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Requirements for a strong copyleft license

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Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Erik Moeller-4
(This is a posting to multiple lists.)

As you've probably read, the Wikimedia Foundation has agreed in
principle to support an update of Wikipedia content from the GFDL to
CC-BY-SA, pending a community approval of such a migration. The FSF
and Creative Commons are supporting us to make this transition
possible.

One open issue is the way both the GFDL and CC-BY-SA deal with
embedded media files like images, sounds, and videos. The FSF
interprets the GFDL so that e.g. a photograph embedded into an article
would require the article to be "copyleft" under the GFDL; Creative
Commons does not interpret CC-BY-SA in this fashion (at least
according to some public statements).

The actual clauses are very similar, however, and I believe what is
really needed is a license that gives authors the choice of "strong
copyleft" for embedded media: the work into which the media are
embedded (whether either work is text, sound, film, a rich media mix,
or whatever) should be licensed under a copyleft license.

Wikimedia could then allow contributors of multimedia to choose this
license, and to change files under the GFDL (as opposed to text) to
it.

From _my_ point of view, the key requirements are:

* It should apply to any type of embedded media, i.e. not limited just
to photos embedded into text;
* It should, in principle, be very similar to the CC-BY-SA license,
except for its provision on "Collections";
* It should be adaptable to as many legal frameworks as possible;
* IMPORTANT - I believe it should allow mixing of similar licenses,
e.g. CC-BY-SA into BSD -- the Definition of Free Cultural Works
endorsed by Wikimedia could be a guideline as to which licenses can be
mixed: http://freedomdefined.org/Definition

I would like to kickstart the discussion to get a first for such a
license - it could be called CC-BY-SA+ - written as soon as possible.
:-) Perhaps we should have a dedicated mailing list where stakeholders
from multiple projects can discuss it?

Best,
Erik Möller
Member of the Board, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Gregory Maxwell
On Dec 1, 2007 8:22 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> One open issue is the way both the GFDL and CC-BY-SA deal with
> embedded media files like images, sounds, and videos.
[snip]
> The actual clauses are very similar, however, and I believe what is
> really needed is a license that gives authors the choice of "strong
> copyleft" for embedded media: the work into which the media are
> embedded (whether either work is text, sound, film, a rich media mix,
> or whatever) should be licensed under a copyleft license.

If a visual artist doesn't want copyleft for images they should just
use CC-BY (or better, 'PD').

The purpose of copyleft is to help expand the pool of free content
with a tit-for-tat mechanism.  'Weak copyleft'  simply isn't
interesting in terms of its ability to achieve this goal.

When it comes to photographs and other still, and especially raster,
illustrations the predominate forms of reuse are verbatim. When there
are modifications within the frame of time image they are generally so
trivial that they can be easily reproduced by anyone who is
interested.

The question of "does anyone here want a weak copyleft license" is
just the far more interesting one...

I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
media which isn't strong.  Does anyone here disagree?

Certainties the world does not yet YET ANOTHER free content license if
it can be avoided.  The already existing myriad of CC licensing knobs
already create confusion enough as is. :(

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Re: [cc-licenses] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Mike Linksvayer-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Erik Moeller wrote:
> (This is a posting to multiple lists.)

NB one of the lists, cc-licenses, is moderated.  I'll approve anything
related to the development of a CC license, and be fairly lenient about
what "related" means in this discussion, but really off-topic posts will
not be approved.

We want to make it possible for all interested parties to participate in
development of CC licenses, and super high volume is not conducive to
that end. :)

See http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/2007-October/006193.html

> From _my_ point of view, the key requirements are:
>
> * It should apply to any type of embedded media, i.e. not limited just
> to photos embedded into text;
> * It should, in principle, be very similar to the CC-BY-SA license,
> except for its provision on "Collections";
> * It should be adaptable to as many legal frameworks as possible;
> * IMPORTANT - I believe it should allow mixing of similar licenses,
> e.g. CC-BY-SA into BSD -- the Definition of Free Cultural Works
> endorsed by Wikimedia could be a guideline as to which licenses can be
> mixed: http://freedomdefined.org/Definition

I like all of your points, including the last one, but it is a little
unclear.  I think what you mean is that for "embedded" uses, the
containing document should have to be under a free license, not
necessarily a compatible copyleft license.  This would address use of
copyleft images on Wikinews (CC BY), for example.

