It seems like Free Software advocates are actively criticising Creative Commons after Stallman has decreed that CC does not meet with the FS seal of approval. The criticisms seem to be centered on three main points: CC is not centered on ethical principles; some of the licences are not entirely free (in the Free Software sense), and the uncertainties caused by a wide range of licences covering different freedoms. This article by Benjamin Mako Hill follows those same lines. Creative Commons is attacked because it does not offer the certainty of Free Software and is not based on the strict ethical principles that FS is based upon.
I think that the problem here is that Free Software advocates should realise that there is a very basic difference between software code and creative works. There cannot be any doubt any more that open source development and the Free Software movement have produced some amazing results, and that many of those results are awe-inspiring and should be applauded. The availability of millions of lines of code within the software community allows many developers around the world to tinker and modify software to produce a different result. But software code writing is in itself a very communal experience, where the sharing of code is a good in itself because it can be used by other developers to produce new software in a much easier way. This does not take place in creative works. If I write a poem, another poet does not need to look at my poem and copy lines from it to write his own work. If I take a picture, another photographer does not need to look at my picture in order to take his own picture. Yes, there are remix elements in culture that enhance and enrich existing works, but this is only part of the protection awarded by Creative Commons.
In my opinion, Creative Commons serves to fill a legal gap. Everybody connected to the internet can be a publisher. The staggering growth of blogs, moblogs, personal websites, wikis and open access journals have created a legal void, people need to find an easy way to publish those works. Some people are happy to just slap a © symbol and it solves their copyright issues, but it is nice to have a set of ready-made licences that can be used to share the work under certain conditions.
There is also a basic difference in the rights required. Free Software is very useful in the reuse of software code. But the reuse of creative works is less important. What is vital is to have access to the work, and the licences reflect this difference.
Another sticking point with FS defenders is the existence of licences that do not provide freedoms to the entire world, such as the much maligned Developing Nations licence. I do not understand those criticisms. What is wrong with providing a licence that will hopefully help more works being used in developing countries? Some developers may want to exploit their work in developed countries, but they may not have a market in developing nations. A licence that recognsies such a situation and provides more flexibilities should be applauded, not criticised.