[cc-community] CC-BY-SA for Jailhouse Lawyers?

Anne Fitzgerald am.fitzgerald at qut.edu.au
Mon Nov 21 22:18:32 EST 2011

I agree Puneet. The reality is that CC licences are built on copyright and make it much easier to navigate and negotiate than would otherwise be the case.  The summary versions of the licences are quite clear to most users.  In fact, I have had non-lawyer CC users quote back to me the definitions in the detailed Legal Code, which they have had no trouble understanding due to "plain English" style drafting.

In some jurisdictions, however, it may be the case that there is little general understanding of copyright concepts and principles.  The lack of background knowledge can be addressed by ensuring that there are fact sheets and guides, practical case studies and even online licensing tools that assist people to understand which licence they want to apply to their materials or what they can do with materials distributed by others.  See for example our fact sheets and "CC and Government" guide here http://eprints.qut.edu.au/38364/

This is the approach that we have taken in Australia and there seems to be quite a good knowledge of the licences and how to use them - and materials distributed under CC licences - throughout our country.  Having recently visited the extremes of our continent, from Tasmania in the far south (next stop Antarctica), to Cairns in the far north (on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef) to Alice Springs (in the red centre) we have found many CC users and an enthusiasm for CC licences.  (see our presentation slides here: http://www.aupsi.org/presentations/)  Across this vast area there is little (if any) teaching of copyright law, so the level of knowledge of copyright is non-expert.  Which, I think, goes some way towards indicating their broad acceptability among non-lawyers.

Professor Anne Fitzgerald
Creative Commons Australia
QUT Law Faculty
am.fitzgerald at qut.edu.au 

From: cc-community-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [cc-community-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Puneet Kishor [punkish at eidesis.org]
Sent: Tuesday, 22 November 2011 8:14 AM
To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [cc-community] CC-BY-SA for Jailhouse Lawyers?

On Nov 21, 2011, at 3:58 PM, Paul Houle wrote:

>      Every week I hear from people who are perplexed with what CC-BY-SA
> means.  This page
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

What is a typical expression of their perplexity?

>     might as well be rot13'd for the ability that ordinary people have
> to understand it.
>     Is there a web page anywhere that explains CC-BY-SA to ordinary people?

The above linked page is actually fairly clear to me: "Do whatever you like as long as you give me credit, and if you build something with my work, then you release that work under a CC-BY-SA license."

So, once again, what is the kind of incomprehension that you encounter?

Puneet Kishor
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cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org

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