Beyond the Creative Commons Framework of Production and Dissemination of Knowledge
100 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2011 Last revised: 17 May 2014
Date Written: August 20, 2011
This thesis discusses the licensing system of the Creative Commons from the perspective of the theory of the commons mostly as formulated by Elinor Ostrom. The work starts by describing the concepts and theory of common pool resources and regime of the commons for production and distribution of these resources. The main characteristics for successful traditional commons – efficiency, equity and sustainability are taken as the basis for an analysis of an example of a new form of commons – the commons for production and dissemination of information. The framework of the Creative Commons is analysed in detail as an example of such commons.
The question of effectiveness is answered through an analysis of ideas on different ways of production of information and maximization of its value in our society. Equity is assessed using international human rights as a universal standard of equity in national and international communities.
Sustainability of the Creative Commons is assessed by analysing robustness of the legal framework of this licensing system. In addition, special emphasis is given to the strength and structure of communities this framework gives basis to. CC communities of Jamendo and ccMixter are compared to other movements of the commons for information that are older and seemingly better established, in this case an open source community of GNOME.
The work does not aim to answer if the Creative Commons is the best tool for commons of information, but merely tries to assess it from few selected perspectives. The conclusions of this thesis show that the framework of Creative Commons has some problems, but nevertheless is a good starting point to create commons for information (especially for cultural works). Some suggestions that could possibly make this framework even stronger and more sustainable are made in the very end of the work.
Keywords: Creative Commons, Commons, Human Rights, Intellectual Property, Access to Culture, Access to Knowledge, Open Source, Open Access, Copyright
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