-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> From: "Brianna Laugher" <brianna.laugher(a)gmail.com>
> On 02/12/2007, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> If a visual artist doesn't want copyleft for images they should just
>> use CC-BY (or better, 'PD').
>> The purpose of copyleft is to help expand the pool of free content
>> with a tit-for-tat mechanism. 'Weak copyleft' simply isn't
>> interesting in terms of its ability to achieve this goal.
> Is "weak copyleft" not comparable to the LGPL? LGPL appears to have a
> place; why not "weak copyleft"?
>> The question of "does anyone here want a weak copyleft license" is
>> just the far more interesting one...
>> I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
>> media which isn't strong. Does anyone here disagree?
> At the risk of being stoned... yeah.
> I just don't consider an article that uses a photograph of mine as
> illustration to be a a derivative of my work.
> I don't want an article, blog or book author to have to license their
> whole text under CC-BY-SA just because they use my image.
> HOWEVER, I do want them to be obliged to make explicit the license of
> my work, that is offer it to others under the same conditions. My
> work, not theirs. That is how I think "weak copyleft" differs from
> CC-BY or PD.
Actually, this *is* how CC BY works. The requirements of CC BY include
both attribution of authorship (including a linkback) and notification
of the license.
This is similar to the BSD software licenses: derivatives don't have to
be similarly licensed, but they still have to attribute the BSD-licensed
code and inform users that it's available under the BSD license.
Quoting the license summary:
> Under the following conditions:
> Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by
> the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they
> endorse you or your use of the work).
> For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the
> license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to
> this web page.
For the avoidance of doubt: I'm not making any substantive claim here,
just correcting an inaccurate statement.
> So "weak copyleft", if we are talking about the same thing, suits me well.
AFAICT, the term "weak copyleft" seems to have a specific origin in
software libraries that allow linking without requiring the linked
program to be similarly licensed. Whether or not this is analogous to
the "embedding" of media in another work (as in an image on a page of
text) is probably a matter of opinion. It might be best to leave the
phrase aside and focus on the specific issue of use in context. Quoting
a recent email:
> [Similar use cases] are an article in a magazine, a song on a CD or
> in a radio show, and a TV show on a TV channel. At which point would
> the requirement of a free context stop?
It's arguable that none of these uses invokes the derivative right, so
their "context" (what would be called "the derivative" if it was, in
fact, derived) has no requirement to be similarly licensed. Assuming
this is the case, then the question becomes: in which use cases, even if
the use is not derivative, do we want to require the context of the use
to be similarly licensed? Even this wordy language is rather imprecise,
but I think it's closer to the issue than wondering about "strong" vs.
(FWIW, although CC licenses have previously been passed to downstream
users through the right of modification, I think it is worth considering
tying this to some different right. Not necessarily that we *should* do
so, but that we should consider it. I see a parallel in the new AGPL
license, where the license had previously been passed to downstream
users through the distribution of the software, but is now also tied to
the accessing of the software over a network. To me, this says that the
important thing is to pass the freedoms to downstream users, and which
uses we tie that to is simply the means and not an end in itself. That's
not an argument for writing new requirements willy-nilly into licenses
- -- we should carefully consider the impact of the mechanisms we choose
- -- but just that we shouldn't fail to consider new means to the same end
simply because we've always done it this way.)
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
> GFDL (or GSFDL) compatible with CC-BY-SA is completely other story
> because FSF would be behind such license....
> In other words, while we have FSF license, everything is fine.
I believe that some of the concern being voiced here ignores the fact
that FSF is a stakeholder in all these negotiations, and that FSF
approval of any harmonization of GFDL and CC-BY-SA will be required.
So, even if you don't trust Creative Commons, if you *do* trust FSF,
you should be fine with whatever the outcome of this process is, since
that outcome must be approved by FSF.
Okay, so there is an agreement in principle to harmonize the GFDL's version
of copyleft and that of CC-BY-SA.
Does that mean there will be two licenses, i.e. both a FSF license and CC
license that reference each other and say they are interchangeable but still
have different text and sponsorship? OR Does that mean that the FSF and CC
plan to jointly write a single new license so that there is truly a uniting
of both flavors of copyleft under a single document?
