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Re: National Land Survey open data licence - version 1.0 - 1 May 2012

On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 11:36:30AM +0300, Timo Juhani Lindfors wrote:

> [ Replying to an old thread. For your convenience here's a link to the
> original thread:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2012/05/msg00014.html ]

> Francesco Poli <invernomuto@paranoici.org> writes:
> >> >   * remove the name of the Licensor from the product or service, if
> >> >     required to do so by the Licensor.

> > I am personally convinced that such a requirement is non-free.

> > I think it's very similar to one of the clauses found in CC-v3.0
> > licenses. See for instance my analysis of CC-by-v3.0:
> > https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2007/07/msg00124.html

> > However, Debian FTP-masters disagree with me on the freeness of
> > works released under the terms of CC-v3.0 licenses:
> > https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2010/01/msg00084.html
> > Hence, it's *possible* (but not granted) that FTP-masters would consider
> > the above-discussed section 2.2 as acceptable, unfortunately.

> It seems that since CC has such a clause it is getting copied to other
> licenses. I heard of one such license this week:

>   "Helsinki Region Infoshare – data pool licence

>    1. The licensor (holder of copyright or associated rights in the
>    licensed material) hereby grants the licensee (user of the licensed
>    material under the terms of this licence) a global, free of charge,
>    non-exclusive, permanent licence to copy, disseminate, edit, combine
>    and otherwise use the licensed material according to the terms and
>    conditions set out in items 2 and 3 below. The licensed material may
>    be used for non-commercial and commercial purposes.
>    2. The original copyright information in the licensed material must
>    be acknowledged in the manner indicated by the licensor. This
>    attribution must be deleted if so requested by the licensor.
>    3. The copyright details of the licensed material must not be
>    attributed in any way that suggests that the publisher of the
>    licensed material endorses the user or the use of the data material."

>       -- http://www.hri.fi/lisenssit/hri-nimea/

> Note that while CC has "to the extent practicable" to shoften the
> requirement this softening is not present anymore in "National Land
> Survey open data licence" or this "Helsinki Region Infoshare – data pool
> licence".

> Could this "to the extend practicable" be the key difference why CC
> would be considered free but these two new licenses would not?

Does Finnish law recognize the concept of author's rights (moral rights)?

It appears that the intent of this clause is to reassert a right that is
already granted by law in some jurisdictions:  the right for their name not
to be associated with a mutilated form of their work.

If this were a license used by a copyright holder in France or Germany,
where I know such moral rights exist, then I believe this clause would be a
no-op and should therefore be ignored when evaluating the freeness of the
license.  When used by a Finnish copyright holder, I'm not sure; this may be
an example of a "tentacles of evil" effect from the license.  There's also
the fact that, as worded, it does *not* refer to the author, it refers to
the Licensor who may be a different party.

So it's possible that there are some bugs in the wording, of both the CC
license and the licenses you cite.  I do think, however, that they're
compatible in *intent* with the DFSG, which has explicit provisions
regarding the integrity of authors' works.  Requiring a rename or requiring
changes be carried as patches is not conceptually different from requiring
removal of attribution.  None of these requirements are something we
recommend to authors, but they are free.

The National Land Survey license does have a pretty major bug that the other
two do not, due to differences in wording (another example of why people
shouldn't write their own licenses):

  * remove the name of the Licensor from the product or service, if required
    to do so by the Licensor.

This does *not* say that you must remove the name from the *attribution*.
It says you must remove the name, which implies you must remove it from
anywhere it appears, including in functional elements.

In practice, if someone wanted to package data distributed under this
license, they could sanitize that data by proactively removing any
occurrences of the Licensor's name first *except* for the credits; once
done, this degenerates to the previous case.  But it's obviously a hassle to
do that.

All in all, with respect to these clauses I side with the ftp masters (who
have already accepted CC-BY-SA 3.0) and believe they're DFSG-compatible,
though I would definitely not recommend any of these clauses.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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