Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

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synnack
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Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by synnack » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:18 pm

Greetings all.

Inspired by recent threads I have been wondering how to improve the terms and policies of maxforlive.com to protect the applied licenses of the devices posted there.

Today I posted the following rant on this. Please have a read and either comment there, here, or email me at info-at-maxforlive.com if you have some feedback.

http://www.synnack.com/blog/post/32/enf ... ve-commons
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Gregory Taylor
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Re: Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by Gregory Taylor » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:40 pm

Your points are well taken. In the context of small community settings where it is unlikely that any sort of legal redress is possible, I'd say that the community itself has to bear the brunt of deciding how sanction occurs (cd. the Amish practice of "shunning"). It's also the reason that - at least in my opinion - how someone responds to the accusation of breach *really* matters. Personal accountability is the only way that something like Creative Commons works, since it only works if people who agree to abide by it actually *do* abide by it. If someone does *not* and makes no acknowledgement of wrongdoing, then *all* of their work - past and future - is suspect.

I always hesitate to bring Epictetus into places like this, but it's particularly true in small, nongeolocal communities: your perceived integrity is really the ONLY currency you've got. That's why plagiarism is a problem for my wife's undergraduate students *and* for people who win the Pulitzer prize. It is the response (rather than the act) that determines what follows.

Adherence to standards such as CC is one of the things that both makes www.maxforlive.com possible and sustainable. While you certainly cannot maintain or enforce such things alone, I think you're absolutely correct to be as concerned about it as you are, IMHO.

oddstep
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Re: Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by oddstep » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:08 pm

I share your concern. The creative commons ethos sits well with me, its enabling and recognises the complex nature of ownership in a digital environment. I'm not sure what else you could do - if this was a case standard copyright infringement I think it would be down to the two individuals to prove the provenance of their works and fund the relevant court action; as it is I suspect that no one has the desire to escalate matters to that level.. and quite rightly so.
Perhaps the site could have terms and conditions that reinforce the creative commons licensing of patches.. I can't imagine a way of doing this that wouldn't be hugely inconvenient and/or futile - but that could be down to my own limitations.
As a producer of CC material and a pessimist I am interested in what happens when people do not act in a respectful fashion...
The wikipedia article on creative commons suggests that they are upheld in courts of law but tend not to generate punitive fines, whereas this article http://www.lockergnome.com/lumpy/2010/1 ... ium-court/
suggests otherwise.
This article http://www.technollama.co.uk/does-creat ... ourt-cases points out that plenty of EULAs are taken seriously without having to be proven in court, why should CC be viewed differently.
The whole thing is a mess, but I suppose that's how it is for all new ideas.

synnack
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Re: Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by synnack » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:42 pm

Agreed on many points. Ultimately the community polices itself, that's how it's a "community" in the first place.

There is a lot of subjectivity to this as well. For example, if I create a simple device that is a single live.dial that acts acts as a gain stage, and apply and say "all rights reserved". does that mean I really have a right to complain if there is a commercial gain stage for sale that is exactly the same code? In this case I would have to realize that there is nothing unique about my device, adding a dial to the signal is how you make the desired effect. The expectation should be that your license is tied to the degree of uniqueness or creativity in the code.

I think we are right to question code reuse compared to the device creators applied license, but I also think there is a hidden risk here. If a big deal is made out of common component reuse, authors are more likely to just go "screw this then, i'll lock it". We've already seen companies selling Max for Live devices that have hacked up trickery to, in effect, lock them from being edited and hide the code. The more fuss there is about unapproved reuse the more we may see people move in that direction which hurts everyone in the long run. Part of the great thing about Max for Live is in fact the working edit button.

Thank you for your thoughts. I think we're on the right track.
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synnack
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Re: Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by synnack » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:50 pm

outside of maxforlive.com I think about these things in terms of netlabel releases as well. There is a weird moral greyness about this stuff.

For example, if i release a synnack release for free and say "no commercial use", then I find out that a track was used on a compilation that came with a magazine, I likely wouldn't care all that much. Even though it may have helped sell the magazine and therefor be commercial use, i might see that as free advertising.

But if that same track was used in a movie, or TV commercial, I likely would contact a lawyer.

Weird how ethics work.
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Gregory Taylor
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Re: Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by Gregory Taylor » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:03 pm

Given that using something that someone else makes and attempts to protect in some way using CC potentially exposes *anyone else* licensing or using the work up the food-chain to litigation, you might be surprised to learn just how quickly even *the vaguest whiff of impropriety* can "burn you" for life with persons out there in the media world who might use (and recompense you for) your work. There are plenty of other options for them out there to choose from, they remember such conflicts when they occur, and tend to steer clear of anyone who's had such trouble in the past as a preventative strategy.

synnack
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Re: Creative Commons and maxforlive.com

Post by synnack » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:12 pm

Very good points.

It struck me when I got into max, coming from Reaktor, that the community around max was very different. An individuals credibility is absolutely their currency. I think it stems from the academic use of Max out there. People who are long time max users often started that way in University where unique ideas and skill was not only for their egos but their actual grade. The emotional connection to it is stronger than anything I've seen with other platforms.

It's almost exactly what you see in some open source communities I've been involved in like OpenBSD and was a very logical fit for me, even though I'm self-taught.
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