[Foundation-l] [cc-licenses] [Commons-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Dec 3 05:38:44 UTC 2007

On Dec 2, 2007 11:07 PM, Kwan Ting Chan <ktc at ktchan.info> wrote:
> On Sun, 2007-12-02 at 19:59 -0500, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> > On Dec 2, 2007 4:52 AM, Javier Candeira <javier at candeira.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > I do, my photos are by-sa but newspaper using them for illustration doesn't
> > > have to be (that's my intention when licensing, at least them), as long as
> > > the photos themselves are labeled with the proper attribution and licensing.
> >
> > Greetings.  Why not use the cc-by license instead?  It has the same
> > attribution behavior as cc-by-sa.
> You're missing the part when Javier (or at least someone else in this
> discussion) also want the reuser to explicitly specify that the
> illustration is available for their customers / audience to reuse with
> attribution (and similar specification).

If Javier wrote that I must be thread split, since I have no such
message from him. He did, however, respond to my message while I was
writing this, I've included my reply below.

I'll assume for a moment that he did...  What would the significance
of that be?  Someone might want, for example a license  which was
'NC-SA' for 5 years then turned just 'SA'.  Someone else might want a
'No use by the military'.  For any possible  license variation we can
imagine a person who might want those terms. The pre-existing standard
system of law allows them to do that. They don't need CC's help.

For CC to be effective it needs to make copyright simpler for both
producers and consumers (and everything in between because the world
is no longer so black and white).  To achieve that there needs to be a
reasonable number of straightforward options, no more, no less.
Since the options need to be limited then it makes sense that they
should cluster around the most individually needed and socially
advantageous options.

It seems to me that some people who do not care if non-free works are
made out of their works are using CC-By-SA rather than CC-By because
they have some concern that their exact work will end up out of the
free-content world, and they expect CC-By-SA to prevent that.   This
seems to me like enough of a corner case that CC-By could be augmented
to resolve it (by the license depending on a copy of the unmodified
cc-by work being available at no cost), rather than imposing the extra
restrictiveness of copyleft (of any type) where it really is not

Javier wrote:
> Because I want to allow for modifications: paint on my photos and modify
> them to make posters or desktop backgroun ds, make an animation or a
> slideshow of them, improve my panoramas of which I post the "source" (a .xcf
> gimp file)... and in those cases I would like the copyleft rule apply.

If someone takes your CC-By-SA work, and crops it to desktop aspect..
do you really gain much by the result being CC-By-SA? Couldn't you
simply perform the same change with almost as much ease as copying?
What if they printed it out and you only received the print version;
wouldn't it be easier and better to simply make the same changes
rather than scanning their low resolution print?

When you start talking about making slideshows and animations, to me
it starts sounding a lot like a case that people do not expect a weak
copyleft to cover. In a classic 'weak copyleft', only changes to your
images themselves would be encumbered. A slideshow which was merely
created with your images may not be covered.  If it was, then why
wouldn't associated educational text which explained your images be
covered?  Is there something magic about displaying things
one-after-the-other that is different from displaying things side by
side? :)

In any case you could always use the more restrictive license and
distribute an additional permission to allow the extra uses which you
wish to allow.  But it's better for the world if you use the most
standardized licensing possible.

How big of an impact has this aspect of license behavior had for you?

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