[cc-community] Re: CC licenses and "moral rights"

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Fri Apr 1 18:16:41 EST 2005

On Friday 01 April 2005 03:25 pm, Mike Linksvayer wrote:
> Greg London wrote:
> > And I'm fine that it's outside the scope of
> > this list, but that too is separate from
> > the validity of the main argument:
> > contributers to libre projects ought to have
> > a way to waive their moral rights, for the
> > good of the community and project as a whole.
> I probably agree.
> However, waiving moral rights is probably out of scope.  AFAICT not
> being able to waive moral rights is central to the moral rights idea.
> Obtaining the right to waive moral rights would involve court and
> legislative battles.  FLOSS and CC work within existing legal regimes,
> the latter explicitly.
> If moral rights really bug you perhaps you should start or work with an
> existing organization that does attempt to challenge and change laws.  I
> note that immoralrights.org is available. :-)

Yes, and that may be necessary if after all the discussions, people fell that 
it is really what they want.

However, it is much quicker and easier if it can be done the way the GPL and 
CC are doing (trying to do) it.

To me, the discussion are to see if we can settle on something(s) that we 
agree is (are) how it should be.

At the same time, to explore what is possible, without changing the laws.

Then (and hopefully we may have learned something about our own desires and 
motivations as well as those of others) we can try and see if we can bring 
the two together in a better way.

Unless we understand the laws as they stand and what their implications are, 
we cannot hope to know what clauses need to be in the license. The same goes 
for knowing what we would like the ideal laws to say and do. Right? Wrong? 
Other ideas?

all the best,


> IANAL, not speaking for CC, etc.

I have been thinking about this for the week. OK, I had proposed the thought 
experiment of designing a license that granted CC BY-SA like rights but only 
so long as the person did not assert their moral rights.

It was pointed out ot me that this would not work as a clause mentioning moral 
rights would be considered "illegal" and thus would not apply. OK, I thought, 
that would not work then. However, I have been chewing on this for a week and 
I have this question to ask.

OK, so it doesn't work for countries that have moral rights and prevent the 
author from giving them up, (an idea just occured as I was writing this - for 
clarification, how can that limited waiver (that was discussed) be give if 
they can't be mentioned in a contract?) but what would be the result of such 
a clause in the rest of the world?

Would we have a situation where the person from the moral rights country could 
continue copying and distributing the work in moral rights countries but not 
in other countries?

all the best,


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