[Foundation-l] What's wrong with CC-BY-SA?

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 23:35:37 UTC 2007

On Dec 1, 2007 3:17 PM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> On Dec 1, 2007 9:50 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 1)  Laurence Lessig has posted multiple times claiming that it is
> > acceptable to take illustrations licensed under CC-By-SA and produce
> > combined works which are not freely licensed. For example, if I wrote
> > a since instruction book and created illustrations on how to safely
> > use a bunsen burner a commercial textbook publisher could use my
> > illustrations in their textbook without giving anything back the the
> > world of free content.
> And this has exactly been our interpretation of the GFDL -- this is
> why we permit combining GFDL works with media under any license
> whatsoever (limited only by policy), because we regard the media and
> the text to be "separate and independent" as per the GFDL.
> <snip>

In my opinion, this interpretation is inconsistent with the text of the
GFDL.  When the text of an article or other document relies upon a GFDL
image to communicate part of its message to the reader, in my opinion, that
text can not realisitcally be considered "seperate and independent" of the
image.  I do not believe embedding GFDL images in non-copyleft documents can
be considered consistent with either the text or the spirit of the GFDL.

Personally, I take this issue quite seriously.  For example, I reached an
out-of-court settlement with a major publisher who took images I had
included in Wikipedia under the GFDL and used them commercially without
honoring the copyleft provisions.

-Robert A. Rohde

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