[cc-community] Does BY-SA extend to a newspaper?

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Fri Apr 13 10:02:50 EDT 2007

Quoting "Benj. Mako Hill" <mako at atdot.cc>:

> CC seems to have a taken a position that the license basically stops at
> the edge of a photograph. Basically, this means that if you don't modify
> the content of a photograph, you can basically do what you want with it
> under an an SA license (of course, Evan's comments, and a few things he
> didn't say, still need to be kept in mind).

CC have limited SA's copyleft to derivative works. This is a  
reasonable position but doesn't always meets people's expectations or  
model the existing "social contract" for use of different kinds of work.

> This is one reason a number of photographs who upload to Wikimedia
> Commons prefer the GFDL

The GFDL seems to define both texts and images as "documents" and  
replace the concept of derivation with the concepts of modification  
and combination. The reason that photographs would work as expected  
under the GFDL would be because it defines a modified version as:

"... any work containing the Document or a portion of it, either  
copied verbatim, or with modifications and/or translated into another  

But this crucially assumes that an article illustrated by a photo  
constitutes a "work". From the discussion of using photography for  
illustration I'm not sure that it does. If it doesn't, it might be the  
case that you can just use the photograph under the GFDL's unmodified  
copying permission, which is how you can use a photo as an  
illustration under BY_SA.


> and its related to the reason why Larry Lessig
> has analogizing NC clauses and copyleft for software -- although I
> personally disagree with Lessig's argument in this respect.

Yes. I'm very glad that Lessig is talking about this and urging a  
broader discussion though.

- Rob.

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