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Dennis M. Kennedy Dennis M. Kennedy
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Tom Mighell Tom Mighell
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Ernest Svenson Ernest Svenson
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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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« AV Squad: CC License | Main | Re: AV Squad: What's The Story With The CC License? »

April 6, 2005

Re: AV Squad/CC License

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Posted by Tom Mighell

Okay, I'll wade in and offer the insurance defense lawyer's take on this whole CC business. Denise says we need a CC license to protect our content, while at the same time allowing it to be distributed as widely and effectively as possible. Dennis is not convinced; he believes the CC license is poorly worded and confusing. He does not say, however, that we don't need a license to protect our content (at least, I don't think he says that).

That's it? As the son of a mediator, I say we can get this settled and make it home in time for dinner. I don't think anybody disagrees we should have some sort of protections for the materials posted on this site -- after all, we expect to do great things here, right? That leaves us with two choices, as I see it: a CC license, or our own license (no doubt drafted by Dennis). I agree that certain portions of the full license are pretty dense, although I have to say the human-readable summary provides an easy-to-understand (if somewhat incomplete) description of what publishers can and cannot do. If the consensus is that language is unreasonably confusing, we need to either edit it or come up with our own license. Easy for me to say, I suppose, when the most complex documents I draft are settlement agreements and motions for summary judgment.

Should our uncertainty of how a publisher or court will interpret the license prevent us from obtaining a license at all? I don't think so. We won't be in any better or worse position than anybody else with a CC license -- we are all in the same boat from an interpretation standpoint, until some case law comes down that sheds light on what these provisions really mean. If the rest of you IP-types aren't comfortable with that, then Dennis, pull out your tablet PC and start drafting. Otherwise, I say let's go with the CC license.

So there's my vote, and my incredibly simplistic reasoning for it. I'll go back now to my torts, mental anguish, and soft tissue injuries.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Copyright | Creative Commons


1. Phil Ringnalda on April 6, 2005 7:23 PM writes...

Rolling your own license, while it may produce better protection, offers little or no increased chance of distribution. Anyone who knows of your existence and needs something to republish will just ask; anyone who doesn't will be searching at or and finding someone else's writing to reprint.

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