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Re: Can CC BY 2.0 be upgraded to 3.0 ?

Bas Wijnen <wijnen@debian.org> writes:

> 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.

Well, the law isn't a programming language, so some things like that,
which seem to logically work, aren't actually possible.  I would be
worried that a judge would look at that and decide that you created a
derivative work solely to get around the terms of the license rather than
because you were really making a derivative work and rule that, therefore,
the relicensing wasn't allowed.

Laws are designed to be judged by people who can make judgement calls, and
the spirit of the law does matter to some extent in those judgement calls.

Of course, in practice, the chances that the copyright holder would ever
care that you relicensed the work, let alone do something legal about it,
are very remote.  But then that's true of nearly all of our license

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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