[cc-licenses] Regarding SA and "strong copyleft" question
zotz at 100jamz.com
Wed Feb 28 17:49:41 EST 2007
On Wednesday 28 February 2007 01:28 pm, Terry Hancock wrote:
> wolfgang wander wrote:
> > Now now Terry,
> > Its as easy to point out the hypocrisy for melodramatically
> > threatening to abandon CC if they ever consider to publish any license
> > other than 'CC-BY':
> Perhaps true, but entirely irrelevant, as I certainly made no such
> >>A creator is always, in a game theoretic sense going to
> >>be motivated to seek more and more control. But that's not what we're
> >>supposed to be about here (or if it is, then I have to abandon CC
> >> entirely).
Terry, I think this was the "threat" referred to. I figured that when he
posted it at least.
> A cowardly* offlist sniper tried to make this point with these quotes,
> but also missed the point:
> > "We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their
> > works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare "some rights
> > reserved." (Although, this is somewhat out of context, see for
> > yourself http://creativecommons.org/about/history)
> > "We provide free licenses," Lessig writes, "that mark creative work
> > with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share
> > the work, or remix the work, or both share and remix the work, as the
> > author chooses."
> > (http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/12/21/1450219&from=rss)
> NONE of CC's statements (including these) ever suggests trying to
> *extend* the creators reach beyond:
> A) Control of their own work
> B) The limits already established by copyright law
> That's the essence of this.
I don't really think it is.
> I mean, sure, I'd love to be able to *encourage* more people to use free
> licenses, but the argument this thread is addressing is *forcing* people
> to use free licenses on works that are essentially wholly their own.
It is not forcing them any more than the GPL forces them. They will choose it
if the benefits outweigh they costs in their calculations.
> IOW, it's the "social engineering" theory of copyleft, rather than the
> "fair's fair" theory of copyleft. I have an extremely strong bias
> towards the latter interpretation of its role. But if CC were to get
> into the game of trying to act as a pressure group, I'm not going to be
> interested in that.
I don't know about these theories, but I only want my copyleft works used with
or in or as part of other copyleft works. Any slacking up I do on that is
based on practical thinking. Will the easing up actually make things better
overall sort of thinking.
> The "convential" copyleft (i.e. what GPL has) makes sense because it's
> trying to prevent small changes in your own work from being used to
> resell or claim that whole work by another.
Please explain gnu readline in these terms.
> This is a different situation though -- it's like trying to create a
> situation where you can force a proprietary program to go GPL by
> submitted a GPL-licensed patch to its source. I.e. it's a "poison pill"
> strategy: just take this little innocuous piece of candy so I can own you.
Well, I can. Htey will obviously only do this if the patch is so valuable that
they deem it worth it. Now, if they put it in without figuring out it is GPL
or what that means, I don't think we can force the program to go GPL, we can
force them to take out our patch though. The difference here is BY-SA doesn't
let you force the book's author to take out your pictures.
> I'm pretty much disgusted by that kind of approach. It's the same grabby
> attitude that we're all up in arms about RIAA, MPAA, and Microsoft for
Please explain again, I don't see this.
> And if the By-SA as is means that some commercial photographers won't
> contribute, well, so be it. I personally believe we'd lose others if we
> did change it.
> I *know* we would reduce the utility to users of the
> By-SA (and for me as a creator, that's enough reason for it to be a
Copyleft has this inherent problem. Else why would CC have gone through the
compatible license excercise recently?
> Given that situation, I'd be looking for a new license. Maybe I'd try
> to resurrect the DSL -- that's what I started with.
> > and moments later that same person explains to us that he needs non-Free
> > all-about-control 'Verbatim-Only' licenses:
> >>The articles are usually By-SA, but I occasionally use a
> >>"Verbatim Only" license. The latter is useful if the article is very
> >>precisely stating an opinion which may be controversial and which I
> >>don't want misrepresented.
> The use of verbatim licensing to avoid misrepresentation is something
> even Richard Stallman does.
Yes, in invariant sections. Still, not necessarily Free. Plus, RMS is about
Free Software. Older stuff of his Iremember reading at least specifically
refrained of commenting on the ethics of non-Free works in other areas.
Hasthis changed with him?
> I'm not going to get drawn into that
> argument, because it's MY work, and it's none of your business how I
> license it. If I were trying to change how your work is licensed, that
> would be different, but I'm NOT.
But it is his business if you want to use his works.
> The only thing I am licensing verbatim is MY OWN TEXT.
Again I ask, what is the copyright on? Let's talk about a book for a bit...
A bunch of BY-SA photos and illustrations and even texts. Someone uses these
with his own text and makes a book out of the whole thing. Is he going to
seek a copyright on the book?
Answering this question may help in our thinking.
> I really don't think you've understood that part, based on some of the
> following statements...
> > Yet again a few sentences later he claims that not being able to
> > combine any given text with any given image is 'muzzling free
> > speech!'.
