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Re: Draft summary of Creative Commons 2.0 licenses (version 3)

On Sat, 2005-03-26 at 17:27 -0500, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:

> I apologize to be jumping in this at such a late stage. :)

The more, the merrier. But sooner is always better than later.

> Evan thanks so much for the summary. The additions in the last round
> are all steps in the right direction IMHO and I think that the work
> done here is fantastic.

Thanks. I've put a lot of work into this summary and into the
discussions, and I'm glad you appreciate it.

> Who is organizing discussions with the CC folks?

That would be me.

> I've actually gone
> over an earlier draft of this text with a representative of CC and
> have been having conversations on and off about potential fixes to the
> licenses. I'd love to have some part in the discussions.

I'd like to include you, too. I think our message will be clearer if
it's understood that we're all on Team Debian. If some of us are talking
to one group at CC, and you're saying something different to another
group, I think that's going to send mixed messages.

> There are two areas where I think the write-up is a little more
> harsh/extreme than it should be (this is a critique that has been
> passed to me through SPI's lawyer and others who have looked at an
> earlier draft).

I'm surprised by this. If, in the future, you review a document I wrote
with someone, I'd like the feedback passed along to me sooner rather
than later. Please also tell the people you've spoken to that I'd love
to hear their comments directly. My email address is evan@debian.org,
and I can also be reached by phone at 514-525-0620 (Montreal) if they're
not comfortable with email.

> In this situation and in general, I think legal needs
> to give a little more credit to reasonable expectations and expressed
> intent of licensors and license authors. Both are important concepts
> in private ordering and contract law and that this write-up seems to
> ignore or dismiss these at certain points in a way that I think might
> make conversations and negotiations more difficult.

I can only echo Andrew's response. Creative Commons is not a party to
the license nor the representative of any party, and I think its
intentions and goodwill don't factor into analysis of the license.

It's also not clear at all that Creative Commons drafted any of its
licenses with the explicit intent that works available under the license
be DFSG-free. I don't think we can read any of the problem areas and
say, "...but since we know that they were aiming to have this license be
applied to Free Software, we can assume that they're just being clumsy
in what they're saying."

All that aside, I would hate for the _language_ of the summary to cast
aspersions on Creative Commons or the licenses. I know that there are a
lot of loaded terms ("free" and "non-free" being two main culprits) that
may sound unfair. I don't want to alienate anyone unnecessarily.

My wife says about debian-legal, "It sounds like you are the white hat
hackers of Free Software licenses. You find the security holes in the
licenses before the bad guys do." I thought that this was a pretty good
analogy. People get real mad at white hats, too. It's not nice to be
told that your software has a bug, nor that your license does, but it's
a necessary function.

I'll respond to your individual points in a separate email.


Evan Prodromou

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