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

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Mon Dec 3 09:09:34 UTC 2007

For clarification...

Wikinews is CC-BY-2.5 for good reason - we want reused, and we want credit
given to the project. It is a small project and any recognition we can get
helps build our reputation. That means permitting commercial use with
appropriate attribution. Google news refuses to list us, so it is small
aggregator sites that copy our stories and add some Google adverts that are
listing our material; plus, of all things, a couple of blogs.

As I say, there are a number of small news aggregator sites who sometimes
pick up our stories and credit them back correctly, anyone who has not has,
when contacted, put correct attribution or ceased copying us.

I made a minor adjustment to the actual copyright footer on the Wikinews
site some time ago due to Commons having different licensing on images, and
certain not 100% free images being allowed under the EDP.

The text now reads, "All text created after September 25, 2005 is available
under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License unless
otherwise specified. Copyright terms on images may vary, please check
individual image pages prior to duplication." I added the detail on images.

One offshoot from this is that we now credit virtually every image as best
we can. Right down to PD stuff from NASA. It dovetails with our policy to
source stuff, and even were Commoners releasing stuff as PD I'm sure they'd
appreciate the small thanks that being credited for their work is.

We're being practical about copyright, the volume of emails and such on this
list doesn't exactly indicate that all parties on foundation-l are being
reasonable. Mike Godwin has pointed out that the FSF has proposed making
changes to make GFDL and CC-BY-SA compatable (or interoperable?), likely
based on issues WMF has raised, but it is the FSF's proposal that will be
worked from. This organisation produced the current GFDL that some are so
enamoured of; why lose trust in the FSF because they've been talking to
Jimmy Wales and Mike Godwin?

Brian McNeil
-----Original Message-----
From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Gregory
Sent: 03 December 2007 06:39
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List; cc-licenses at lists.ibiblio.org;
javier at candeira.com
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [cc-licenses] [Commons-l] Requirements for
astrong copyleft license

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
> > > 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
> >
> > 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
> 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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