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Re: Creative Commons 3.0 Public draft -- news and questions

On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 20:36:11 +0800 Weakish Jiang wrote:

> Francesco Poli wrote:
> > What is unclear to me is: which license am I analyzing?  It seems to
> > be by-nc-sa (v3draft).  Why isn't there any highlighting for the
> > clauses that vanish in by-sa, by, and by-nc?
> > I think that clarity in this respect would be very important, since
> > there's no way that works under CC-by-nc-sa can comply with the
> > DFSG!
> >
> It's only a draft. And it's easy to distinguish clauses that vanish in
> by-sa, by, and by-nc.

Well, I can *suppose* that clauses 4(c) and 4(e) constitute the
Noncommercial License Element, but I cannot be sure until I see some
clear indication in CC v3 drafts...
Which clauses are different between by-sa and by is even less clear to

Sure it's only a draft, but it's a public draft we are asked to
comment on!  If it fails to clarify how the final texts *could*
look like, it's not very useful as a public draft open for commentary!

[on clause 4(a)]
> > I think that stating "This Adaptation is based on the Work _foo_ by
> > James O. Hacker" is an accurate credit, as long as it's true.
> > Allowing James O. Hacker to force me to purge such a credit seems to
> > fail DFSG#3.
> I don't think so.
> DFSG3 doesn't forbid some restrictions as long as they are necessary
> or reasonable. Image that I made a work based on the work  _foo_ by
> James O. Hacker, but it turns out to be a very terrible work, full
> of mistakes. People may think James O. Hacker's work is not very good
> work too. In this case, James O. Hacker may want me to remove hir
> credit. This is quite reasonable.DFSG3 shouldn't forbid this.

I don't see the problem, as long as it's clear that the work has been
modified by you and it's not the original work by James O. Hacker.
Your mistakes are not going to reflect on James' reputation.

CC-by-sa-nc-v3 license draft spends many words to make sure that
Adaptations are clearly marked as such and not passed off as the
Original Work (see clause 3(b), for instance).

Forcing you to occultate the origin of your Adaptation is an additional
restriction: I fail to see it as necessary or even reasonable.
For instance, the GNU GPL v2 has no such restriction and I don't hear
many people complaining that their reputation is too weakly protected...

> > That is to say: I can publish an annotated
> > version of the novel, but I could be forbidden to acknowledge the
> > (true and correct) authorship of the novel itself!
> > I cannot understand how this could be seen as DFSG-free...
> > 
> I think it's the author's right to do so.

Copyright and author's right laws give many exclusive rights to
authors/copyright holders.  Some of these rights can be reserved without
making the work non-free, but many others cannot.
Saying that a restriction is an author's right says very few (if not
nothing) about its freeness...

> And you always can add this
> to the copyright notice:
> This work is based on another work, whose author doesn't wish to put
> hir credit here.

Of course I can (and I probably would, even when not forced by the
license, as a courtesy to that author): but is it DFSG-free to *legally
require* me to do so?  I'm not convinced it is...

[on clause 4(b)]
> > It's worth noting that CC licenses have a mandatory version-upgrade
> > mechanism and also a mandatory jurisdiction-change mechanism.
> > This can weaken the copyleft of ShareAlike licenses, and possibly
> > trigger weird clauses such as "sue me in Scotland" (found in
> > CC-by-2.5/scotland, for instance).  Authors, you have been warned!
> This is not a problem. Just think about dual  licensing or GPL's
> example: under version 2.0 or any other license published by FSF.

The crucial difference is that the GNU GPL *allows* a version-upgrade
mechanism *without* forcing authors to adopt it.  You can release works
under the GNU GPL v2 only, if you want to avoid licensing under yet
unknown terms and conditions (I've been doing so for quite some time,
debian-legal regulars may recall about my Savannah dispute[1]...).

CC license, on the contrary, implement a *mandatory* version-upgrade and
jurisdiction-change mechanism: there seem to be no way to release under
a CC license without allowing the recipient to choose to follow later or
other jurisdiction-specific versions of the same license. 


[on clause 4(c)]
> Of course it won't appear in CC-by and CC-by-sa. The draft is not for
> all the CC licenses, so it don't need to indicate this.

Have you got an official statement from CC about which clauses are or
are not to be considered drafts for by-sa-v3 and by-v3?
If you have, I would very like to see it.

[on clause 4(d)]
> > I mean: I incorporate a short poem by Jack F. Poet into a novel that
> > includes 21 chapters written by Alice E. Writer and 25 chapters
> > written by me: the credit for Jack F. Poet must be at least as
> > prominent as the credits for the other authors?!?
> This only happens when "a credit for all contributing authors of the
> Adaptation or Collection appears" In your case, you may don't want to
> put such a credit in your novel.

What if I want to put such a "credit for all contributing authors" and
list my name and Alice E. Writer in 12 pt fonts, followed by credit for
Jack F. Poet in 11 pt fonts?
It seems reasonable to me, but, nonetheless, credit for Jack would not
be "at least as prominent as the credits for the other authors": that is
to say, the license wouldn't allow me to do so.

If it said "at least as prominent as the credits for the authors of
other comparable contributions", it would be OK, but the actual clause
doesn't say this, unfortunately.

But it is also tradition that times *must* and always
do change, my friend.   -- from _Coming to America_
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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