[cc-community] Rant about CC licenses

Engel Nyst engel.nyst at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 12:39:52 EST 2013

On 12/18/2013 04:34 PM, Eric Hellman wrote:
> Engel,
> The language came from my lawyer; I had a similar reaction as you
> did, but legal language is not my field. I'd be very interested to
> hear other opinions!
> My understanding is that any of the CC licenses depend for their
> force on the licensee being able to document the proper conveyance of
> the license, which is problematic if they have not been conveyed the
> license by the rights holder. So in practice, there's not so much
> difference. At least until we get some cryptographic signing
> conventions in place.

I didn't intend to suggest there is a (soluble) problem for unglue.it.
There is an /uncertain/ future event, which licensing terms depend upon.
What's more, the event depends on someone (unglue.it at least) deciding
when the target is met, a licensee cannot know by themselves when it
happens. Not on their own, anyway. I think it makes sense there has to
be an additional release under a CC license. I don't see how one could
bake in such complex terms into a single license.

What matter here, seem to be a) the terms on the work licensees receive
(if they receive it before target is met), b) the contract between
unglue.it and authors/publishers, c) the terms between unglue.it and
readers who pledge, d) the terms prior licensees and future licensees
get on the work after the target is met.
I'm not sure from which of these is the snippet example taken, it looks
like a), perhaps c), part of d).

On the other hand, the CC-X idea depends on a /certain/ future event,
and a simple event, too. Every licensee can establish when the time,
marked clearly, has passed. What's more, the work is already under CC
licenses, so, IMHO, there isn't that much practical difference for what
people can do, between them and CC0. People who aren't sure or don't
check if it's CC0 can just use it under the older terms.


~ "Excuse me, Professor Lessig, but may I ask you to sign this CLA, so 
that we have legally your permission to distribute your CC-licensed words?"

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