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Re: Can CC BY 2.0 be upgraded to 3.0 ?

On Sun, 15 Sep 2013, Bas Wijnen wrote:

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.

Law is intended to be interpreted by humans, not machines, and any human would see straight through that. For a fantastic discussion of the issues here with specific relevance to playing tricks with copyright law, take a look at this essay, "What Colour are your Bits":


You might also be interested in this discussion between a certain famous hacker and the FSF's legal counsel, on the legality of playing tricks with free software licenses:


"The issue first arose when NeXT proposed to distribute a modified GCC in two parts and let the user link them. Jobs asked me whether this was lawful. It seemed to me at the time that it was, following reasoning like what you are using; but since the result was very undesirable for free software, I said I would have to ask the lawyer.

"What the lawyer said surprised me; he said that judges would consider such schemes to be 'subterfuges' and would be very harsh toward them. He said a judge would ask whether it is "really" one program, rather than how it is labeled."

Geoffrey Thomas

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