I wrote in an op-ed earlier this week in the Boston Globe about the digital copyright crisis about the importance of listening to customers and giving people more ways to go legit as one in a series of strategies to stop widespread illegal copying. One idea that ended up mostly on the cutting room floor has to do with making greater use of Creative Commons licenses in the peer-to-peer environment. It’s an idea the Lawrence Lessig has talked about in the past. For those of us who believe that there are substantial (and important) non-infringing uses to new technologies like P2P networks, we’ve got to be prepared to demonstrate those uses. One way to do so is to give people easier ways to be accountable to one another on the networks. If we really care about unsung artists being able to make their music freely available online, then cc licenses can help make clear that the work is being licensed for free use — and can help would-be consumers to find legit music online for sampling purposes. P2P providers can help to make these transactions easier and clearer. It’s one of the things the net is great at: enabling new connections to be made between geographically distant people who may not know one another. And all of us can step up to the challenge of making ourselves more accountable online, whether in a P2P environment or others, to the long-term benefit of the net, and society, as a whole.