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Re: Can CC BY 2.0 be upgraded to 3.0 ?

Ok, I'm not sure how I could not see that you meant this before.  I understand
the point now.  Thanks for the explanation.

I still don't understand the problem, however.  With clause 4b, I can include
any significant piece of code to the work, thereby creating a derivative work,
which I can then relicense under CC BY 3.0.  After doing that, I can modify
that work again by removing the code.  Every step should be fine, and the
result is that I relicensed the code of the original work as CC BY 3.0.

It would seem to me that the fact that this is legally possible means that we
don't actually have to do those steps (who can check if we did, anyway?), and
relicensing is simply allowed.

Then again, lawyers are weird, so I may be wrong.


On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 09:04:20AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Tollef Fog Heen <tfheen@err.no> writes:
> > No.
> >   #! /bin/sh
> >   echo hello world
> > is not a work.  It is not copyrightable.  It does not bring anything new
> > and original into the world.  Norwegian copyright law talks about «work
> > threshold» as in a bar you need to clear for something to be
> > copyrightable.
> > I believe this is what Russ is talking about.  (Russ, please correct me
> > if I'm wrong here.)
> Correct, that's what I'm getting at, but I ran out of words to try to find
> a good way to explain it.
> Maybe an analogy works better.  Suppose that I have a hugely complex Perl
> program.  I modify the first line of that Perl program from
> #!/usr/bin/perl to #!/usr/local/bin/perl.  That modification itself is not
> copyrightable.  It doesn't contain any creative or original work in the
> sense of copyright law.
> Is the result a derivative work?
> My argument, and I think Paul's, is that it's not a *derivative* work.
> It's still the *original* work, with a trivial modification.  The word
> "derivative" is defined fairly uniformly in the legal bits I was reading
> as being a transformation, performance, or other substantive modification
> of an original work that adds original creative content or interpretation.
> I believe that means that, to be a derivative work, it has to bring new
> copyrightable material to the table, not just trivial changes.
> Another analogy: a novel is clearly a creative, original work.  If I take
> that novel and repaginate it mechanically, is that a derivative work of
> the original novel?  Or is it just the same novel, repaginated?
> Normally this doesn't matter at all, since all normal free software
> licenses give people all of the same rights on the original work as on
> derivative works (except that some additional requirements may be placed
> on derivative works, such as documentation of changes).  However, the
> CC-BY-2.0 license is fairly unique in that you can do things with
> derivative works that you're not (at least obviously) allowed to do with
> the original work.
> Another general principle of law, as I understand it, is that there is a
> bias, in interpreting contracts, towards having all the words of the
> contract mean something.  In other words, one should generally assume word
> choice is for a reason.  It would have been easy for CC-BY-2.0 to let you
> relicense the original work or any derivative work, but that's not what
> the license said.  That seems to imply that some distinction was being
> drawn, and if the original work is trivially also a derivative work, that
> destroys that distinction.
> -- 
> Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>
> --
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/** mastermind. input 4 numbers 0-5. output <right>.<in the right place> **/

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