[cc-community] Changing *almost* compatible licenses

Chris Watkins chriswaterguy at appropedia.org
Sun Apr 26 04:37:28 EDT 2009

Here's an interesting anecdote about an organization I know. I won't mention
their name as I don't know that they want a fuss made about this.

They are a collaborative community that has been around for several years.
They had a couple of separate collections, and one was under the FAL (Free
Art License). They wanted to make everything compatible under CC-BY-SA 3.0,
but the FAL is technically *not* compatible.

There was discussion about doing it on a piecemeal basis - getting
permission from as many contributors as possible, then marking each page
with a template when it was determined whether or not it qualified as
CC-BY-SA. A huge pain, in a  a substantial number of pages.

Then the question was raised with a US-based attorney. His response was not
to worry so much - they're the same in all key ways, and his opinion was
that the intention of the contributors was not concerned with the minor
differences between open, copyleft licenses.

So, the manager of the site notified as many contributors as he could, and
very quickly got a response from the community. Something like 12% of
contributors responded, almost unanimously in favor of the change. (One
objected, perhaps related to a grievance with the community, - their
contributions were removed, and they were satisfied.) Presumably the more
active contributors were on average the ones who had stayed in touch with
the community, so this 12% almost certainly represented a much higher
proportion of the collection of work.

I don't understand all the implications of copyright and fair use, and I
know some will disagree, but this attorney's advice seems to me to be
sensible and fair, and a practical, real world approach.
Chris Watkins (a.k.a. Chriswaterguy)

Appropedia.org - Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

identi.ca/appropedia / twitter.com/appropedia

I like this: five.sentenc.es
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