Aggregation and Dissemination of Collective Cultural Works


Published on

Cultural works and user-generated contents — images, photos, sound tracks, texts, video clips, etc. — manifest as digital artifacts and flow in the networks in unprecedented scale and speed. These digital objects, however, increasingly gravitate toward a few online services in which the flow and accumulation of information is regulated. On the other hand, cultural works released under public licenses, such as the Creative Commons Licenses and the GNU General Public License, can be freely redistributed and reused. These public licenses encourage and strengthen networks of peer-to-peer sharing and remix. We show that the Terms of Service offered by online service providers may compete with the public licenses preferred by the content generators. In this presentation, we look into the details of a few Terms of Service as well as those of the Creative Commons Licenses. Based on such an analysis, we shall give an overview on the current practice of online content aggregation and dissemination.

(Presented at the "Access to Information and Public Licenses in the Digital Environment" session at the
PNC 2010 Annual Conference, City University of Hong Kong, December 1-3, 2010. )

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Aggregation and Dissemination of Collective Cultural Works

  1. 1. Aggregation and Dissemination of Collective Cultural Works PNC 2010 Annual Conference December 1-3, 2010 Tyng-Ruey Chuang Institute of Information Science, and Research Center for Information Technology Innovation Academia Sinica
  2. 2. Outline• Public Licensing• Content Hosting Services• Collective Cultural Works• Are Public Licenses Alone Sufficient?
  3. 3. Public Licensing• Rights to use a work are granted to the public in advance with a written agreement – the public are free to make copies, for example• The agreement (license) is worldwide, royalty- free, non-exclusive, and irrevocable• Some pre-conditions may apply – such as attribution, not commercial usage, or allowing only verbatim copy• Public licenses are not necessarily “open” – licenses may restrict reuse and redistribution
  4. 4. Popular Public Licenses• GNU General Public License• GNU Free Documentation License• BSD License• Creative Commons (CC) Licenses – CC Attribution (CC BY) – CC Attribution — ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
  5. 5. Creative Commons Licenses
  6. 6. Content Hosting Services• Services that maintain contents for their users – Sources of user-generated contents – Communities of content generators• Hosted contents can be CC-licensed – Licensing information as searchable metadata – E.g., Flickr, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Slideshare, etc.• Popular services are shaping user practices – Regulations on content circulation; norms of content production, consumption, and sharing – Many service providers are for-profit entities
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Terms of Service (ToS)• ToS are the rules to which the users must agree in order to use the service – quality of service – acceptable user behavior – copyright issues – personal data – (no) warranty• Service providers can change ToS anytime and without notice to the users• ToS may compete with pubic licenses
  9. 9. Where are my originals?
  10. 10. Flickr FAQ:What do I get with a Pro account?• Unlimited storage• Unlimited bandwidth• Archiving of high-resolution original images• Ad-free browsing and sharingCompare that to what you get with a Free Account:• Only smaller (resized) images accessible (though the originals are saved in case you upgrade later)
  11. 11. Must you register and login to that sitejust to download my CC-licensed works?
  12. 12. bobchao’s original (CC BY-SA)Uploading others’ CC-licensed works? trc’s derivative (CC BY-SA)
  13. 13. Yahoo! ToS:… However, with respect to Content yousubmit or make available for inclusionon publicly accessible areas of theYahoo! Services, you grant Yahoo! thefollowing worldwide, royalty-free andnon-exclusive license(s), asapplicable: … CC BY-SA: … You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that restrict the terms of this License or the ability of the recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License. You may not sublicense the Work. …
  14. 14. CC-licensed? Nobody knows anymore!• Flickr brokers an exclusive Getty Images agency deal for you, even for your CC-licensed photos.• Getty Images FAQ, "... if we do select an image that is available under a Creative Commons license, it will automatically be changed to All Rights Reserved on Flickr and from then on you must observe the exclusivity obligations ...”.• Flickrs FAQ, "... if you proceed with your submission, switching your license to All Rights Reserved (on Flickr) will happen automatically”.
  15. 15. What is in that ToS for me?• In a ToS, the service provider sets conditions to which I must agree before I can start to upload/download contents.• With public licenses (such as the CC licenses), I grant to others some rights to use my contents. And vice versa when I use others’ publicly licensed works.• Service providers may not care what we intend to achieve with the public licenses (even if they offer to mark our contents CC-licensed).• ToS is the only agreement between me and my service provider, and it dictates how my contents are served.
  16. 16. Collective Cultural Works• Types of collectiveness – Collections of Individual Works (Flickr) – Collaborative Works (Wikipedia)• Kinds of usage – Access (to experience; Youtube) – Copy (to download; Scribd) – Remix (to download, mix, and upload; ccMixter)• Ways of aggregation and dissemination – Hosted (large-sized; constant updating; communal sharing or “walled garden”?) – Free Floating (small-sized; personal use; need housekeeping)
  17. 17. Collaborative Works• Collaborative Works – works created and used by multiple members – member composition is fluid and indefinite – materials contributed by collaborators and/or taken from other sources – the outcome is of high social and/or economic value• Who own the rights to the outcome of a collaboration?
  18. 18. Collaborative Works + Public Licenses• Who can use the outcome? How to start a collaboration?• All participants agree to a particular public license for the outcome of their collaboration – whoever agrees to the license can participate – the right to make modifications, and the obligation to share the modifications likewise
  19. 19. Copyright your tweets?Check out by Jon Phillips!
  20. 20. Public Licensing Revisited• “What are public licenses for?” (Shunling Chen) – expressing individual good-faiths – maintaining collective boundaries• Individual good-faiths can be divided and compromised (e.g, by service providers’ ToS)• Collective boundaries should be deliberated and enforced (e.g., the Debian Social Contract)• Are public licenses alone sufficient to achieve a cultural commons? – “My photos in Facebook are CC-licensed.” What does this mean?