About a year and a half ago, I wrote an essay on Creative Commons that was critical of what I thought was a major difference between CC and the Free Software movement that many folks in the Free Software world didn’t seem to see. I showed it to a number of people and received a series of very mixed reactions. Some folks from iCommons Italy said they were reconsidering their role in CC. Cory Doctorow (who worked for CC at the time) compared me to a Troskyite. Others were conflicted.
Since I knew the article was potentially inflammatory and could easily be misunderstood, I’ve sat on it. In the last year, the things that bothered me about CC have continued or been aggravated and my article has continued to be passed around and revised. A growing number of people have been pushing me to publish. Under pressure — and kind words — from both Richard Stallman and a team of folks at Libroscope in France, (in addition to everyone who has been pushing me all along), I’ve finally decided to throw the article out there.
Many people seem to be criticizing CC lately and I don’t agree with all of them. As I say in the article, I think CC is doing a lot of good. My criticism is not with what CC has done but with the fact that they have failed to take a strong ethical position in the way that that has made Free Software successful.
Finally, thank you to everyone who helped listen to this, read it, give me feedback, send me corrections. An incomplete list includes Alan Toner, Jamie King, Julien Tayon, Antoine Pitrou, Biella Coleman, Andreea Carnu, Richard Stallman, Holger Levsen, and WTH-DebCamp the Debconf5 sauna party.