[cc-community] CC 4.0 and the GNU GPL

Christopher Allan Webber cwebber at creativecommons.org
Thu May 31 16:51:28 EDT 2012

Hi all... to revive a thread that's been quiet publicly (but not
privately) for some time:

Brett Smith <brett at fsf.org> writes:
>> How receptive generally might be the FSF to working on GPL
>> compatibility?  (Is the case made for compatibility rationale
>> compelling enough?)
> Very receptive.  Some of the toughest questions I deal with in my job
> pertain to license interactions in cases like you describe, where a
> piece of software is under the GPL and associated materials under
> another, often CC BY or CC BY-SA.  Being able to simplify the answers to
> those questions would be very worthwhile.

There haven't been any updates on this in a while, but I wanted to
inform that there is work being done to try and move this forward.
Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation (with the assistance
of the Software Freedom Law Center as counsel) are working together
and are doing our best to explore this as a serious possibility.

As license stewards of CC licenses and the GNU GPL respectively, we wanted
to make clear that both Creative Commons and the Free Software
Foundation think this is an important issue and worth persuing.  Both
of our organiztions agree that license interoperability, especially
amongst copyleft licenses, is an important goal.

At the moment, the general plan is to try to explore both CC BY and CC
BY-SA one-way compatibility with the GNU GPL, aiming for direct
compatibility of terms (think Apache 2.0 and GNU GPL compatibility) with
CC BY, and compatibility between CC BY-SA and the GNU GPL via optional
relicensing (think MPL 2.0 and GNU GPL compatibility).  We are still
exploring possibilities, however.

Thanks for your interest, we will try to keep this conversation
updated as we move along.
 - Chris

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