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

Paul Houle paul at ontology2.com
Tue Dec 20 12:57:17 EST 2011

  On 12/19/2011 7:24 PM, drew Roberts wrote:
> Hopefully this might get the ball rolling on discussions around a stronger
> copyleft of BY-SA in future versions.
        My take is that any change is bad,  whatever the change is.

        Every day I hear from people who seem to have a hard time 
understanding Creative Commons as it is -- this is just restricted to 
"CC-BY",  "CC-BY-SA" and "CC-BY-ND".  ("NC" is a morass,  since I also 
meet sanctimonious souls who think it's OK for an academic institution 
that ruins peoples live with $60,000 debt to use content but not a site 
supported by advertising that offers free images to students and 
teachers worldwide at all academic levels.)

        The concern I've got is that people are going to have a hard 
time understanding different versions of creative commons licenses.  
CC-BY-SA/3.0 means one thing,  and CC-BY-SA/4.0 means something very 
different.  My experience with things like that is you can explain the 
difference to somebody and then they'll come right back to you two hours 
later and be all confused about it and you've got to roll the rock back 
up the hill.

        When people have to deal with things like that,  they shut 
down.  Rather than choosing a CC license,  they'll just leave their 
photos "all rights reserved".  Instead of using CC photos,  they'll buy 
them from Shutterstock.

        Wikipedia successfully changed it's license,  but license 
changes have been destructive to other communities -- I particularly 
look at drop in contributions to Open Street Maps as a result of the 
ongoing arguments about license changes.  The more talk there is about 
licenses,  the more creative people are going to be creative someplace else.


        Now,  the argument that "SA" is too weak is a good one.  
Really,  SA doesn't mean much at all for photos.  If I modify the 
image,  I have to let people use the modified image under "SA" terms,  
but that's a very small inconvenience for having the benefit of using 
the images to illustrate a book.  If you said that the collections 
clause for images in CC-BY-SA was a mistake,  I'd say that's a very 
reasonable opinion.

        If we do want to have a stronger license,  I suggest that we 
give it a new name,  like


        to do otherwise would be like "Java 8" coming out and being a 
dynamically typed language with multiple inheritance.

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