Draft License 2.5 - Now open for discussion
email at greglondon.com
Sat May 28 12:31:18 EDT 2005
> On Wed, 2005-05-18 at 09:33 -0700, Mia Garlick wrote:
>> (1) To take account of the needs of people who create wikis and thus
>> allow attribution to the wiki rather than the author or to the wiki and
>> one or more authors as they prefer
> So, here's a use case: there's a wiki to create documentation for a new
> piece of software, Foo. The developers and users decide to use this form
> of abbreviated attribution for the wiki's content, to "Foo Documentation
> Wiki". To keep downstream distributors' requirements small, they also
> make a point of leaving out copyright notifications. After all, what's
> the point of collective attribution if there's still a bunch of
> copyright notices to carry around?
> Fast forward 25 years. Of course, the Foo Documentation Wiki, which was
> never a legally constituted entity and never held any copyright on any
> of the works, is long, long gone. Its Web logs and history files have
> disappeared into the bit buckets of eternity.
> But people will still want to publish and archive the work. What will
> give them that right? A notification from this not-even-fictitious
> person, the Foo Documentation Wiki? Who is the licensor? Who knows?
Once Alice, Bob, and Charlie have made their contributions
under the agreement that it be licensed CC-anything,
you don't need their confirmation 25 years later to use the
work under that license.
It does simplify the attribution requirements 25 years later,
since it's still only one name/title/url on the front cover.
No one has to track down thelist of contributers.
Dave might come along 25 years later and claim that his
work is embedded in the project without his permission,
but then that would be a lawsuit to straighten it out.
It would be difficult if someone wanted to change the
license 25 years later, but I'm picturing someone going
through all the copyright notices in Linux and contacting
the original contributers to get their permission to relicense
linux as PublicDomain, and I don't see that working.
> Also, when does the work finally fall out of copyright? Again, who
> knows? For the USA, and I believe some other countries, copyright
> extends for the lifetime of the author. But who's the author? The only
> name on the work is for some made-up thing that has no legal standing.
so we should make wikis more dificult to manage today
so that in 120 years when everyone's sufficiently dead (life plus 70),
we'll know that the work is public domain? I'm having a really
hard time with this one.
The only people this will actually benefit are the folks who
want to use the work as public domain and make a proprietary
fork. CC-Wiki is sharealike. I'm not incentivized to have my
contributions to a wiki project become public domain so
MegaCorp can fork it.
If the project continues on in some form, it will remain sharealike.
If it dies off and no one contributes to it for a hundred years,
well, then I question the usefulness of such a project a century
later, and if someone really wants to use it as public domain,
they can give it a whirl and see if anyone's heirs show up to
claim a royalty. If the heir's ancestor was one of hundreds of
contributers, I cant see them getting enough money to warrant
a lawsuit in the first place.
> I think that enabling unlabelled, unattributed or misattributed works is
> a disservice to posterity. Lawrence Lessig's book, "Free Culture",
> outlines very nicely how hard it is to determine the rights to a work
> more than a decade old. Perhaps we shouldn't make it harder.
That's more a problem for works that are "all rights reserved",
not works that are sharealike or cc-wiki.
Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP laws
More information about the cc-licenses