Creative Commons Attribution license element

Evan Prodromou evan at
Wed Jun 9 04:17:45 EDT 2004

>>>>> "MR" == MJ Ray <mjr at> writes:

    >> a number of mix-and-match license elements (Attribution,
    >> ShareAlike, NonCommercial, NoDerivatives). So any CC license
    >> that would require Attribution would also fall under this
    >> analysis.

    MR> Do any SA/NC/ND licences not include attribution?

There were several 1.0 licenses that didn't include Attribution. See
the bottom of this page:

AFAICT, all of them have the revocation requirement. It's not
connected to the Attribution requirement, as I mistakenly stated.

    Me> This is not, of course, canonical for Debian, but it does
    Me> provide some suggestion that a group following guidelines
    Me> similar to ours don't see a serious problem with requiring
    Me> attribution.

    MR> I don't think OSI follows similar guidelines. [...]


    Me> 3) As for the trademark clause [...] If A grants B the rights
    Me> outlined in Attribution 1.0, no increase in trademark
    Me> restrictions by the third-party Creative Commons could revoke
    Me> those rights.

    MR> Can you explain this more? How is it compliance with the
    MR> licence not to obtain "prior written consent of Creative
    MR> Commons" before using their trademark in a normally-permitted
    MR> manner that is not "in compliance with Creative Commons'
    MR> then-current trademark usage guidelines" ?

I just don't think the second paragraph in the trademark box is
binding in any way. After all, Creative Commons (quite wisely) states
that it is not a party to the license. For what reason, then, should
either of the parties be bound by the excessive trademark restriction

I'm just having a hard time seeing the Tentacles of Evil scenario
here. I think the nightmare scenario is that Creative Commons becomes
evil or stupid and declares that noone can use the Creative Commons
trademark that scattered in various places throughout the
licenses. This would mean that if Alice had licensed Work to Bob, Bob
could not comply with the license by passing on license notification
to Charlie, since it includes the string "Creative Commons" in a
couple of places.

But I think Bob isn't bound by Evil Commons's decree in any way --
neither under trademark law, nor under copyright law, nor under the
license agreement. _Alice_ didn't Bob couldn't use the trademark; Evil
Commons did.

I agree that it might not be a good idea on CC's part to claim
privileges beyond trademark's standard requirements, but I don't think
it makes the licenses non-free.


Evan Prodromou
Email: evan at
Jabber: evan at

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