> > Wait!?! A 'Verbatim Only' license does NOT do this? What if my free
> > speech evolves about making my points using your words out of context?
> Absolutely it does NOT. You can take my verbatim text, put your own
> commentary beside, illustrated with pictures of you making moose ears at
> me, or whatever you want. You just can't edit what I actually wrote to
> make me say something I did (though you DO keep trying to do that to my
> posts! ;-) ).
Must this verbatim be in whole? It can be hard to escape doing what you say he
does... Often we try to restate what a person says in other words to see if
we really understand what they said or try and state the necessary outcome of
their position in a reductio ad absurdum play to try and persuade someone.
> Just as the images don't bind me, the text doesn't bind the images. They
> are still free, and still as originally licensed. Each has a SEPARATE
> copyright attribution and licensing statement (photo credit). Meaning
> you absolutely can use them separately.
So, I have some first drafts of some copyright novels up on ourmedia.org.
Let's say you think some chapters are great and can stand as is but you
rewrite other chapters and make them ARR. Then you sell a copy of the
resulting book on lulu.com. Would BY-SA allow this or disallow this?
> You can, of course, QUOTE from the verbatim text as fair use always allows.
> >>But uh-oh, according to your plan, I'm in a deadlock. I have By-SA and
> >>ARR photos in one article. Can't publish. You've muzzled my free speech
> >>rights! And remember, my article text is normally under By-SA anyway.
> > Sorry - couldn't resist...
> Well, consider yourself riposted. No hard feelings on my side anyway. :-D
> > But lets not go there any further, instead lets try to clarify some of
> > your other
> > arguments:
> >>If we were to apply the suggested rule, then we would have the shocking
> >>case where I can use copylefted material under "fair use" in an ARR
> >>work, but I *can't* use ARR work under fair use in a copylefted work!
> > Sorry - I'm not following you here. Can't you already now use
> > copy-lefted material in an ARR work? Wasn't the whole discussion about
> > an ARR text using copy-lefted images and declaring the whole product to
> > be ARR?
> The whole product is NOT ARR. In that situation, ONLY the text is ARR.
> The images are as originally licensed.
Ah, but is a copyright sought on the "book"? With a notice images copyright X
> Maybe that's the problem: You're not realizing the quid pro quo here.
> The existing terms prevent the author from doing to you what you're
> trying to do to him, as well. (?)
Where is the quid quo pro?
> > ... or for that matter taking any by-SA text (your blog for example) and
> > combining it with an ARR image to make the complete aggregation ARR?
> Once again, no that's not the current effect.
> It is YOU who are asking for this power: the power to force the
> licensing of material that is delivered in parallel to your own work.
> It's this sibling-binding situation that I object to.
> The truth is that I don't really have a probably with being forced to
> release my text under a free license if I use free images (the verbatim
> license example is a bit of a strawman). But the trick is that we then
> have to talk about WHICH free license, and -- more importantly -- the
> images wouldn't just bind me, but they'd also bind EACH OTHER.
Again, this is just a weakness of copyleft licenses. We don't see it as much
in software as the GPL is the big copyleft player on that field.
> As an author looking to create a free licensed work (in which all of the
> components are what I would call "free licensed"), I can very rapidly
> get into "License Hell" by trying to work out copyleft dependencies.
This does occur with code now though. Why else would the FSF keep its list of
Free licenses which are GPL compatible?
> It's one thing to try to be free, it's quite another to try to put
> everything under the *same* free license.
It would be better if we could all agree on the same copyleft license and be
done with it.
> True now -- but you're *asking* for the power to control that.
> And honestly, I have to admit that the legal basis for copyleft doesn't
> prevent you from it. It is probably true that you can make basically any
> condition you want for the people who can be allowed to use your work.
> You could only license it to non-commercial users, Baptists, or perhaps
> left-handed little leaguers. Yes, I can see that that's probably true.
> Doesn't make it ethical to do so, however. So perhaps we need to answer
> that question... What *is* ethical in a copyleft license?
Also, how far can you go and still be Free? What are the pros and cons of the
different plans? Etc.
> Here's the problem:
> * You did not think of the pun.
> * You have, in fact, no semantic contribution whatever to my article.
> * It's a total coincidence that your work happens to be useful in this
With the GPL, I can't take a chunk of someone's code from a program which
prints baseball charts and use it in a program which displays secret fishing
> So, what -- from an ethical perspective -- is your right to impose
> conditions on the licensing of MY work? It's entirely clear that you
> have such rights on the way I modify and distribute YOUR work (the
> picture itself must remain as you licensed if!).
It is not imposed, it is a choice you would freely make in order to use his
There is no doubt that the changes being discussed would have a cost. The
current license has a different cost.
Could you find some variation of the proposed changes and still have a Free
license? Would that make things better or worse? Would such a license need to
have "domain by domain" tweaks to work well? Would that be worth it?
> But you are essentially asking for ownership-like rights in my own
> original work, in which you contributed NOTHING.