> I would like to kickstart the discussion to get a first for such a
> license - it could be called CC-BY-SA+ - written as soon as possible.
> :-)

I don't know why yet another class of license would be needed --
presumably it could be the next version of CC BY-SA.

> Perhaps we should have a dedicated mailing list where stakeholders
> from multiple projects can discuss it?

You're welcome to use cc-licenses.  If another list is used I'll
encourage CC's jurisdiction project leads to join in there.

Mike

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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Delphine Ménard
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Dec 2, 2007 2:22 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> (This is a posting to multiple lists.)
>
> As you've probably read, the Wikimedia Foundation has agreed in
> principle to support an update of Wikipedia content from the GFDL to
> CC-BY-SA, pending a community approval of such a migration. The FSF
> and Creative Commons are supporting us to make this transition
> possible.

I am sorry, I do not read the resolution
(http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:License_update)
 the way you seem to interpret it.


To me the points are:
- It is hereby resolved that:

    * The Foundation requests that the GNU Free Documentation License
be modified in the fashion proposed by the FSF to allow migration by
mass collaborative projects to the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license;

=> The whole resolution is in any case submitted to the changes
brought to the GFDL.

    * Upon the announcement of that relicensing, the Foundation will
initiate a process of community discussion and voting before making a
final decision on relicensing.

=> If that relicensing (actually, I find the term relicensing is very
misleading here, because it seems to say that relicensing will happen
and THEN the dicussion will come.) or rather, in my interpretation, if
those "changes are applied" or this "migration is made possible", THEN
there will be community discussion and the Foundation will ultimately
vote on whether the projects will adopt CC-BY-SA in the future.


In short I see four steps:
- WMF is saying "sure we'll look at it if you make the licenses compatible"
- WMF requests that GFDL be changed to allow mass migration to CC-BY-SA
- When these changes occur, community discussion and vote will follow
- Finally the WMF will say yes or no (I suppose of course by taking
into consideration the community discussion and vote(s) )

Your shortcut "WMF will agree pending community approval" does not
seem to reflect those steps.

Did I understand this wrong?

Delphine
--
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NB. This gmail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails sent
to this address will get lost. Please use my wikimedia.org address.
NB. Cette adresse Gmail est utilisée pour les listes de diffusion.
Tout email personnel envoyé à cette adresse sera perdu. Merci
d'utiliser mon adresse wikimedia.org.

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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Artur Fijałkowski
2007/12/2, Delphine Ménard <[hidden email]>:
>
> I am sorry, I do not read the resolution
> (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:License_update)
>  the way you seem to interpret it.

If FSF release GFDL-X compatible with CC-BY-SA-Y there will be no need
of any discussion with community, cause even if WMF projects stay on
''GFDL-1.2 or any later'' it will effectively mean: you can reuse our
content on CC-BY-SA-Y.

AJF/WarX
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Re: Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On 02/12/2007, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If a visual artist doesn't want copyleft for images they should just
> use CC-BY (or better, 'PD').
>
> The purpose of copyleft is to help expand the pool of free content
> with a tit-for-tat mechanism.  'Weak copyleft'  simply isn't
> interesting in terms of its ability to achieve this goal.

Is "weak copyleft" not comparable to the LGPL? LGPL appears to have a
place; why not "weak copyleft"?

> The question of "does anyone here want a weak copyleft license" is
> just the far more interesting one...
>
> I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
> media which isn't strong.  Does anyone here disagree?

At the risk of being stoned... yeah.
I just don't consider an article that uses a photograph of mine as
illustration to be a a derivative of my work.
I don't want an article, blog or book author to have to license their
whole text under CC-BY-SA just because they use my image.
HOWEVER, I do want them to be obliged to make explicit the license of
my work, that is offer it to others under the same conditions. My
work, not theirs. That is how I think "weak copyleft" differs from
CC-BY or PD.

So "weak copyleft", if we are talking about the same thing, suits me well.

regards,
Brianna

--
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http://modernthings.org/

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Re: Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Daniel Kinzler
Brianna Laugher wrote:
[...]
> I just don't consider an article that uses a photograph of mine as
> illustration to be a a derivative of my work.
> I don't want an article, blog or book author to have to license their
> whole text under CC-BY-SA just because they use my image.
> HOWEVER, I do want them to be obliged to make explicit the license of
> my work, that is offer it to others under the same conditions. My
> work, not theirs. That is how I think "weak copyleft" differs from
> CC-BY or PD.

