Saw a story on Slashdot about LegalTorrents – a Bittorrent tracker that exclusively hosts works licensed under Creative Commons.

Oh, cool! Maybe they might be interested in seeding The Rauschenberg Variations. Let’s go sign up. Just to be safe, let’s just check the Terms And Conditions Of Use

6. If you post content or submit material, unless such content or material submittal is subject to separate terms and conditions, you grant LegalTorrents and its affiliates a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicensable right and license to make, use, sell, sublicense, reproduce, distribute, perform, display, prepare derivative works from and otherwise exploit all such content and material as if it were the full owner thereof. Furthermore, you grant LegalTorrents, its affiliates, and sublicensees the right to use your name and/or user name in connection with the content. You represent and warrant that all content and materials you provide shall be your original work product and will not be based on, or derived from, the proprietary information or items of a third party. You will defend and indemnify LegalTorrents and its affiliates from any claims resulting from any content or materials you provide hereunder.

Uh, I don’t think so. Sounds like a license to steal to me. Perhaps CC-licensing would qualify as being “subject to separate terms and conditions” but if everything is supposed to be Creative Commons, what is the point of this clause?

If I license a work under Creative Commons, I mean to do so because of the rights it grants end users AND because of the rights I retain. I use the non-commercial clause of the CC license because I want to be able to tailor any commercial licenses to the particular use.

I like the idea of a CC-oriented Bittorrent tracker. But I expect them to abide by the terms of the licenses of the works they seed. I am not going to give them a license to sell my music and sublicense it using undefined licensing terms.

More importantly, I expect to be able to withdraw my music from a distribution channel. No perpetual, irrevocable licenses, thank you.

One Comment

  1. Posted 15 August 2008 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

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