Glenn Otis Brown glenn at creativecommons.org
Tue May 25 20:28:04 EDT 2004

Some of you are already on this, of course. Here's our post from today
explaining the changes.


Announcing (and explaining) our new 2.0 licenses
Glenn Otis Brown

Last night, after many months of gathering and processing great 
feedback[1] from all of you[2], we turned on version 2.0 of the main 
Creative Commons licenses. The 2.0 licenses are very similar to the 
1.0 licenses -- in aim, in structure, and, by and large, in the text 
itself. We've included, however, a few key improvements, thanks to 
your input. A quick list of new features follows. All section numbers 
refer to the Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 2.0[3] license. 
(Corresponding section numbers may vary across licenses.)

***Attribution comes standard

Our web stats indicate that 97-98% of you choose Attribution, so we 
decided to drop Attribution as a choice from our license menu[4] -- 
it's now standard. This reduces the number of licenses from eleven 
possible to six and makes the license selection user interface that 
much simpler. Important to remember: Attribution can always be 
disavowed upon licensor request, and pseudonymous and anonymous 
authorship are always options for a licensor, as before. If we see a 
huge uprising against the attribution-as-stock-feature, we'll 
certainly consider bringing it back as an option.

***Link-back attribution clarified

Version 1.0 licenses did not carry any requirements to add hyperlinks 
as attribution. Under the 2.0 licenses, a licensor may require that 
licensees, to fulfill their attribution requirement, provide a link 
back to the licensor's work. Three conditions must be satisfied, 
though, before a licensee faces the linkback requirement: (1) linking 
back must be "reasonably practicable" -- you can't string me up for 
failing to link to a dead page, for example; (2) the licensor must 
specify a URL -- if you don't provide one specifically, I have no 
linkback obligation; (3) the link licensor provides must point to the 
copyright and licensing notice of the CC'd work -- in other words, 
licensors who abuse the linkback as an engine for traffic to unrelated 
sites don't enjoy linkback rights.

***Synch rights clarified

The new licenses clarify when licensees may or may not synchronize 
musical CC'd works in timed-relation with a moving image. Basically, 
if a license allows derivatives, it allows the synching of music to 
video. If no derivs, no synching allowed. (See Section 1b[5].)

***Other music-specific rights clarified

The default rules for music-related copyrights can be particularly 
complicated, and the 2.0 licenses go to greater length to clarify how 
various CC license options affect music rights. In a nutshell: If you 
pick the "noncommercial" provision, you retain the right to collect 
royalties from BMI, ASCAP, or the equivalent for performance 
royalties; from Harry Fox or the equivalent for mechanicals; and from 
SoundExchange or the equivalent for webcasting compulsories. If you 
allow commercial re-use, you waive the exclusive rights to collect 
these various revenue streams. This is not a departure from the policy 
embodied in the 1.0 licenses -- these same results would be 
extrapolated by any reasonable interpretation. But 2.0 just makes it 
all clearer, and using the language of the profession. (See Sections 
4e and 4f[6].) Note: This music-specific language marks the first time 
we've referred to any specific statutes in the generic CC licenses. 
This means that future iCommons licenses will have to do the same 
somewhat complicated mapping exercise for each respective 

***Warranties? Up to licensors

Unlike the 1.0 licenses, the 2.0 licenses include language that makes 
clear that licensors' disclaim warranties of title, merchantibility, 
fitness, etc. As readers of this blog know by now, the decision to 
drop warranties as a standard feature of the licenses was a source of 
much organizational soul-searching and analytical thinking for us. 
Ultimately we were swayed by a two key factors: (1) Our peers, most 
notably, Karl Lenz[7], Dan Bricklin[8], and MIT[9]. (2) The 
realization that licensors could sell warranties to risk-averse, 
high-exposure licensees interested in the due diligence paper trial, 
thereby creating nice CC business model. (See the Prelinger Archive
[10] for a great example of this free/fee, as-is/warranty approach.) 
You can find extensive discussion of this issue[11] in previous posts 
on this blog. (See Section 5[12].)

***Share Alike Across Borders

Version 2.0 licenses that feature the Share Alike requirement now 
clarify that derivatives may be re-published under one of three types 
of licenses: (1) the exact same license as the original work; (2) a 
later version of the same license as the original work; (3) an 
iCommons license that contains the same license elements as the 
original work (e.g. BY-SA-NC, as defined in Section 1[13] of each 
license). The version 1.0 licenses required that derivative be 
published under the *exact same license* only. Our tweak means much 
better compatibility across future jurisdiction-specific licenses and, 
going forward, across versions. Less forking, more fun. (See Section 

***Otherwise, Share Alike Means Share Alike

After much very strong and eloquent argument from our readers and 
supporters, and notwithstanding the increased flexibility of Share 
Alike in the iCommons context, we decided *not* to make the BY-NC-SA 
and plain BY-SA licenses compatible. If you take a work under BY-NC-SA 
2.0 and make something new from it, for example, you can re-publish 
under BY-NC-SA Japan, or BY-NC-SA 7.4 (when that comes), but you 
cannot republish it under any other license or combine it with BY-SA 
content. Similarly, a derivative made from a work under BY-SA 2.0 may 
be published only under BY-SA 2.0, BY-SA (iCommons license), or BY-SA 
9.1, but it can't be mixed with BY-NC-SA or other noncommercial 
content and republished.

***Nifty new Some Rights Reserved button

Check out the button at the bottom of this page. Wouldn't that look 
good on your site? Time for an upgrade, cosmetic as well as legal?_

[1] http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/ 
[2] http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/3981 
[3] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode 
[4] http://creativecommons.org/license/ 
[5] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode 
[6] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode 
[7] http://k.lenz.name/LB/ 
[8] http://www.bricklin.com/ 
[9] http://www.mit.edu/ 
[10] http://www.prelinger.com/prelarch.html 
[11] http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/3681 
[12] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode 
[13] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode 
[14] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode 
Glenn Otis Brown
Executive Director
Creative Commons
glenn at creativecommons.org
+1.650.723.7572 (telephone)
+1.415.336.1433 (mobile)

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