Creative Commons II
There were a number of thoughtful replies to my Creative Commons post the other day, you should go read them here if you're interested. I'd most like to reply to this part in evil_d's comment because I only really glossed over it in my first post:
Sure, licenses like these are legally binding. I'm pretty sure copyright laws don't require you to restrict use of your work if you don't want, they just allow you to. I assume you can release your work under any terms you want as long as they don't break some other law.
I see the licenses as very convenient for stating your intent to ignore aspects of copyright, but what if you change your mind? One of my questions is: how legally binding are these licenses for the licensees?
Here's a wacky scenario:
Person X slaps a Creative Commons license on their music requiring only attribution. They're pretty sure they're not going to make any money off of it, so what the hell. I, improbably evil Brad, take this music, modify it and somehow (use your imagination) make a kabillion dollars off of it. I give them credit as the author of the original work, thereby honoring the requirements of their CC license.
Person X sees me rolling around in hundred dollar bills and understandably has a change of heart. They come to me and ask for some of the money earned from their work. I, being totally frigging evil, tell them I am not giving them a single dirty damn dime, as specified in their license.
Let's say Person X doesn't accept this gracefully and instead takes the Creative Commons license buttons off their site and decides to try to get the courts to squeeze me for some of that money. Then what do the courts do? Do they pay attention to the Creative Commons license and tell Person X he's out of luck or do they just ignore it and go by the existing copyright law and force me to hand over some cash?
I haven't been able to find this addressed anywhere on the Creative Commons site. I would think that if they're actually trying to provide a real legal alternative to "all rights reserved", it's worth being concerned with scenarios like this.