On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 1:30 PM, Michael Snow<wikipedia(a)verizon.net> wrote:
I don't think I'd be so quick to blame
Creative Commons for this,
regardless of the advice they've given. It seems like most people
reusing copyleft materials in good faith do so without fully
understanding the concept, advice or no advice. I've seen plenty of GFDL
material combined with other works in this way as well, even when as you
say, the whole clearly builds upon the original rather than being a
collection of works that can stand independently. It's a bad practice
and a major educational challenge for free licenses, but I don't find it
that closely related to the issue of choosing a free license in the
To be full clear: I was not attempting to and would not blame Creative
Commons because other people make errors regarding licensing. As you
point out— confusion in this area is a universal truth.
The critical distinction is that when someone makes an error regarding
the application of the GFDL I can write them a polite explanation, and
even point them to the FSF blog entry commenting specifically on this
issue. I have a 100% satisfaction rate with this approach.
With CC-By-SA there exist a distinct risk that any attempt to educate
will be simply be countered by a reference to the incorrect claim that
CC-By-SA's copyleft doesn't extend past the edges of an image, leading
to a distinctly more adversarial negotiation.
Of course— many people will claim many things, and these things are
not legally binding— but I think you have to agree that the words of a
party with near unilateral power to change the licensing terms does
have a special authority.
This is a primary factor why the majority of my illustrations remain
FDL-1.2 only and also why I discontinued contributing copyrightable
works to Wikimedia while the licensing question was open. It is not
the only factor, but it's one that can be fixed.