Creative Commons by default

(Via Lawrence Lessig)

Sony’s new competitor to YouTube, eyeVio, will license content users upload under a Creative Commons Attribution license by default.

Lessig points to this article from Digital Trends as the source of this bit of info.

I wish Flickr would do this. Flickr already allows you to set, as an individual user, your preferences for uploaded images to default to a specific license, including several creative commons licenses, – but the global default is still “all rights reserved.”

There’s a huge difference in adoption curve when you make something the default (see this article for the debate about organ donation, which is an opt-out in many European countries but opt-in in the US).

I’d argue it is reasonable to assume that people generally want to enable some usage, when they are uploading content to a site designed to share that content. It is also reasonable to assume they want to encourage sharing when they are uploading a site which provides things like embed codes (e.g. YouTube) or guest passes (Flickr).

YouTube, in fact, doesn’t even ask you to identify a license for the content you upload – perhaps a way of ignoring the fact that you may not own the copyright in the first place? They do give you a copyright notice (‘Do not upload copyrighted material for which you don’t own the rights or have permission from the owner”) but they don’t offer you any options in terms of how to present uploaded videos with respect to licensing.