If fully agree - and I think many people actually already assume that this is
how it works for images (or at least, how it should work). They actually want
their stuff to be used in books, newspapers, etc, without requiring the whole
shebang to be put under a free license (which would be both, unreasonable and
unrealistic).

It would be very good to have this type of use addressed explicitly, and to be
able to choose between an as-viral-as-possible license, and more moderate
share-alike-but-use-anywhere license. For my own work, I would be fine with the
latter, just as I'm fine with releasing software under the LGPL.

-- Daniel

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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Delphine Ménard
On 02/12/2007, Benj. Mako Hill <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Right. My understanding is that the resolution past by WMF is, itself,
> the request to the FSF to release a new draft of the license that allows
> WMF to migrate to the BY-SA immediately and that any conversation about
> whether the WMF will take advantage of that option to switch over will
> happen after.  Others will be able to use WMF content under BY-SA
> regardless of any future decision WMF makes.


By the way - Larry Sanger has just emailed citizendium-l to say that
this means the CZ licence will not be GFDL (which they were only
considering for Wikipedia compatibility) - that it'll be CC-by-sa or
CC-by-nc-sa. Licence decision and explanation to come soon.


[preserving truly remarkable cc: list]

- d.

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Re: Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Benjamin Esham
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
Brianna Laugher wrote:

> Gregory Maxwell wrote:
>
> > The question of "does anyone here want a weak copyleft license" is just
> > the far more interesting one...
> >
> > I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
> > media which isn't strong.  Does anyone here disagree?
>
> At the risk of being stoned... yeah.  I just don't consider an article
> that uses a photograph of mine as illustration to be a derivative of my
> work. I don't want an article, blog or book author to have to license
> their whole text under CC-BY-SA just because they use my image. HOWEVER, I
> do want them to be obliged to make explicit the license of my work, that
> is offer it to others under the same conditions.

I strongly agree with this.  It is simply impossible for many content
producers—for example, newspaper or textbook publishers—to release their
entire works under a viral copyleft license, but including a CC-BY-SA photo
with a mention of the license is perfectly acceptable.  I believe that an
all-or nothing approach here will elicit a unanimous "nothing!" from these
commercial content producers: requiring all reusers to release their stuff
under CC-BY-SA will be unacceptable, and so they won't use *any* copyleft
content.  We'd just be shooting ourselves in the foot.

Regards,
--
Benjamin D. Esham
E-mail/Jabber: [hidden email] | AIM bdesham128 | PGP D676BB9A
"Given that sooner or later we're all just going to die, what's
the point of learning about integers?"                  — Calvin


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Re: Requirements for a strong copyleft license

geni
On 02/12/2007, Benjamin Esham <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I strongly agree with this.  It is simply impossible for many content
> producers—for example, newspaper or textbook publishers—to release their
> entire works under a viral copyleft license, but including a CC-BY-SA photo
> with a mention of the license is perfectly acceptable.  I believe that an
> all-or nothing approach here will elicit a unanimous "nothing!" from these
> commercial content producers: requiring all reusers to release their stuff
> under CC-BY-SA will be unacceptable, and so they won't use *any* copyleft
> content.  We'd just be shooting ourselves in the foot.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Benjamin D. Esham


Not true. About 6/7? years ago the new scientist ran an article on
copyleft. since they wanted to include an OpenCola recipe they
released the article under some form of copyleft license.
--
geni

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Re: [cc-licenses] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On Dec 2, 2007 4:52 AM, Javier Candeira <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> > I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
> > media which isn't strong.  Does anyone here disagree?
>
> 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.

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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 03/12/2007, Gavin Baker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > From: "Brianna Laugher" <[hidden email]>
> > On 02/12/2007, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
> >> media which isn't strong.  Does anyone here disagree?
> >
> > At the risk of being stoned... yeah.
> > I just don't consider an article that uses a photograph of mine as
> > illustration to be a a derivative of my work.
> > I don't want an article, blog or book author to have to license their
> > whole text under CC-BY-SA just because they use my image.
> > HOWEVER, I do want them to be obliged to make explicit the license of
> > my work, that is offer it to others under the same conditions. My
> > work, not theirs. That is how I think "weak copyleft" differs from
> > CC-BY or PD.
>
> Actually, this *is* how CC BY works. The requirements of CC BY include
> both attribution of authorship (including a linkback) and notification
> of the license.

