[cc-community] Question about Share Alike

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Fri Aug 29 16:38:48 EDT 2008

Molly Kleinman wrote:
> Just to clarify, I was asking about that detail of Share Alike not as a
> video maker, but as an explainer of CC licenses. As I mentioned on this list
> last week, I'm working on a series of Creative Commons how-to's that are
> meant to clarify what each of the license terms means for users. The reasons
> I dislike Share Alike have less to do with the limitations they place on
> users and more to do with how darn confusing they are. Creative Commons is
> supposed to simplify things, and Share Alike is pretty complicated, which
> makes it difficult to boil down for beginners.

I don't think it's really complicated at all: "ShareAlike" is meant to
provide a copyleft quid pro quo for anyone who uses the material in a
way that would otherwise require a copyright license to use it.

Hollywood must routinely pay royalties to use even tiny snippets of
commercial songs in movies.

When an SA song is used, there are two options: make the movie SA as
well (in which case no communication is necessary), or go the
traditional route and negotiate royalties for non-SA use.

The _weird_ thing is that this doesn't apply to other forms of
"synchronization", such as associating images with text. I think this is
actually a good thing -- but it's more complicated. (And it's another
topic you can find discussions of on the list).

I also agree with Drew that "NC" is a much more serious can of worms, as
there are a lot of bizarre details about what "commercial use" means.
The problem basically, is that that license leaves everything up to law
and court precedent, offering very little explanation within the license

My suspicion is that you think "NC" is easier, because you haven't
really "opened the can" yet. ;-)  NC _sounds_ simple, but it isn't --
there's all kinds of weird and counter-intuitive edge cases.

The "SA" licenses, though, are fairly explicit, which, IMHO, makes them
a lot easier to figure out.


Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

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