[cc-community] Towards a Stronger Copyleft for BY-SA 4.X+

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Mon Dec 19 19:24:45 EST 2011

Mike, please move this over to the licenses list if that is a better home at 
this point.

Hopefully this might get the ball rolling on discussions around a stronger 
copyleft of BY-SA in future versions.

The problem can possibly best be illustrated by considering the differences 
in "protection" of Freedom  for BY-SA songs compared to protection for BY-SA 
photos, paintings and drawings in one of the big use cases for each.

Songs get used in movies and videos.

Photos, etc. get used in books and magazines.

From 3.0 unported:

"For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical work, performance or 
phonogram, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving 
image ("synching") will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this 

So, if you want to use a BY-SA song in your video you need to make your video 
BY-SA as well or seek a different license.

But if you want to use a BY-SA photo in your book or magazine, you do not need 
to make your book BY-SA.

So we can say that songs get stronger copyleft protection than photos in the 
current BY-SA licenses.

I think it is possible to give photos stronger copyleft protection in future 
BY-SA licenses.

Let's look at BY-NC 3.0 unported:

"You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in 
any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial 
advantage or private monetary compensation."

In many past discussions about stronger copyleft protections for BY-SA, the 
hangup seems to have been caused by the method chosen to give stronger 
protection to songs in the current license. The key is the making of an 

But if we look at the current NC license, the NC does not kick in only for 
adaptations. It kicks in for the exercise of any of the rights granted. 
Surely this should be possible for an SA idea just as for an NC idea.

How about something like:

""You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in 
any manner that results in a work that is not available to all under a BY-SA 
license." (or possibly under another suitable Free & copyleft license.)

Does anyone know of anything in current copyright law that would prevent such 
an approach?

Would this allow the dropping of the current adaptation trigger?

all the best,


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