[cc-community] NH: RE: Hello, and possibly a thorny question regarding how CC and relates to other Open Content licenses

Neale Hooper nj.hooper at qut.edu.au
Tue Jul 12 23:37:57 EDT 2011

Hi Simon.

Yes I do understand.

I have a feeling that certain research has been done on this issue over the years. I'll see if I can find anything which may have been published.

Sounds like you've certainly done some legwork on this already.

I think some work may well have been done but little or nothing has actually been published.

(As you know the CC licences are not used with software.)


-----Original Message-----
From: cc-community-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:cc-community-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Simon Cropper
Sent: Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:22 PM
To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [cc-community] NH: RE: Hello, and possibly a thorny question regarding how CC and relates to other Open Content licenses

Hi Neale

Thanks for the links.

The CC to CC compatibility tables are really useful. I have seen similar 
tables and content on the main CC website and the CC-au website.

It would be easy if all the source material used when creating technical 
documentation were under one or other Creative Common license but I have 
found this rarely to be the case.

I am really surprised that considering the plethora of open content 
licenses, someone has not address their compatibility, especially 
considering the global interest in FOSS, Open Data and Open Standards.

On 13/07/11 11:47, Neale Hooper wrote:
> Hi Simon.
> I fully appreciate the issues you raise.
> The two issues of open content licence compatibility and third party permissions (consents) are both fundamental to this field.
> As you mention, they are not always addressed properly.
> I've worked in this space for over 7 years now, often in the context of governmental use/application of open content licences.
> Whilst not addressing directly the broader or "global" question of the compatibility of all open content licences I can draw your attention to a compatibility chart for the various Creative Commons licences.
> Have a look at the Creative Commons Australia's  CC and Government Guide  at http://creativecommons.org.au/sectors/government and at
> http://eprints.qut.edu.au/38364/ , particularly around page 51, and there are some worked examples around pages 52-54.
> The Guide addresses a multitude of other issues with CC licence use. The material in the guide on these issues (and many others in fact) is general in application and is not specific to the government context/sector only. Reference to "agency" or "your agency" can be read simply as "you" in most of the material.
> I also need to indicate that I am one of the authors (together with Professor Anne Fitzgerald and Cheryl Foong).
> We as authors (and Creative Commons Australia) hope this Guide, licensed under CC BY 3.0 Australia naturally, proves to be a valuable resource and tool for many in the community.
> It also covers issues such as copyright and contains user friendly tools eg checklists, factsheets and sample wording (eg around Attribution etc) - see Pp 78-87.
> Hope this is of some assistance.
> Cheers,
> Neale
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cc-community-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:cc-community-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Simon Cropper
> Sent: Wednesday, 13 July 2011 10:29 AM
> To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [cc-community] Hello, and possibly a thorny question regarding how CC and relates to other Open Content licenses
> Hi Everyone,
> I am new to this list.
> I am a strong advocate of Open Content and have spent a lot of effort
> over the years creating documentation about or for a range of free and
> open source software.
> I have published various works in the following sites. The licenses
> range from restrictive copyright for 'work related' projects to more
> permissive licensing for 'foss resources' type projects.
>      http://www.botanicusaustralia.com.au/EcoRamblings.html
>      http://www.botanicusaustralia.com.au/Technology.html
>      http://www.fossworkflowguides.com/
> That said, I am an avid believer that the copyright of others must be
> respected, and have always endeavoured to only utilise resources on the
> Internet that are appropriately licensed.
>      http://www.fossworkflowguides.com/#contribute
> Over the last few years I have conducted a range of audits on public
> repositories of open content as background to the creation of my website
> http://www.fossworkflowguides.com/.
> I was surprised to find that most of the documents I reviewed, despite
> stating they were licensed under one or other Creative Commons license,
> included content that was 'borrowed' from source documents that
> specifically prevented the works to be used in that way.
>      http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/edu_discuss/2010-August/001179.html
> I have encountered this problem yet again. Specifically with FOSS
> documentation, which despite the software being explicitly licensed,
> very little of the documentation (manuals, websites, tutorials, project
> overviews) have conditions of use clearly articulated. In 20 foss
> projects I reviewed, half had licenses specified for particular on-line
> resources. None had any of their documentation licensed in a way that
> would allow derivatives licensed as CC-BY to be created (the desired
> license), despite numerous 'new works' being created based on this material.
>      http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/live-demo/2011-July/003653.html
> Personally I believe that the Creative Commons licensing has gone a long
> way in helping people choose an appropriate license for a 'new creative
> work' but has fallen short in helping transition from alternative
> licenses types to the 'CC scheme' or educating people what 'license
> type' - material used to create a derivative, has to be - in order to
> license their document as one or other CC license (e.g. to license your
> work as CC-BY-SA you can only use material [a] licensed as CC-BY, GPL,
> etcetera, or [b] you have obtained permission from the copyright owner).
> In my experience, authors rarely verify that the material they use is
> appropriately licensed and/or meet the requirements of the source
> documents license.
> One of the problems, apart from some peoples disregard for copyright
> and/or laziness, is that lack of resources available on how alternative
> *open content* licenses relate to one another or relate to the Creative
> Commons Framework. I have looked around but can not find any information
> on this topic. I have located a few descriptive reviews but none that
> articulate what *open content* license is compatible with which.
> Does anyone have information or a matrix that explains or shows,
> respectively, how various *open content* licenses relate to one another?
> Any feedback on any of the issues raised would be greatly appreciated.
> *A point of clarification*
> I am focusing this enquiry on *open content* not open source software,
> open data or open standards. I am aware of some papers comparing open
> source software but these do not address this issues articulated above.

Cheers Simon

    Simon Cropper
    Principal Consultant
    Botanicus Australia Pty Ltd
    PO Box 160, Sunshine, VIC
    W: www.botanicusaustralia.com.au
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