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[Comments] (7) Sharealike Thoughtcrime: So I got an email which deals with a topic not explored on this weblog for some years: the minutiae of various Creative Commons licenses. Specifically, the chilling effect that my choice of a BY-NC-SA license for Thoughtcrime Experiments might have on authors who don't want their stories hacked into derivative works. I would like to hear the thoughts of random people who read this weblog entry.

I chose BY-NC-SA for Thoughtcrime Experiments for three reasons: 1. that's the license Cory Doctorow uses, and it works out pretty well for him; 2. translations and adaptations to different media are prohibited under BY-NC-ND, and I want those to happen; 3. if you say it fast it sounds like "By NCSA", which makes whatever you're doing sound high-tech.

I also have a philosophical problem with BY-NC-ND which is that it doesn't enrich the commons beyond decriminalizing the act of copying. Imagine if it were suddenly okay to copy all those orphan works from the 20th (and by now the 21st) century. That'd be great news because large organizations could legally digitize all that stuff and we wouldn't lose it to Stanislaw Lem's paper-eating bacterium. But you still couldn't really interact with it until the copyright expired; it'd feel like it was behind glass. That's what BY-NC-ND feels like.

(Actually I'm being a bit hypocritical here because I originally put "Mallory" under BY-NC-ND, but I think I've talked myself out of that now, so I'll change it unless someone talks me back into it soon.)

So that's why I chose BY-ND-SA for Thoughtcrime Experiments. I'm interested in hearing additional arguments pro or con. Also note that I'm okay with negotiating the license even on the level of individual stories, though BY-NC-ND really is the baseline (otherwise it gets really confusing).

Pragmatically, I think most of the hypothetical undesirable uses of your work take place in a copyright grey area anyway, and won't be deterred by your choice of ND instead of SA. But I understand that pragmatism is not the main driver of peoples' (including my) feelings about this.

Beautiful Soup 3.1.0.1: It's out. All it does is fix a parser crash on boolean attributes like <td nowrap>. But that's a pretty bad crash, so you should probably upgrade.

[Comments] (4) Foodcrime Experiment: In another of my really stupid ideas, I decided to recreate one of my favorite Bachelor Chow meals from college: a Trader Joe's chicken sausage calzone and Mountain Dew. Needless to say it was terrible. Mountain Dew stopped tasting good to me around the time I graduated from college, which may or may not have been coincidence. Although I fell off the wagon in late 2000, I don't think I'd had MD for five years, and now it just tastes like a generic oversweet soda. Note to my younger self: consider tea as a caffeine vehicle. There's no social stigma and you won't get as fat.

The calzone was really bland. I don't know what I was thinking. I remember the calzone being kind of soggy when cooked in the microwave, so I decided to go all out for quality and cooked it in the oven. The whole time it cooked I was forming hypotheses about how I was very impatient in college and needed to cook my calzones immediately. Then I tasted the calzone and it was barely warm in the middle and I had to microwave it anyway. I left it unfinished.

So, lesson learned. You can't go home again, where "home" is a room in a former frat house on Gayley that you share with Dan Helfman.


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