[cc-community] [cc-licenses] Public Domain Mark - Invitation to Comment
diane at creativecommons.org
Fri Aug 13 17:14:20 EDT 2010
On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 7:43 AM, John Hendrik Weitzmann <
jhweitzmann at mx.uni-saarland.de> wrote:
> Hi Diane
> I think I conceptually understand the distinction between the CC0 and
>> PDM, but I'm not sure the plain text of the human readable deeds makes
>> that distinction clear. In particular, I'm afraid that (to the casual
>> reader) their roles would look reversed. The PDM's first paragraph
>> contains no indication that the Mark was placed on the work by a third
>> party, while CCO's phrase 'the person who associated this work with a
>> deed' makes it sound like it is a third party who placed the work in
>> PD, rather than the (disclaiming) rightsholder.
>> We agree the distinction should be clear. What we are striving to avoid
>> is language that compromises the factual statement that a work is free
>> of copyright restrictions (see Paul Keller’s response to this aspect of
>> your email, below). Introducing “belief” or similar concept in that
>> statement does that. We have tried in other ways to make that
>> distinction apparent.
> what IMHO is a no go is to have the wordings "no restrictions" and "no
> known restrictions" in the same Deed, the latter quite a scroll down the
> page. This gives the impression that CC wants to make this mark look more
> reliable than it actually is - which in turn might damage CC's reputation.
> It is absolutely not the case that CC wants the mark to look more robust
than it is -- that has never entered the picture, please make no mistake. A
tad bit of history seems in order (about planning for the future) that will
explain that original design, and then what we're thinking now in light of
language-specific comments offered by you (thanks!) and others on this list.
A work can be "free of restriction under copyright" for different reasons
within any given jurisdiction -- uncopyrightable subject matter, expiration
of copyright term, voluntary relinquishment of rights using a tool like CC0,
etc. Layer atop that any attempt to identify in which jurisdiction a work
is free of copyright restriction, and the possibilities grow enormously.
Take a look at the long list of "public domain" categories on Wikimedia
Commons <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_tags>, and one can see
the complexity in trying to explain the particular reasons *why* and "where"
a work isn't restricted by copyright.
In thinking about how to build the a lightweight but extensible tool, we
considered how the tool could be expanded in the future to accommodate
particular reasons and jurisdictions -- at a minimum we didn't want to
preclude it. So we start with the basic text (at the top) which makes a
factual statement "...free of copyright restrictions...." But what about
reasons? Our learnings from sources including the Flickr Commons rights
statements (and even Flickr identifies a non exhaustive
list<http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/>of possibilities) told us
that most providers of the works were identifying
some reason, some rationale. That reason is predominantly because they have
concluded there are "no known current copyright restrictions." That may
well be a vague reason, but it is the reason they give. That's the genesis
of that bullet under Other Information, and this is where we tentatively
envision the deed supporting other reasons later.
But you're right, and we're coming to see, that if a reason isn't specific
with more particularity, that this phrase could be seen as contradicting or
"softening" the factual statement up top. That was never its intention,
though I think it fair to say that with all qualifiers that risk exists to
some extent. It's a point well taken, and one that we're going to work on as
we tweak the text up top per other language comments on this list.
It is also somewhat strange if we hide the wording "the person that
> identified ...", which is meant to make the distinction to author-based
> tools (like CCPL and CC0), in the relatively small print paragraph next to
> the CC0 logo.
> This +
> the inconsistent wordings mentioned first +
> the "no liability" being the very last point on the page
> = will surely give rise to criticism.
> Therefore I'd suggest to be much more transparent and phrase the first
> paragraph like this:
> "The work associated with this mark was identified as being
> free of any known restrictions under copyright law, including
> all related and neighboring rights."
This is quite close to the text we're tweaking now. We'll post that as soon
as possible, and take this excellent suggestion into account.
> I know that it would be nice to have a mark that anyone can count on, as
> Paul mentioned it in his reply. But you cannot have that without liability,
> and as we are not going to introduce liability into the CC tools, let's be
> more honest about what the mark actually means: A certification that to the
> identifies best belief the marked work is free of rights, at least in his
> cc-community mailing list
> cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
Diane M. Peters, General Counsel
171 Second St, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105
office: +1 415-369-8480
fax: +1 415-278-9419
cell: +1 503-803-8338
email:diane at creativecommons.org <email%3Adiane at creativecommons.org>
Please note: the contents of this email are not intended to be legal advice
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