You have to remember that CC licenses were initially developed in 2002 (maybe starting in 2001) and turned on December 2002 — filesharing seemed like a very interesting case, and merely offering permission to only share verbatim works (licenses with a NoDerivs term) must have seemed interesting in that context.

I agree that distributing verbatim works isn’t that interesting now, and use of licenses that only permit this does not excite me (eg CC BY-NC-ND). However, it still seems like the right to redistribute verbatim works ought to be a baseline right. While Napster politics may be “fucking boring” (hell yeah), millions of people still do fileshare — activity which should not be criminal under any “open” license, and even web reposting can be valuable — we just don’t have the one or a few good hosts at this point that you imagine in your “web of songs”.

CC did try creating a license (“sampling”) that only permitted derivative works (no verbatim sharing, and only transformational derivative works), got beat up over it, and retired the license in fairly short order. I didn’t like it mainly because it required transformational derivatives (what’s the definition of that? — potentially no more than what a reasonable fair use would allow — IANAL of course!) and because it was not unambiguously compatible with other CC licenses (no “promotional use”).

I see a use for liberal derivative use licenses that do not grant permission for verbatim sharing (eg CC BY and CC BY-SA without the verbatim distribution language) — they contribute to the free culture ecology by permitting free derivatives, and let the tentative participate by not giving permission for something that is not very interesting instead of not giving permission for something that is (commercial use). I don’t see how CC could offer such licenses, certainly not hosted on the domain, since we’ve strongly endorsed at least permission to for noncommercial verbatim distribution globally as a baseline for CC licenses.