I see dedications to the public domain, as well as permissive licenses, as good things based upon the shared trait of voluntary waiver of a statutory right.

I don’t argue that everything must be PD, nor that it’s a requirement that musicians waive copyright or license liberally.

Instead, I believe that CC 0, which is nothing more in the USA than a cool way to say “dedication into the public domain”, is a useful device for those who want to make a donation to other artists and other listeners. My feelings about BY and even BY NC are similar,though nuanced a bit differently.

To me, the key is that the artist/creator chooses to forego or not to forego rights. Many artists/creators choose to forego rights in pursuit of a kind of giant public library of creative material.

I’m not saying that all books must be free–I say that a huge public library of books (i.e., sounds, samples, music) is a positive good.

We don’t need to tear down all the ramparts of copyright to recognize a virtue in someone electing not to enforce a given one. Similarly,
we need not imagine that our choices to liberally license or publicly dedicate to the public domain are unprecedented new steps–people have been doing this with non-standard licenses for decades upon decades.

What is different is that digital technology has created a situation in which the ease of sharing creative material, and the obvious advantages of such sharing, are apparent to masses of people.

CC licenses and the CC 0 desingnation merely create a user-friendly standardization, available on an entirely optional basis, to those who wish to put a sensible legal structure to this sharing.

One need not go “whole hog” into “abolish all copyright” to go “whole hog” for CC 0. I suggest instead that CC 0 can be an aid to people who want to create “all rights reserved” copyrighted works, as well as to people who want to create liberally licensed works.

Giving people the option to forego a statutory right in pursuit of a greater good is a very different thing than insisting that all copyright “must be” abolished. To my mind, this is not inconsistent with copyright nor inconsistent with people trying to earn money from music. It’s a different “free” regime, to subserve any of dozens of purposes, all of them amazingly good.