Not really, just asking you to make a deal, You can use my photos under these
conditions if I can use your work under the same conditions. When the works
are used to make some sort of greater whole.
> This is exactly like trying to claim rights in a mere aggregation sense
> (e.g. you may not include this image on a disk if it also contains ARR
And the problems with this would be?
> Or, as a more semantically relevant point, it would be like trying to
> force someone who merely sold a list of image URLs to make that list
> free licensed (or By-SA) simply because some of the images are. And --
> more importantly -- to force that list to ONLY point to By-SA images
> (because the proposed "semantic linking" right would apply to
Is this so? If so, is this problem enough to outweight the benefits?
> > Likewise, when I want to use your by-SA article and have my own ARR
> > picture of an even nicer fork, should I or shouldn't I be able to take
> > your article, semantically link it with my fork image to create ARR
> > content?
> Yes you should, and the current license allows it. I am perfectly happy
> to grant you the right you seem so reluctant to grant me.
What does the BY-SA license not allow?
> >>You all are right of course, that there is a negative consequence to be
> >>found here in that people may suddenly decide to retract commercial
> >>quality By-SA work. But you know what? In my experiences on Flickr, I
> >>find that much of the *best* photography is actually under the "By"
> >>license. So I don't think it's as big of a threat as you make it out to
> >> be.
> > Of all
> > the feedback I had regarding this issue - once people understand the
> > limited Share-Alike-ness - very few seem willing to license further
> > content under this CC-by-Like license.
> And now you are the one waving vague threats in our general direction. ;-)
> I've met quite a few people who understand By-SA just fine (or at least,
> figured that it made sense once they learned).
Well, I am still with it because, overall I have not found something better,
but I am far from happy with all of the implications of it. It seems even CC
was not happy as we now have 3.0 out right?
> As for there being a massive number of people who are uncomfortable with
> free-licensing their work? Well, we all know that.
Come Terry, I am having what I think of as just as strong a discussion with
you as Wolfgang is and I am happy to copyleft my work.
> >>And as for your wanting to trick or pressure people into making their
> >>content free-licensed, I think that is seriously wrong-headed.
Well, trick, yes. Pressure? More like making them an offer they don't want to
refuse. Or think they would be better off not refusing.
> >>There are
> >>enough good reasons to create free-licensed content, and enough of us
> >>doing it everyday anyway, that it's not going to go away. Free licensed
> >>images help to enable that content by providing freely distributable
> >>images to go along with freely distributable articles.
> > And this is exactly what cc-by-sa publishing photographers intended, It's
> > the non-free ARR articles and by no means your CC-by-SA blog we are
> > worried about.
> I've already, I hope, demonstrated some serious collateral damage that
> would happen to By-SA works if you got your way.
I am not sure you have done so sufficently. I know there would be costs. But I
see no strong reasoning as to why the costs would necessarily outweigh the
> >>The fact that
> >>there are also some edge case free-rider situations is really a pretty
> >>minor problem, in my opinion, and it simply isn't worth all of the
> >>problems it would create.
> > It is a growing problem though. So far Share Alike was interpreted by
> > most as referring to the editorial content that goes with the images
> > as well. And so far - when I gave ARR content providers *my*
> > interpretation of the Share Alike clause they removed these images or
> > negotiated other license terms. But after getting to know Creative
> > Commons interpretation of Share Alike this will no longer be possible.
> > Some photographers want a means to contribute to Free projects like
> > Wikipedia without ARR projects taking their content and using it in a
> > very Share-Un-Alike manner.
> > Given the current state of the license this is not possible.
> > The question really boils down to:
> > a) do you want to alienate these photographers who want to contribute
> > to Free projects while keeping the ARR content providers happy,
> > i.e. leave everything it is now.
> > b) or do you want to level the playing field, invite more Free
> > thinking people to the table and ask ARR providers to either
> > join the game or find other sources of content?
> > I'm very well aware of the fact that going from a) to b) will take
> > some effort and there are many hurdles to overcome which you list
> > carefully (and I even more carefully tend to ignore ;-) but unless the
> > consensus is here that a) is the better solution Creative Commons
> > should IMHO try see if there is such a path...
> I think there are some subtleties you may be missing:
> 1) They cannot re-license your photos. They only can give the associated
> text a different license, and they can use photos under a different
> license alongside your photos. In other words, you're missing the value
> of the symmetric effect of the license.
Terry, I think you may be missing the point that we see exactly this situation
as asymetrical. And that the license provides little value ot the person
using the BY-Sa license in this instance.
> 2) They cannot DRM the aggregate work as a whole, because doing so would
> DRM your photos as well. Thus, your photos must always remain
> extractable from the work.
> 3) It is perhaps debatable whether printing the works out on paper
> interferes with copying. (I.e. we need to ask whether print rights are
> legal with such an aggregate work, or indeed with any By-SA work).
all the best,
(da idea man)
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