[cc-licenses] ShareAlike extent
jo at durchholz.org
Mon May 21 04:24:06 EDT 2007
Will Martin schrieb:
> 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?
If you wish: yes.
Just license whatever portion of your work you wish to place under the
> 2) Does the ShareAlike clause apply to the other images in the page?
Depending on what you grant.
If your page says "All page contents under BY-NC-SA", then the photos
are included. If it says "Background image under BY-NC-SA", then just
the background image is licensed (and normal copyright applies to the rest).
> 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
You're not licensing the font, just the image, right?
> 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?
The Shakespeare text is in the public domain, and nothing you say or do
can change that.
You could, however, take a collection of Shakespeare texts and try to
enforce copyright on the collection (i.e. your conscious choice of what
to include and what to exclude). I'm not sure how much of that applies
to US copyright, but there's some legislation to that effect here in the
EU. (I have also seen this kind of claim been attacked and defended in
court. It's largely a grey area. Fortunately, few people try to
establish or enforce this kind of copyright.)
However, CC just gives you pre-canned licenses, ready to apply to
content that you have the copyright for; it does not tell you whether
you have a copyright or not.
If somebody copies&pastes text beyond the Shakespeare quotes, then I'd
assume that SA applies.
> 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
Just as you wish.
Of course, if you don't distribute the PHP code, applying a license will
Note that SA isn't designed or verified for software. Software copyright
is covered by special rules in many legislations, and parts or all of
the normal CC licenses might be invalid or unenforceable under some of them.
I'd recommend using an Open Source license if you wish to share your code.
> 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.)
Same answer as (5).
(Note tthe FSF has some ideas about what the difference between
"linking" and "bundling" is. I think they are on shaky ground there, and
I'm not aware that their legal theory has been tested in court yet.)
> 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?
You can't license stuff that you don't own, and each message is
copyright of its author. They didn't give you a license after all!
board, you agree to license your contributions in it under the BY-NC-SA
license". (Wikipedia does this IIRC.)
> P.S. I wish CC offered a web-based forum instead of these clunky
> mailing lists.
Clunkiness is in the mind of the user.
I prefer mailing lists. I have a uniform interface, I don't get
distracted by zero-information signatures and avatar images, I can
easily search messages across board boundaries, and my mail client does
all the mechanics of quoting for me.
I'm not sure that HTML boards have any advantages (except that they look
snazzier, but I can live without that...)
Hope I got most of this right. IANAL.
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