[cc-licenses] BY-SA compatibility proposal: GPLv3

Sarah Pearson sarah at creativecommons.org
Thu Jan 29 16:13:53 EST 2015


Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation are pleased to formally
propose the GNU General Public License v.3
<http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html> as the next candidate for
consideration under the ShareAlike compatibility process
<https://wiki.creativecommons.org/ShareAlike_compatibility_process_and_criteria>.
Note that we are pursuing one-way compatibility only, meaning BY-SA works
could be adapted and GPLv3 applied, but not vice-versa.

This proposal is rooted in the growing (albeit niche) need for a solution
to the melding of content and code in certain domains, such as gaming.
Developers sometimes abstain from integrating BY-SA content into
GPL-licensed software projects because of uncertainty about how the two
copyleft licenses interact, and there is reluctance to use BY-SA for code
due to CC’s explicit discouragement from doing so. This obstacle to reuse
and remix of BY-SA content in projects under a license so similar in
substance and spirit is at the heart of the problem the compatibility
mechanism in BY-SA was designed to solve.


Nonetheless, there are certainly differences between the two licenses,
especially given that one was designed for software and one explicitly was
not. We have created a wiki page
<https://wiki.creativecommons.org/ShareAlike_compatibility_analysis:_GPL>
for the proposal, which includes an initial comparison of the two licenses.

This email marks the opening of the public discussion on this mailing list.
We will be sending out specific discussion prompts on major topics in the
coming weeks, but we encourage you to provide input at any time on- or
off-list.

best,
CC Legal
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