The Creative Commons idea has been around for a while, but it seems very few people have adopted its use. I have been a supporter of this approach to sharing information on the web for several years - the "intellectual property" monopoly is simply a way to keep information sequestered in a capitalist legal structure, restricting the free flow of information from those who can use it and benefit from it.
As a writer and researcher, I often come up against articles that are behind a pay-wall - and the asking price is often in the range of $30 per article (or more). The sinister thing is that authors in these journals also pay to have their articles published - and the cost to them goes WAY up if they choose an open access journal.
Being the owner/publisher of an academic journal is a very profitable business.
Even in the mainstream internet publications, however, information is (mostly) free on the site where it is originally posted, but sharing that information with others, with full attribution and links to the original site and post, is still a pay-per-use system.
The argument against a Creative Commons approach for these folks usually revolves around the short-term loss of "visits," the way they count user traffic to generate advertiser dollars - the more visits, the more they can charge for ad space on the site. What they neglect, it seems to me, is the long-term benefit of exposure to readers who might not otherwise view the material or the site, who are introduced to the author, idea, or site through it being shared on another venue.
But it seems most of the major online magazines (and magazine-like sites) don't take this longer perspective and only worry about the visits they might not get today. I hope that this will change - it is a policy based in 20th century content presentation that cannot fathom the 21st century changes in that system.
Here is the summary statement of the Creative Commons organization, explaining their values and mission.
Other Links of Interest:
Our vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.
Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.
What we provide
Where we’re going
- On the Commons
- P2P Foundation
- The OpenScience Project
- Network Weaving
- The Foundation for P2P Alternatives