[cc-community] Rant about CC licenses

Eric Hellman eric at hellman.net
Thu Dec 19 08:42:56 EST 2013

In the context of ebooks, we store the license and effective date in themetadata section of the "package document" of an epub, as is more or less standard for ebooks. But it could certainly be better.

Eric Hellman
President, Gluejar.Inc.
Founder, Unglue.it https://unglue.it/
twitter: @gluejar

On Dec 18, 2013, at 7:47 PM, Mitar <mmitar at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi!
> On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 8:46 PM, Eric Hellman <eric at hellman.net> wrote:
>> Just to be clear, in this program (to launch in 2014), there is no uncertain event. Each copy of the book has an fixed date at which it becomes CC. Obviously we need work on the explanation/documentation.
> What about how to store this in metadata? So CC licenses are currently
> still pretty bad with machine support. (Even Lessig commented on that
> in Buenos Aires.) Please do not forget about that.
> Mitar
>> Also,  the replaced license is not a CC license; there's no revocation. I agree that ail a CC license, the dated license would need to be an additional option for the licensee.
>> On Dec 18, 2013, at 12:39 PM, Engel Nyst <engel.nyst at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 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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> -- 
> http://mitar.tnode.com/
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