[cc-community] non-revocable cc license for collection to be donated to an archive?

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Thu Jan 31 11:55:04 EST 2008

On Thursday 31 January 2008 10:31, Terry Hancock wrote:
> john martirano wrote:
> > We, the Salvatore Martirano Foundation, have a body of work (perhaps
> > 30,000 physical and digital items) which we plan to license via the CC
> > Attribution license.
> Given such a large gift, you might seriously want to consult a real live
> lawyer instead of just this community list!
> However, on the surface of things, it would seem you should be fine with
> the CC-By license, because:

Sure, except if they simply don't grant anyone access to the collection in the 
first place then the BY license will be of no use to anyone.
> 1) CC-By allows you to specify almost any kind of attribution you want.
> So if you want it to say "UI Archive", then that should be fine.
> 2) CC licenses are irrevocable, and transfer to anyone who gets a copy
> of the work, so as long as the Archive doesn't *legally derive* a *new
> work* from the work in the collection, then they can't revoke the terms
> of CC-By from any user (they could theoretically grant additional
> rights, but with CC-By there isn't much point).
> 3) If they do legally derive a work, they'll have the same rights as
> anyone else using the work, which, under CC-By, means they can put the
> derivative under a more restrictive license. The only way to avoid that
> is to use CC-By-SA instead, but you seem to want to avoid that. There's
> not really any way to restrict the Archive more than users of the
> archive (at least not under CC licenses, and ISTM that it's not a good
> idea).
> As for details of the agreement...
> If you are *transferring* the copyright ownership of the material to the
> Archive, then you'll need to make releasing the work under a CC-By
> license a condition of the transfer.
> On the other hand, it's not clear to me that you have to transfer the
> copyright -- just license it yourself, and let the Archive hold it. The
> By license should give them as much leeway as they need. (?)
> As for copyrighted works within the collection, that's easily dealt
> with. Just state that the works within the collection are "CC-By unless
> otherwise noted". Then be sure to properly mark everything that has some
> prior copyright.
> > Several questions occur to me.
> > 1) is this non-revocable securing of the CC license something that i put
> > in the license itself or perhaps in the Deed Of Gift? (DOG is a standard
> > contract in which the donor gives a collection pursuant to a set of
> > criteria that must be followed for its care or use.)
> > 2) from what i saw of the public dedication it seems to be non-revocable,
> > I would like that status but with an Attribution requirement, is that
> > possible?
> It is the case with all CC licenses.
> In fact it is my understanding that CC-By is on stronger legal footing
> than the public domain dedication, and that that's why CC0 is being
> introduced.
> > 3) existing copyright issues may arise because a small portion of the
> > work already is copyrighted, can I have a blanket CC license for the body
> > of work and merely note an exception for a list of previously copyrighted
> > elements in the collection? rather than designate the license for each
> > and every of the many items?
> "Unless otherwise noted, material in the collection is under the
> Creative Commons Attribution license, version X"
> You must, of course, be careful about listing all of the exceptions. But
> you knew that.
> > 4) is one solution that i simply Attribute the work to the Archive where
> > the collection is held, but still hold the copyright personally so that
> > it cannot be changed?
> Yes.
> > what happens when i die?
> Well, the clock starts ticking on copyright expiration, of course. It
> used to be life+50, but I can't remember what it is now. Certainly it's
> a long time.
> > can I ensure that the ability
> > to freely disseminate the work is not revoked?
> The CC-By will have done that for you.

Again see the comment at the beginning. You will possibly need to contract 
with them to provide access to the public or whomever you wish to have 
access. The license can handle the rest. Except as Terry notes with any 
derivatives they make. You could try to contract with them that any 
derivateves they make themselves or via any non arm's length transaction must 
be licensed BY as well?
> Again, though, I'm not a lawyer, and this sounds like a big gift, so you
> might want to talk to one.
> Cheers,
> Terry

all the best,


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