After rereading the CC-BY legal code it does appear you (and others
who made this point) are correct, and I was quite mistaken about the
strength of the CC-BY license.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode
"You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms
of this License."

Indeed it seems CC-BY is already the "weak copyleft" I was thinking
CC-BY-SA is... CC-BY is much stronger than I realised. I thought CC-BY
just meant "include a byline with my name".

I am probably not the only one who had this impression, because the
Wikimedia Commons summary as it stands is deeply misleading.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Cc-by-3.0

How embarrassing.

So, is this understanding correct: using CC-BY, a reuser could create
a derivative work that was not freely licensed, but provide info that
the source image was CC-BY (and provide link), and that would be
acceptable? Is that true?

Well... now I think shoring up CC-BY-SA to be a strong copyleft is a
good idea, since Greg is correct...if we can correct the
misperceptions of people like me then I don't see why this idea
wouldn't receive widespread support.

cheers,
Brianna

--
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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Daniel Kinzler
Brianna Laugher wrote:
[...]

> After rereading the CC-BY legal code it does appear you (and others
> who made this point) are correct, and I was quite mistaken about the
> strength of the CC-BY license.
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode
> "You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms
> of this License."
>
> Indeed it seems CC-BY is already the "weak copyleft" I was thinking
> CC-BY-SA is... CC-BY is much stronger than I realised. I thought CC-BY
> just meant "include a byline with my name".

No it isn't, there is one important difference: derivative work, i.e. modified
versions. Again, compare to the LGPL: modified versions must be distributed
under the same license (though larger works which use/incorporate clearly
demarked LGPL components do not). This is not true for CC-BY: if i make a
derivative of a CC-BY work, I have to attribute the author, but i can license my
version under whatever conditions i like. That's not weak copyleft, that's no
copyleft at all.

> So, is this understanding correct: using CC-BY, a reuser could create
> a derivative work that was not freely licensed, but provide info that
> the source image was CC-BY (and provide link), and that would be
> acceptable? Is that true?

Yes, that is correct, but again, we lose the distinction of using/aggregating
works, and modifying them. I believe this is a very important difference (as
exemplified by the LGPL), and I maintain that an LGPL-Like CC license would be
useful - at least for me, it would reflect exactly what I, for one, want:

People can *use* my work *in* theirs, as long as they attribute me, but if they
*modify* my work, that modification must be freely licensed. This is stronger
than CC-BY but weaker (or rather, softer) than CC-BY-SA/GFDL (in their "strong"
interpretation).

> Well... now I think shoring up CC-BY-SA to be a strong copyleft is a
> good idea, since Greg is correct...if we can correct the
> misperceptions of people like me then I don't see why this idea
> wouldn't receive widespread support.

I think having a clearly strong/viral CC-BY-SA is just as important as having a
soft version. Of course, adding yet another license to the mix is not so great,
but I would hope that having *clearer* labels will clear up more confusion than
adding *another* label creates....

-- Daniel

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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Bryan Tong Minh
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
On Dec 3, 2007 8:38 AM, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> After rereading the CC-BY legal code it does appear you (and others
> who made this point) are correct, and I was quite mistaken about the
> strength of the CC-BY license.
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode
> "You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms
> of this License."
>
> Indeed it seems CC-BY is already the "weak copyleft" I was thinking
> CC-BY-SA is... CC-BY is much stronger than I realised. I thought CC-BY
> just meant "include a byline with my name".
>
> I am probably not the only one who had this impression, because the
> Wikimedia Commons summary as it stands is deeply misleading.
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Cc-by-3.0
>
> How embarrassing.
>
It's not deeply misleading, it's just too short. It should probably
say "In short: you are free to distribute and modify the file as long
as you attribute its author(s) or licensor(s) and add a copy or link
to the license".

