On 10/26/06, Fastfission <fastfission(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I find the CC licenses to be very explicit and very
clear about what
constitutes a "collective" work (their equivalent of the GDFL's
"aggregate" section) and full of copius examples of what sorts of
things would be considered to be that. The GDFL's "aggregate" section
doesn't really indicate whether they mean that a final printed page
with mixed-licensing materials would be considered an "aggregate" or
not, or give any indication of what the real boundary is between
"aggregate" and "derivative," in my reading of it. I'd consider
rather big difference, personally -- clarity can go a long way.
The CC licenses 'solves' the legally unclear boundary of derivative
works by claiming that anything which includes the work which doesn't
meet their criteria of collective works is derivative:
"or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or
adapted, except that a work that constitutes a Collective Work will
not be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of this License."
I'm not so sure that doing so is wise: The boundaries of a derivative
work are created by law, not the copyright holder. So while we can
pretend to declare what a derivative work actually is, should our
definition disagree with the law we will lose that argument every
Their definition of a collective work is similar to the GFDLs:
"in which the Work in its entirety in unmodified form, along with a
number of other contributions, constituting separate and independent
works in themselves, are assembled into a collective whole."
"A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate
and independent documents or works"
Notice the words 'separate and independent' ? This is the key
criteria used define collective/aggregate works in both the licenses.
It's true that the CC licenses include examples, but the examples are
potentially misleading. For example, if you were to publish a
"periodical issue, anthology or encyclopedia" in which the covered
work has been combined with another other work, the result would be
considered derivative because the covered and non-covered components
are not 'separate and independent'.
This is, in part, a stylistic difference between CC licenses and some
other licenses. The CC licenses are written in a way which combines
non-binding narrative in the body of the license proper while most
other licenses provide such content in separate documents or as part
of a preface. The inclusion of such materials makes the license
appear more friendly, but it could be argued that doing so may result
The aggregate works section of the GFDL v2 draft is unchanged from the
GFDL v1.2 and after carefully examining the language of CC-By-SA
licenses it seems apparent to me that they are almost functionally
equal. As a result I wouldn't recommend a change to this section of