21 Nov 2007 etbe   » (Master)

BoingBoing and Licenses

Today I was thrilled to see that Cory Doctorow (who among other things wrote one of my favourite Sci-fi novels [1]) copied one of my blog posts on to BoingBoing.net [2].

Then I reviewed the licence conditions (which had previously been contained in the About Page and is now a post on my documents blog [3]) and discovered that I had not permitted such use!

In the second part of this post (not included in the RSS feed) I have the old and new license conditions for my blog content. My plan is that my document blog [4] will have the current version of such documents while this blog will have every iteration along the way.

The new version of my license explicitly permits BoingBoing to do what they want with my content. I don’t have any objection to what Cory did, and I would have been rather unhappy if he had sent me an email saying “I wanted to feature your post on BoingBoing but sorry you miss out because of your license”. But his procedure does not work well.

Now I am wondering, how do I construct a license agreement that permits my content to be used by big popular sites that give my blog new readers and my ideas a wider audience while denying the content to sploggers who just want to use my patterns of words for google hits? How do I permit my content to be used by people who contribute as much to the community as Cory but deny it to talentless people who want to exploit my work while contributing nothing to the world? How can I ensure that people who want to reference my work can learn about the licence conditions (the About Page apparently doesn’t work)? These are serious questions and I invite suggestions as to how to solve them.

The fact that I have forgiven Cory for not abiding by my license and granted him permission to do the same thing again whenever he wishes is not the ideal solution. For authors to find people who copy their work and respond with forgiveness or DMCA take-down notices according to who does the copying and the reason for it is a losing game and a distraction from the work of creating the useful content.

I understand the BoingBoing situation, they deliver summaries and copies of blog posts rapidly and frequently. Discovering conditions of use and asking for clarification from the authors (which may take days or weeks) would really affect the process. Also anyone who reads my blog would probably realise that I want to have such posts copied on sites such as BoingBoing.

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Syndicated 2007-11-21 13:14:30 from etbe

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