I don't think it is copyleft, because derivative works should not be
under the same license: "If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the
Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must, unless a request has
been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices
for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means "

Bryan

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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by Daniel Kinzler
On 03/12/2007, Daniel Kinzler <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Brianna Laugher wrote:
> [...]
> > After rereading the CC-BY legal code it does appear you (and others
> > who made this point) are correct, and I was quite mistaken about the
> > strength of the CC-BY license.
> > http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode
> > "You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms
> > of this License."
> >
> > Indeed it seems CC-BY is already the "weak copyleft" I was thinking
> > CC-BY-SA is... CC-BY is much stronger than I realised. I thought CC-BY
> > just meant "include a byline with my name".
>
> No it isn't, there is one important difference: derivative work, i.e. modified
> versions.

Yes, but as Greg argued, images are not typically modified in the
heavy fashion that text is.   The edits that are made, are arguably
easily reproduced and so having them or not having them in the
ShareAlike silo is not that significant.

I think you would recognise this on Commons: the vast majority of
images are only ever edited by the uploader. For FPs and QIs the case
is different, and those photographers and illustrators have good
incentive to use a SA license. But for the majority it's not that
important, especially if any derived works have to link to the
original and state its license. A person seeing the derived work, if
correctly obeying the license, could easily think "bugger that, I'll
just go get the original and make the same changes this chap did, and
release it under my personal favourite copyleft license".

> > Well... now I think shoring up CC-BY-SA to be a strong copyleft is a
> > good idea, since Greg is correct...if we can correct the
> > misperceptions of people like me then I don't see why this idea
> > wouldn't receive widespread support.
>
> I think having a clearly strong/viral CC-BY-SA is just as important as having a
> soft version. Of course, adding yet another license to the mix is not so great,
> but I would hope that having *clearer* labels will clear up more confusion than
> adding *another* label creates....

I think perhaps it is too fine a distinction. There are many
distinctions CC could make but for the sake of simplicity don't, e.g.
educational use, or personal use. So perhaps this scenario makes more
sense:

* Solidify CC-BY-SA as a "strong copyleft" license
* Let or encourage people like you and me to add the additional
freedoms as we like when granting the license. (Commons could have a
template for it, doesn't mean CC necessarily needs a separate license
for it.)

e.g. "This image or its derivatives can be combined with text without
affecting the text's copyright, as long as the license for the image
is clearly and separately stated."

(I think it's OK to use a strong copyleft license and grant additional
rights, but not OK to use CC-BY and demand additional restrictions
[such as derivs must be same license].)

cheers
Brianna


--
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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by Bryan Tong Minh
On 03/12/2007, Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Dec 3, 2007 8:38 AM, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > After rereading the CC-BY legal code it does appear you (and others
> > who made this point) are correct, and I was quite mistaken about the
> > strength of the CC-BY license.
> > http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode
> > "You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms
> > of this License."
> >
> > Indeed it seems CC-BY is already the "weak copyleft" I was thinking
> > CC-BY-SA is... CC-BY is much stronger than I realised. I thought CC-BY
> > just meant "include a byline with my name".
> >
> > I am probably not the only one who had this impression, because the
> > Wikimedia Commons summary as it stands is deeply misleading.
> > http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Cc-by-3.0
> >
> > How embarrassing.
> >
> It's not deeply misleading, it's just too short. It should probably
> say "In short: you are free to distribute and modify the file as long
> as you attribute its author(s) or licensor(s) and add a copy or link
> to the license".
>
> I don't think it is copyleft, because derivative works should not be
> under the same license: "If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the
> Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must, unless a request has
> been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices
> for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means "

I agree, but even as a not-copyleft license it's much stronger, ie
more demanding, than I realised.

I think I assumed from the title that it literally was just a "byline
license" (actually, like {{attribution}}), and so never actually read
the legal code until now. Assumptions are so deadly. I deeply mislead
myself. ;)

cheers
Brianna


--
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
http://modernthings.org/

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

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
Gregory Maxwell wrote:

> On Dec 2, 2007 4:52 AM, Javier Candeira <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Gregory Maxwell wrote:
>>> I do not believe there is any point to having a copyleft license for
>>> media which isn't strong.  Does anyone here disagree?
>> 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.

For many of us, we want to use cc-by-sa because we want the copyleft
provision, while at the same time, we do not intend to "overreach" by
claiming an expansive vision of "derivative work".