I realized this morning that I was assuming the former, i.e. two separate
but equal licenses offering themselves as interchangeable; however, some
other Wikipedians read the same announcements and assumed the latter, i.e.
foretelling the creation of a new unified license that both parties must
At face value, creating a single united document seems obviously preferable
in order to avoid confusion and possible conflicting interpretations, but it
is not clear to me that creating a single license is actually the
intention. The text on compatible licenses already embedded in
CC-BY-SA 3.0seems to strongly suggest that CC has envisioned a future
independent but interchangeable licenses.
Can anyone comment with surety which scenario is being worked towards?
-Robert A. Rohde
> You are ignoring the other players. The FSF and art libre. If there
> were to be any changes to the CC-BY-SA we might have to talk to the
> EFF since we probably don't want them splitting their Open Audio
> License off again.
> Until we see a full draft there is little community can do either way.
For what it's worth, EFF favors in principle the harmonization of GFDL
and CC-BY-SA. (Full disclosure -- I worked as staff counsel for EFF
for nine years, and I maintain plenty of contacts there.) They take
the view that CC-BY-SA is viral, but nevertheless makes licensed
content easier to use than the current GFDL (designed for software
manuals) does. I view this as a feature, not a bug, since I believe
the mission of Wikimedia Foundation is to share information and make
sure it remains shared, and not merely to be a custodian of the
meaning of GFDL (that's what FSF is for).
Robert Rohde writes:
> As Greg already noted, motivations/intentions matter a great deal
> when the
> license has an open ended "or later versions" clause. If a court
> found that
> the license actually meant something other than what the Creative
> had intended, then they could simply write a new version.
I'm not sure how Creative Commons would have even the theoretical
unilateral power to do this without FSF approval. What we are talking
about is harmonization of CC-BY-SA with FSF's GFDL.
Gregory Maxwell writes:
> The CC-By-SA text, which you quoted incompletely, is fairly
> unambiguous: it even goes out of its way to point out that you are
> subject to the copyleft when you combine covered sound or video to
> create a new work
> What is problematic is that the Creative Commons has advised people
> with advice that is at odds with the license.
This is not legally problematic, however it may be a problem for some
folks otherwise. The plain language of the CC-BY-SA text would trump
anyone's attempt to define the license in a way that is at odds with
the text. No court would rule otherwise, even if Larry Lessig showed
up and argued the other side.
I should add that I don't think speculation about the motives or
thought processes of Creative Commons folks tells me much. After a
while, I just look at the plain language of the license in question
and make my decisions based on that language.
This is all deeply disturbing, and perhaps even more
so that so few voices are raised outside of the
groupthink. I don't mean to sound unkind, but I really
GFDL is a strong copyleft license: fully viral (any
work including work under the GFDL must be GFDL), and
fully free (rinse, lather, repeat).
If the issue is invariant sections, why not just make
a minor change to the license saying that if a
document starts without them, it shall remain without
If the issue is the 7 pages of ugly license attached
to works you are selling (that other people actually
wrote), just print it on pretty paper. Infuse it with
perfume. Put it on microfilm. Whatever.
I don't imagine my wife would be too happy if I
converted to some odd religion tomorrow and let her
know that she's going to have a few sister wives next
week. Changing the rules in the middle of the game --
even if a bunch of you think it's a peachy idea -- is
disrespectful, shameful, and completely discrediting
to the idea of contributing free content with the
confidence of knowing your content will always be free
like you intended it to be.
I'm afraid I'm with Greg here: please make sure that
those of us who disagree with this have the
opportunity to remove our contributions, as well as
all derivatives of our contributions. I'm not saying
I'd do it, but I deserve the option. So does anyone
who contributes and cares about how their
contributions affect the world.
Be a better sports nut! Let your teams follow you
with Yahoo Mobile. Try it now. http://mobile.yahoo.com/sports;_ylt=At9_qDKvtAbMuh1G1SQtBI7ntAcJ