[cc-licenses] Requirements for a strong copyleft license
evan at prodromou.name
Sun Dec 2 09:40:59 EST 2007
On Sat, 2007-12-01 at 22:00 -0500, Gavin Baker wrote:
> I share Erik's concern with the working of CC licenses in relation to
> "embedded" media.
> If I'm not mistaken, the CC licenses consider such a use a "collection"
> (used under the right to copy, granted by all CC licenses) rather than a
> "derivative work" (used under the right to modify -- only granted by
> licenses without the No Derivatives clause, and subject to the Share
> Alike clause under some licenses).
I think, to be more precise, Creative Commons hasn't made a formal
statement on the subject, and there aren't guidelines for Creative
Commons license users on the topic. Whether a text-plus-image
combination is sufficiently closely coupled to make the combination a
derivative work is left up to courts or other copyright authorities.
However, in at least one other case (music synchronized to video), the
CC licenses _do_ specify the relationship. It would definitely be
possible to add a similar section to the CC licenses for images and
text, such as:
For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is an image, the use
of the work as an illustration for text will be considered an
Adaptation for the purpose of this License.
I don't think it would be wise, though. It seems to me rare that an
illustrative photo or other image becomes an integral part of a
tightly-coupled text-and-image work. More often than not, the contents
of a newspaper or magazine article have very little to do with the
associated photos, and other photos of the same subject could be
substituted in without loss of meaning or expression. For example, an
article about Paris Hilton's latest business venture is juxtaposed with
a stock photo of Paris Hilton at an unrelated film opening.
I think there are ways in which images and text can become so
intertwined that they form a single work. An article "How a car engine
works", with associated diagrams, would be very closely coupled. "Part
14 is the piston..."
My experience as a Wikipedian has been that we've traditionally not
considered the text of articles to be derivative works of embedded
images or other media. Thus, we mingle images under a number of
different free licenses into GFDL-licensed text. Has there been a call
made on this by the Foundation or by the Wikipedians in general?
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