[cc-community] An easy way to notify licensors about new license versions
hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Thu Dec 6 10:20:36 EST 2007
Gavin Baker wrote:
> Evan Prodromou wrote:
>>>Derivatives of *-ShareAlike-* licensed works can be licensed under later
>>>versions of the same license. But you can't take a work licensed under
>>>Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 (say) and re-distribute it as if it were
>>>licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.
Generally speaking, this is all that really matters, since the reason
for up-versioning is usually to combine the work with other works under
a later license.
> By Jove, I think he's right. I only find the "later versions" clause in
> relation to derivatives under the Share Alike licenses. Sorry for
> perpetuating a myth!
> Can someone point me to the reasoning for this? The obvious comparison
> is the GPL, which of course does have a "later versions" clause.
NO IT DOESN'T!
It is common practice to put an "or any later version" statement in the
*license grant statement* for GPL, but it is by no means required.
Indeed some projects -- the most famous being the Linux kernel --
intentionally do not use this phrasing, and so are under a specific
version of the GPL (version 2.0 for Linux).
This is the root of the GPLv3/Linux controversy -- the FSF obviously
wants to promote the new license, and software which used the "or any
later version" clause can be automatically updated, but Linux can't. It
would require a rather complex process of permissions-seeking to do
that. Furthermore, some of the key developers, including Linus Torvalds
didn't like some of the changes in the GPLv3.
CC's SA module DOES include a later version clause, but as Evan points
out, it applies only to derivative works, not the original work.
With images, this can be tricky because the line between "a copy of the
original work" and "a derivative work based on the original work" is
quite fuzzy. For example, it appears that simple photo enhancement and
cropping does not create a new work.
"Can upgrade to a later version of the license?"
Original Work Derivatives
CC-By-SA (2.0+) NO YES
GPL(2+) by itself NO NO
GPL(2+) w/statement YES YES
As for "why?" I can only speculate:
Obviously there's a compromise between giving the original author
control over the licensing and making compatibility easier. The
decision was made differently for these two licenses. GPL uses an
"opt-in" method, but is complete. SA chooses an automatic compromise
(for simplicity I imagine).
Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com
More information about the cc-community