[cc-licenses] Disclaimers for works of opinion as an incentive to free licensing

Gisle Hannemyr gisle at ifi.uio.no
Mon Apr 30 08:03:53 EDT 2012


On 29.04.2012 18:24, "Carlos Solís" wrote:
> Several authors in the free software movement (most particularly the
> members of the FSF) are reluctant to use DFCW licensing (CC-BY-SA, or
> CC-BY) because, in that way, their works of opinion could be freely
> modified by others, which could be used to distort their opinions [1].
> However, despite of the obvious reason for their decision, such a position
> has been perceived as incongruent by free culture advocates [2]. A way to
> be able to freely license a work, while guaranteeing that the integrity of
> the authors of opinion works and their ideas is upheld, should be of great
> concern for the following versions of CC-BY-SA licenses.
> 
> My idea to do it would be to add a mandatory disclaimer for derivative
> CC-BY-SA works of opinion that states whether the derivative work has been
> stated by the original author to be in the spirit of the original work or
> not. In the negative case, the derivative work must clearly state that the
> derivative work's ideas are solely from the author of the derivative work,
> not necessarily from the original author.
> 
> [1]: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#OpinionLicenses
> [2]: http://blog.ninapaley.com/2011/07/04/rantifesto/

If its a derivative, its a derivative.  It follows from it being
a derivative that any opinions expressed are those of the author
of the derivative.  No disclaimer is necessary.

(And anyway, it will be impossible to decide whether the derivative
is in the "spirit" of the original.)

However, I think it is important that users of CC BY-SA has
protection against their opinions being distorted.  The correct
solution, in my opinion, is not to include a mandatory disclaimer,
but to have the following clause in the license:

   You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory
   action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to
   the Original Author's honor or reputation.

[This clause is in CC BY-SA 3.0 (unported), but not in v4.0d1.
 It needs to be reinstated.]

This important clause makes sure that an derivative work isn't
abused to distort the opinions of the original author.

Note that this clause does not prevent the author of the derivative
from using the derivative to express totally different or opposing
opinions, as long as the opinions in the derivative is not
*presented* as the distorted opinions of the original
author.  Moral rights are there to preserve honour and reputation,
not to limit freedom of expression.
-- 
- gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
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