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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Sun Dec 2 00:31:09 UTC 2007

On 12/2/07, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't know of anyone who doesn't want their photographs being used
> in freely licensed work.  The contention on this point is that the
> creative commons cc-by-sa, per the position pushed by the creative
> commons

Gregory, please drop this position, it's pointless and unconstructive.
Here is what CC-BY-SA 3.0 says:

"Collection" means a collection of literary or artistic works, such as
encyclopedias and anthologies, or performances, phonograms or
broadcasts, or other works or subject matter other than works listed
in Section 1(f) below, which, by reason of the selection and
arrangement of their contents, constitute intellectual creations, in
which the Work is included in its entirety in unmodified form along
with one or more other contributions, each constituting separate and
independent works in themselves, which together are assembled into a
collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collection will not be
considered an Adaptation (as defined below) for the purposes of this

Here's what the GFDL says:


A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate
and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or
distribution medium, is called an "aggregate" if the copyright
resulting from the compilation is not used to limit the legal rights
of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit.
When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not
apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves
derivative works of the Document.

- - - -

The clauses are highly similar in nature. And they are ambiguous; it
is not clear whether a photograph in an article is "separate and
independent" from the article text. Again, a license that establishes
clarity on this is needed; it doesn't help us to argue that the GFDL
_is_ clear on this (it isn't, and our practice contradicts your
interpretation), and it doesn't help us to attack Creative Commons
because their interpretation of similar language is different from the

Toward Peace, Love & Progress:

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