[cc-licenses] ShareAlike extent
wdmartin at mail.utexas.edu
Mon May 21 03:14:33 EDT 2007
Hiya. I've got some questions about just how the ShareAlike clause
works when we're talking about incorporating photos into web pages as
I've put together a test case to illustrate. I started with a
BY-NC-SA licensed photo on flickr, and used a portion of the photo
as a background in a web page. Note that the page displays one of
ten Shakespeare quotes at random when you load it, so it won't be the
same for every visitor. So here are my questions:
1) Does the ShareAlike clause apply to the HTML and CSS?
2) Does the ShareAlike clause apply to the other images in the page?
3) One image bears text saying "Who needs a typewriter?" Does the
ShareAlike clause apply to the font I used to create the text in that
image? I don't think it does, I just want to know precisely where I
4) The Shakespeare quotes are in the public domain. Does the
ShareAlike clause apply to them in this context? If I copy and paste
a quote from this web page, does the ShareAlike clause apply to
whatever I paste it into?
5) I wrote some PHP to pick a quote each time the page is loaded.
That code executes on the server, and never appears in the web page.
But it is part of the file. Does the ShareAlike code apply to the PHP
6) If I had linked my PHP code to an external PHP file produced by
somebody else, would the ShareAlike clause have applied to that
external file? (I didn't link to anything in this case, but it'd be
nice to know, since that's common practice.)
7) If I had used this as a background image in a site allowing
user-contributed content, such as a forum, would the posts by my users
fall under the ShareAlike provision too?
Hmm. I think that about covers it for now. I just want to know for
certain how far that ShareAlike clause extends. If it really does
extend to absolutely everything, then (for example) I won't be able to
use a BY-SA photo as a background in a project for a client who isn't
willing to share their entire web site. For another example, I won't
be able to use a BY-NC-SA licensed photo in a web site for a college
course (assuming you count education as non-commercial), unless I as a
teacher am willing to license the syllabus, assignments, and any
student-generated content under the same license.
 The original macaque photo by Nao-cha:
 My web page: http://atuan.com/MonkeyShines/
P.S. I wish CC offered a web-based forum instead of these clunky
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