Draft License 2.5 - Now open for discussion
robmyers at mac.com
Tue May 31 05:30:13 EDT 2005
When cc-wiki was announced I was worried that allowing attribution to
an organisation would allow WMIMWYIM (What's Mine Is Mine What's
Yours Is Mine) for the 'reputation economy'. The first use of cc-
wiki, to ensure that dozens of people's names don't have to appear on
the cover of Code 2.0 bore this out, and I can imagine how popular cc-
wiki would have been for non-wiki projects.
So a license that requires attribution to an organisation may be
dangerous, even if it fits the social contract for Wikis (I cannot
comment on this as I'm not much of a Wikitarian). It could also be
confusing for enforcing license violations, as only the copyright
holder can enforce a license IIRC, and if the license says "MyWiki"
but the work was submitted by psuedonym at dead-isp.com, there's a problem.
The cases Mia lists of colleges or journals requiring attribution
show that attribution can become even more of an "advertising
clause" (as in the original BSD license). I don't want to derive from
work that has a political party, activist outfit, particular church
or another interest group's members sticking a plug for their pet
cause in on a work I want to derive from via 2.5 attribution. Having
a URL you have to give is bad enough (you can create a "linkback
bomb" to advertise your cause), being able to list a cause in the
license block would be terrible. Is this a possibility with 2.5
If I submit work to a German (for example) wiki and the 2.5
attribution is to the wiki, my Moral Right of Attribution is still
inalienable, and I can still demand to be identified as the author of
the work, I think.
But then the language is voluntary or customisable, then we are right
back to where we were with waving attribution. People have to be
asked, or it has to be arranged up front, or people forget.
I think this is a maturity issue for Wikis (in the sense that many
are now mature projects and have some work to do to reflect this)
rather than something that requires creating a potentially misusable
clause in the core CC licenses or a definitely misuable cc-wiki license.
I do see how enabling Wikipedia-style projects to keep their low
barrier to contribution whilst removing bookkeeping headaches could
be good. But this will affect projects other than wikis, possibly in
undesirable ways, and wikis are the projects that can best keep track
of complex attribution anyway.
*If* attribution is important to Wiki users, and *if* people
contribute to wikis on the understanding that their work will be part
of the wiki, then arguments about what happens for the book version
(for example) are arguments about how best to misuse contributors
work. Would the wiki operators who want attribution to their project
rather than to individuals be happy with a scheme that transferred
copyright to CC and attributed the CC-Wiki-Real-Commons-License
rather than any given wiki? If not, why not? It would solve more
problems than having to attribute to people's wikis.
More information about the cc-licenses