[cc-licenses] Version 3.0 -- It's Happening & With BY-SA CompatibilityLanguageToo
james at grimmelmann.net
Wed Feb 14 16:01:49 EST 2007
drew Roberts wrote:
> Well,would someone connected with CC who is in the know explain this quote
> from their web site:
> "We're a nonprofit organization. Everything we do — including the software we
> create — is free."
> Do they mean libre or gratis. Or both.
I'm not presently connected with CC, but I read that statement as
That's the meaning I that one without background in the free software
movement would assume on reading that statement.
> And also once again from their history page:
> "Creative Commons' first project, in December 2002, was the release of a set
> of copyright licenses free for public use. Taking inspiration in part from
> the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License (GNU GPL),"
> So, they may not have been initially constituted on the norms of free
> software, but they were at least in part inspired by the Free Software
> Foundation's GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) by their own admission.
> Thus, copyleft was one of the initial inspirations for CC. It is not too much
> to think that the existing definition of Free (libre) should be respected. Am
> I crazy here?
Well, not crazy, just wrong. But ask a rhetorical question, get a
rhetorical answer. :-)
This passage talks about being inspired by the GPL itself, not by the
rhetoric of "freedom" around the GPL. And that's completely true. In
this passage, "free" is referring not to the content, but the license
itself. There is no charge for using the license and no one is
prohibited from using the license.
There is a problem here in that the term "free" is a term of art coming
out of the free software movement, but that the general English-speaking
public doesn't know that precise meaning. I am unconvinced that it is
CC's responsibility to educate the general public about this
distinction. There are lots of good organizations working hard towards
that goal; CC's strength is in generating good licenses and in building
tools to help people find content released under those licenses.
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