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

Benj. Mako Hill mako at atdot.cc
Tue Dec 4 08:34:11 UTC 2007

<quote who="Fred Benenson" date="Sun, Dec 02, 2007 at 09:24:15PM -0500">
> The reason this has good legal force is because "derivative work" has a
> strict and specific definition in law that was formed completely
> independently of the GPL and CC.

It's not *that* strict and specific. There's a whole bunch of fuzzy
space and copying images as I've pointed out to you before and as you
allude to in your email.

> So would we be creating our own definition of a derivative work so that we
> could apply stricter copy left?
> This is troubling because whatever definition we might come up with, it
> surely wouldn't have the legal precedent and force that the definition of
> "derivative work" does in actual US copyright law.

Why do you think that such a strong copyleft need to use modification as
a hook? Verbatim redistribution is also an exclusive right of a
copyright holder and terms can be (and are) attached to that in CC and
in other licenses.

As non-lawyers, we should figure out what is that we want to do and what
we think would be best for our community first without getting caught up
in legal minutiae we don't understand.  Once we've done that, our
lawyers can then tell us what the best ways to proceed are what the
trade-offs will entail.


Benjamin Mako Hill
mako at atdot.cc

Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far
as society is free to use the results. --GNU Manifesto
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