Disgust with Creative Commons and the Free Culture Crowd

I may be the biggest fan of Creative Commons anywhere. Sure, I’m biased because the licenses are built on the framework we established with the Open Publication License years before. And yes, the licenses have some well-rehearsed problems (e.g., the undefinable “Noncommercial,” the compatibility-killing “ShareAlike”, etc.). But despite these problems I firmly believe that the Creative Commons licenses are far and away the best open licenses for content in existence.

As Brian Lamb points out, the new CC license selection wizard very prominently features a statement regarding whether or not the Free Culture crowd has blessed the license you have chosen. (The old license picker had something like this too, but it was much less in your face.) What value could CC possibly think it is adding to the universe by proactively gifting screen real estate to a third party so that they can rub in my face their particular opinion about the CC license I’ve chosen? If CC feels so strongly about Free Culture, they should build meaningful prompts into the wizard process, not ask me questions and then go out of their way to provide space for a third party to tell me that my honest answers to the wizard questions were stupid and that they don’t “approve” of my license choice.

If the Free Culture folks are so certain they know what licenses the world needs and which ones we don’t need, why are they trying to hijack the clearly-morally-inferior CC license suite? Why not create their own licenses – every one of them pre-approved! – since they clearly know better than CC does? And why, why, why would CC prominently place, on its own website, a third party statement that CC’s licenses are unworthy? And why make that statement even more pronounced in the new version of the wizard?

The stupidity of Creative Commons pandering to the Free Culture crowd annoys me more than anything else about the Creative Commons organization – issues with NC or SA included. Please, please, please CC cut loose the Free Culture crowd and leave them to their own devices. We don’t need them offending new people coming to the CC site (who else uses the wizard?) or passing their holier-than-thou judgments on the rest of us who occasionally have legitimate reasons to choose “unapproved” licenses. If CC didn’t approve of these “inferior” licenses the wouldn’t offer them! And since CC clearly approves of them, why invite some third party onto your site to tell your users that they don’t?

I’m just dumbfounded…