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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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« Blog TOS | Main | Re: AV Squad/CC License »

April 7, 2005

Re: AV Squad/CC License

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Posted by Ernest Svenson

I'll bet I win the award for the most simplistic analysis of the CC issue. My only defense is that I'm not as versed in copyright law as either Dennis or Marty, and I'm not as smart or industrious as any of my fellow BL contributors.

I share the concerns of Dennis and Marty, which I interpret as sensible concerns about how the CC license will be interpreted. But, after reading Denise and Tom's take, I realize that my concerns about the uncertainties of future interpretation are outweighed by my desire to promote the 'CC brand.'

I like Larry Lessig and I think what he has done in creating the CC license is bold and visionary. Of course, it makes tradionalists nervous, and that's completely understandable. We lawyers like to know exactly what rights we are giving up; experimenting with the law is not something we understand. The CC license is too new and too radical to accomplish the laudable task of making good lawyers feel sanguine. Perhaps I'm not a good enough lawyer, or maybe it's just my marginally substantiated belief that adopting a CC license 'is the right thing to do.'

What's the risk? I'm sure there is some risk, and if I let myself get embroiled in calculating the risk of adopting a CC license I could become nervous. But sometimes, as Robert Frost reminded us, you have to take the road less travelled. I say we go with the CC license and work from within that system to make it better, more understandable and more predictable.

If lawyers aren't willing to give it a shot, then why would ordinary artists and creators? Copyright laws are out of synch with reality. We need a new approach, and the best proposal so far is the CC license. It's not perfect; but it can be improved, and we should improve it. First, though, we should adopt it. That's my take.

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


1. Denise Howell on April 7, 2005 10:11 PM writes...

Bravo! Excellently put.

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