[cc-licenses] Share-alike != Copyleft ?
zotz at 100jamz.com
Wed Feb 14 21:52:02 EST 2007
On Wednesday 14 February 2007 09:29 pm, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> On 2/12/07, Roger Chrisman <roger at rogerchrisman.com> wrote:
> > Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> > > I'm looking for a little clarification: Is share-alike actually the
> > > same as copyleft?
> > Devil's in the details
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft#Strong_and_weak_copyleft
> > Copyleft has lesser and stronger licenses associated with it, e.g. LGPL
> > and PGL.
> > Is CC-by-sa a lesser copyleft license rather than a stronger copyleft
> > license? I don't know.
> The notion of "weak copyleft" isn't at all new to me, but I and a
> number of other people consider it to be a pretty ridiculous notion.
> A totally uncited Wikipedia article is seldom a great reference. :)
Well, I don't know about the notion itself, but I have read a bit here and
there on the FSF and the GPL and the LGPL. My take is that there would be no
LGPL except for practical considerations. An example I seem to remember is
where there are already non-free equivalents to your project in the market
under favourable enough terms that using the straight GPL will essentially
make your project an also ran and not do much of any freeing in any case.
I would guess the thought is that a thriving LGPL project is better than a
dead GPL project and dominant "ARR" projects.
> The fundamental purpose of a copyleft license as opposed to
> non-copyleft licenses is to encourage the expansion of the public pool
> of free materials. They achieve this by using reciprocal licensing to
> allow the use of a copylefted work in derived works if and only if
> those works are as free as the copylefted work.
> It's pretty straightforward to see how this applies to images.
How wouldyou words the terms to accomplis this?
> Someone is writing an article on bassoons. They need a high resolution
> image of a bassoon to illustrate their article. They can pay several
> hundred dollars for one from Getty Images, or... they can use a
> copyleft one but they have to make their article free content if they
> If they are just writing the article for their students, or otherwise
> have a motivation or business model which does not preclude freely
> licensing their works, then making their work free would obviously be
> the less costly solution.
> In these cases content creators would use a free license for their
> work when otherwise they might have stayed "all rights reserved" or
> selected the trendy Creative Commons "cc-by-nc-nd-only-in-africa"
> license of the week.
> By this process copyleft works create an incentive for producers to
> produce free works. This incentive is material and lasting, unlike
> depending on license branding and trendiness to encourage people to
> use a particular license.
> So to whatever extent a "weak copyleft" exists, it simply isn't
> interesting as a form of copyleft: it won't have the property of
> leveraging the pool of free works to encourage new works to be freely
> licensed as well.
Do you think this is because of the lack of a functional aspect to the works
in question? This weak copyleft at least keeps the work itself free. It also
keep all improvements to the work itself free, as opposed to how a
non-copyleft free license works. And inthe case of the LGPL, doesn't it give
some pressure to free other works depending on the type of linking? (I don't
actually know enough of the details of the LGPL to sepak with much confidence
> I think this is especially relevant for images,
> because copylefted images can be an attractive alternative to the
> expensive stock photography which is so widely used.
So, would the mere aggregation language have to be done away with, or could
this be accomplished in some other way?
BTW, I am asking these questions for my own benefit here.
> (And an
> attractive alternative to the 'creative commons' content which is,
> more often than not, under a license which discriminates against
> commercial use except, apparently, the exploitation of user-created
> content by Web 2.0 darlings, but that's another rant...)
> I would also argue that a "weak copyleft" license is a bad deal all
> around... Copyleft imposes additional annoying terms on downstream
> users. We can justify doing this because copyleft increases the pool
> of free works, benefiting everyone. A "weak copyleft" would not have
> this property.. so the additional terms are an unneeded friction which
> do not benefit the copyright holder or the public.
> So... in light of your reply, please allow me to restate my question
> in a way which can not be confused:
> "Are the share-alike Creative Commons licenses intended to increase
> the pool of similarly licensed works by utilizing the pool of
> share-alike work as an incentive for the creators of new content to
> release their work under a free license?"
> This is not a hard question... It's one that I'm sure the Free
> Software Foundation would have no problem answering for any of their
> own licenses. Nor would I expect it to be a problem for most other
> groups who have produced publicly available licenses.
> I think this is a question that the Creative Commons side must answer
> before anyone who currently distributes a copyleft license can
> consider the sort of bidirectional compatibility that the draft
> cc-by-sa-3.0 demands.
all the best,
(da idea man)
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