Know how you get in one of those moods where everything reminds you of the same thing? I was reading Lessig’s commentary today on the Copyright Office’s recent report on orphan works. In the report, “a work is deemed an ‘orphan’ if you canâ€™t discover the copyright owner after a ‘reasonably diligent search.'” Larry goes on to comment:
The trigger to the Copyright Officeâ€™s Orphan Works Remedy is whether a copyright owner can be found with a â€œreasonably diligent search.â€? That standard is just mush. The report outlines six factors to be considered in determining whether a search is â€œreasonably diligent.â€? The effect of this complexity is simply make-work for lawyers. Libraries and archives will be unfairly burdened. Users wonâ€™t be able to achieve any real security.
I agree completely. However, I couldn’t help but think that the current standard for noncommercial is also rather mushy, if not complete mush. Of course, Larry is much more succinct than I managed to be yesterday in saying that mushy-ness prevents users from achieving “any real security.”
The goal of CC is to make things simple. In the case of attribution it does (you must, always) and in the case of derivative works it does (either you can, you can’t, or you can if you relicense exactly the same way). In the case of noncommercial it does not. Hopefully we can fix that.