If you take my cc-by-sa image and modify it, I insist that your modified
version be made available under cc-by-sa.  If you merely use my image
*near* something else, then I do not insist that your entire work be
made available under cc-by-sa, because I do not believe that your
newspaper article is a "derivative work" of my photograph.

(There can be edge cases, of course, but they are a bit difficult to
construct.)

A desire for "strong copyleft" should not lead us into overly expansive
claims of copyright on interactions that do not actually constitute the
making of a derivative work.

--Jimbo


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Re: [Foundation-l] Requirements for a strong copyleft license

Daniel Kinzler
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
Brianna Laugher wrote:
[...]
> * Solidify CC-BY-SA as a "strong copyleft" license
> * Let or encourage people like you and me to add the additional
> freedoms as we like when granting the license. (Commons could have a
> template for it, doesn't mean CC necessarily needs a separate license
> for it.)
>
> e.g. "This image or its derivatives can be combined with text without
> affecting the text's copyright, as long as the license for the image
> is clearly and separately stated."

Hm, true - that would be kind of like an "add-on" to CC-BY-SA. If it was to
become popular, it might actually become semi-official and well-know, something
like "CC-BY-SA/commons-mod".

-- Daniel

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

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
On Dec 3, 2007 12:59 PM, drew Roberts <[hidden email]> wrote:
> OK, CC BY is not copyleft at all.
>
> CC BY-SA as it stands now is a weak copyleft (as we are speaking of weak here)

This is, however, a disputed point: CC-By-SA even includes examples of
new works which would be required to be cc-by-sa licensed, such as the
movie which results from adding images or video to a covered sound
recording.

From by-sa-2.5:  "'Derivative Work' means a work based upon the Work
or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, (...) or any other form
in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, except that
a work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a
Derivative Work for the purpose of this License. For the avoidance of
doubt, where the Work is a musical composition or sound recording, the
synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image
("synching") will be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of
this License."


When Creative Commons adopted the position that cc-by-sa covered
images do not enjoy the same protection as sound in situations where
it is synchronized with sound or text it was shocking and upsetting to
a number of people.

So while it's the whole weak/strong copyleft issue needs to be fleshed
out, I don't think it's fair to just state that cc-by-sa is currently
a weak copyleft, even if that is the intention of the licenses'
stewards with respect to visual works.

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

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
On Dec 3, 2007 3:32 PM, Terry Hancock <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Of course, courts have in the past invalidated contracts on the basis
> that they make "unreasonable" or "unexpected" demands that were not
> understood by the party agreeing to the contract, and so invalidated
> contracts. So, there's probably *some* limit on copyleft. But I'm
> reasonably certain that "what could be considered a derivative under
> copyright law" is not it.

Without delving into the weeds of licenses vs contracts ... In the
absence of a license you have no right to distribute the covered work
at all.    It is the all-rights-reserved default nature of copyright
that largely gives copyleft its teeth.

In the US at least, with the enormous dependence  the software
industry has on EULAs, you can bet that any court verdict which allows
terms to be removed would be quickly 'solved' with the introduction of
new law from the lobbied^Wlegislative branch of government.

[snip]
> While I do find there are times when publishing free-licensed images
> alongside non-free text is desirable, this is not my main concern. For
> such functionality, the CC-By license is nearly as good as CC-By-SA
> anyway, so I agree with that point.

This has been my position.  I've not yet figured out the gaps which
are preventing agreement from some others.

> For me, the main fear is a collision between various copyleft
> free-licenses, who all have essentially the same intent, but necessarily
> have different implementations, because they are designed for different
> creative domains.
[snip]
> So, we want to keep copyleft from crossing certain domain barriers and
> binding works in unreasonably restrictive ways. We risk making the
> "commons" as difficult to navigate as the fenced-in world of
> conventional copyright.
[snip]

The *ideal*, I think, is that copylefed works should be usable as
components in copylefted works, as well as in works which are licensed
in a manner which is strictly less restrictive (such as X11 licensed,
or CC-By) which results in the whole being effectively copylefted,
even if some of the parts are not when used separately.

Fully achieving that ideal may well be impossible because, as you
pointed out .. different types of work differ.   What might be an
acceptable restriction on a piece of pure art might be considered an
unacceptable restriction from the perspective of purely functional
works (like we sometimes find in software).

That said, It would be useful if we could say with confidence we at
least know what the ideal is...

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