[cc-community] Public-domain-style licenses (was Re: Why "Wiki license" = CC-BY-SA?)

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Fri Jan 18 12:57:16 EST 2008

drew Roberts wrote:
> On Thursday 17 January 2008 23:11:28 Terry Hancock wrote:
>>It might be reasonable to call the new "CC0" license a "public domain
>>license" (although some people would call that phrase an oxymoron
>>because anything in the public domain neither has nor needs a license).
> I am not so sure of that last statement in this day and age.

> I make a work which for whatever reason does not get an automatic copyright. I 
> don't know this. You may not know this either.

You're saying you need a notice to know you can use the work. I'm saying
the law does not require you to have one to use the work (if it is in
the public domain).

My understanding is that CC0 is something like this notice that you'd
want. (But I'm not sure I understand whether CC0 is prescriptive or
descriptive or both -- does it make the work free or only tell you that
it already is? I need to research that when I have a chance)

>>With public domain works, you do not have to keep ANY kind of license or
>>attribution information. 
> Well, depending on who you are. In some circles, holding back on attribution 
> can land you in hot water, no?

Again, I am speaking of legal requirements. Yes, "plagiarism" can land
you in hot water from a professional reputation perspective, but it is
not a legal offense. So you could lose your job, but that is not a
consequence of copyright or copyright licenses.

Noting the parallel comment from Delphine, let me add "under US
copyright law". Moral rights would apparently complicate this statement
a bit more.

>>This is a "door" that you don't discuss in 
>>"Libre Labyrinth", and it is a much less controversial one, because most
>>people aren't bothered by tracking attribution, but it is there,
>>nevertheless. There are even some circumstances under which this can be
>>a quite onerous requirement (like the BSD advertising clause was).
> Hey, the CC licenses can suffer from this as well. I haven't figured out any 
> decent solution to propose for this issue yet either.

Yes they can. Me neither.


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

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