. But again, there are totally legal examples like: download a CC BY licensed song with the original creator's payment pointer embedded. Replace the payment pointer with your own payment pointer, keep the attribution part in tact (crediting the rightsholder) and upload / monetize the song to your favorite platform. Totally legal.

Preventing misuse:
One (technical) solution is to connect fingerprinted assets (songs) and payment pointer(s) with the unique verified rightsholder ID. There are multiple scenarios out there, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. However, rightsholders should be and stay in control to decide the licensing terms, monetization model and the level of protection.

From a psychological perspective there is nothing new happening here. Most creators are very proud at first when their creations are shared and their audience is growing. But when the artist finds out someone else makes (more) money from his/her music ... that's the moment when the lawyers are contacted.

And there are always smarter people out there who like to test your (security) system. Here is an example of YouTube and RIAA using MD5 hashing to follow music files online while others just publish a script to download the YouTube file and delete the MD5 information:
github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/com...

Anyway, I don't want to return to the bad old days of blocked content / DRM so let's work on fair WM models and keep faith: most people are good.