On 11/21/06, Delphine Ménard <notafishz(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Some of our licenses (the one I use, for example) also
(CC-BY-SA - share alike is a pretty drastic condition, when you think
I think its important to carefully consider the difference between
"use" limitations and "redistribution" limitations. They are
One of their condition is that those images can't
be used for
political propaganda, for example.
How would this materially differ from a restriction that the work
could not be used by the military or by anyone who builds weapons?
Or a restriction that the work couldn't be used by religious institutions?
...or a restriction that it couldn't be used to advocate democracy?
To the extent that political propaganda, military machinery, religion,
or democracy are all legal and accepted parts of our societies we can
conclude that they are all valid pursuits of man.
(here I wrote a long essay on our duty to the public as part of our
mission of facilitating the sharing of knowledge, but I removed it
because it was too far offtopic and would be better covered separately
at a later time)
of their own. Let us imagine they allow free use of
their images (in
our free sense) *except* for political propaganda.
Is it really the case that a narrow prohibition on political
propaganda is *all* they would want?
I ask this because often we have run into people who have said they
would only release under -ND because they had a concern that
downstream users might modify the work and misrepresent them.
I can sympathize with this concern but I offer that the CC-By (and
-SA) licenses contain a clause which allows the author to, as his
option and at any time, demand any downstream user *not* provide
attribution if he doesn't want to be associated with them or their
work.. and that the author could reasonably make the request in
advance. I also offer that almost every country has both fraud and
defamation laws which provide better protection than copyright can,
and that in cases of obviously evil use a court could declare a
release under a free license to be an unconscionable agreement and
... so I offer these things, only to find out that many people who
have claimed to be concerned about harm to their reputation are
actually concerned about things far broader and more difficult.
Would that in any
way be an acceptable thing to go by? Or is that definitely something
we can't accept? It's a real question, I have no real opinion about
I think we need to be even more specific before we can really discuss
it. This is an area where the details matter a lot.
The idea of discriminating based on use strikes me as terribly bad
from a number of different angles.
Exactly what are they trying to prevent? It's very important..
For example, lets imagine that their only concern is that a politician
will take credit for their work in their political advertisement. If
this is really the case, then there situation is not so different from
an author of Free Content who really doesn't want a commercial
redistributor hiding the fact that the work was given freely to the
Both can be solved through similar means: A more aggressive
attribution or license notice requirement.
Would I support a license with a more aggressive attribution or
license notice requirement? I already do... Although I get a lot of
flack on our projects by releasing my images under the GFDL-1.2 except
So if thats really their point, I think we could find an easy solution
through means which differ from a direct exclusion of certain natures
Now, lets imaging another possibility: Lets imagine that they don't
want their images used in political ads because they are concerned
about criticism. Perhaps the politician might show photographs of
gold-plated hammers and point out overspending.
Would I support a license which enabled this sort of prohibition?
*Not* *on* *your* *life*.
If thats really what they wanted, however, they probably wouldn't
settle on an agreement that would only limit politicians... it would
seem logical to try to limit us as well.
is that what they "want to do" can easily be
changed, by patient,
pedagogic and comprehensive explanations. What they "can do" is then
another story altogether.
While I agree with the concept of "can do" and "want to do", and have
personally advocated a soft interpretation of "replicable" and
"non-replicable" as the basis for fair use decisions on enwiki... We
need to keep in mind that in this case 'can do' and 'want to do' only
differ by how high we're calling... One man's "can't" is his bosses
"don't want". So the difference is quantitative (how much work to
change the policy) more than qualitative.
What I understand David was trying to say here is that
maybe there is
a mid-term agreement that can be reached, somewhere along the path.
Are the Organisation X images worth us being just a tad less free (no
political use of the images), are they not? It's a difficult question,
but one that is worth debating.
If restriction X is okay, we should go with it.. and open it to
everyone.. After all, it's okay.
If the restriction is not okay, taking it will cause harm... it will
remove our leverage. We have leverage today, and it's only growing.
One thing I am certain of is that saying
"Organisation X must change
their ways" is definitely not the right answer. I'd much rather have a
stance that goes "How can we make organisation X change their way for
everyone's best interest?"
Lets try filling in the variable:
"ESA must change their ways..."
I don't agree. They can keep their images private. Thats their
business and their choice. We will cover their articles with what free
images we can get, and they will look silly compared to NASA.
"Wikimedia must change their ways..."
Again I don't agree. We shouldn't change our ways simply because
someone else has a differing agenda.