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

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 01:44:01 UTC 2007

On Dec 1, 2007 7:31 PM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Gregory, please drop this position, it's pointless and unconstructive.
> Here is what CC-BY-SA 3.0 says:

Erik, I have no disagreement with the *text* of the license on this
matter.  My comment on this point was very clearly focused on the
steward organizations and their practices and intentions.

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.

You could say that only the license matters. But that simply isn't
true: not everyone has the time, willingness, or the resources to
litigate every confused situation that Creative Commons creates.   And
certainly the intention matters because subsequent license versions
can be made reflect that intention.

> Here's what the GFDL says:
> The clauses are highly similar in nature. And they are ambiguous;

In fact, I've previously that the CC-by-SA is even less ambiguous, and
the GFDL could use revision so that the meaning is more clear to lay
readers.  However, Neither license is excessively legally ambiguous.

The important distinction is that while Creative Commons has appeased
certain reusers by claiming that SA doesn't extend an effective
copyleft to images, in contrast to the historically established and
widely understood meaning of the license, the FSF responded to
Creative Common's erroneous claims that the GFDL was intended to
function in the same way with a statement that affirmed the copyleft
nature of the GFDL

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