[cc-licenses] Unbundling the GPL
hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Thu Apr 26 22:39:28 EDT 2007
Björn Terelius wrote:
>> Far more people would suffer from accidentally using By-SA for software
>> than would benefit from using NC/ND for it. And if you want a more
>> nuanced position than 'CC licenses are bad for software' -- well, you
>> can ask here.
> Yes, I would like a more nuanced position on using CC for software. That
> why I entered this thread in the first place.
Perhaps I was not clear. I meant to say that you get a nuanced position
by asking the question here on this mailing list. I remain convinced
that softening this point on the CC website would be a mistake.
People would take it to mean more than it does.
The idea has sufficiently few exceptions that it should not be included
in a general set of advice about licensing (I'm not arrogant enough to
claim that no exceptions exist -- almost every rule has exceptions).
I'd be okay if it is buried in a FAQ somewhere. But the point is that if
you haven't the patience to read a thorough discussion of the issues,
then you should just accept the advice against doing it.
If after taking the time to look at the problem for real, hear the
objections, and consider your own needs in detail, you decide to ignore
the advice of experienced people and do it anyway, then that's okay.
"You have been warned".
Prominent stuff on the CC website should be targeted at "best practice",
not every possible exceptional case. The truth is, the detail is there
in the license text if you want to know what's really going on.
> Perhaps it would be possible
> to say that NC/ND is safe for software, but warn that the program won't
> qualify as Free Software on the same page? Shouldn't that be an acceptable
> compromise? The FAQ could still recommend GPL and other Free licenses over
> CC BY/SA.
But it isn't "safe for software". It is "unsafe for software" (which is
what it says), because of all the reasons we've told you already. If you
don't want to "play it safe", well, that's your business. But it's
still just as "unsafe".
The unsafeness falls into two categories:
1) Using NC/ND licenses is poor practice because it is a weak
development model, and you'll gain very little for your trouble.
(Only moderately unsafe)
2) Using By-SA licensing is deceptively close to GPL, but has serious
stealth holes in the copyleft.
Using By licensing is almost okay, but using BSD/MIT/X11 licenses is
better, so why bother?
The problems wrt to NC and ND are intrinsic, so a rewrite for software
would solve nothing. An SA rewrite could resolve the problem, but would
duplicate the work behind the GPL, and would have the unpleasant side
effect of being incompatible.
Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com
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