Rob Myers robmyers at mac.com
Wed May 26 06:03:19 EDT 2004

On Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at 10:42AM, Peter Prohaska <pitrp at wg78.de> wrote:

>As far as i understand the process, the problem can only be fixed by
>getting rid of the old license.

It depends what the problem is (this is all theoretical, I admit).

>As soon as you have published content under one version of the license,
>you have no further influence on what happens to it. The only thing you
>can do is to republish your work under another license, so that as soon
>as you create a derivate of you own work, the old license cannot be used
>on the new portions.

But users can use it under any subsequent license, at their choice. So if there is a problem that affects their usage, this provision could be vital.

>Not "the major" issue of course, but an important little difference.

Sorry, I didn't mean to go all straw man there. :-)

>Concerning "to give their work to Microsoft": I would rather put it
>like "ease reuse of work without restrictions and live with the risc of

The only difficulty is when one wishes to misuse, and the only risk is of misuse.

>Sure, but the difficult question is what broken actually means. Take the
>now unavailable "by" clause as an example or the additions of the more
>music specific wordings... What if thos new additions break the license
>and i only licensed an image?

I am curious about that myself. Is there any protection, in the license or in law, against any future license claiming to be BY but not being BY? Or against the removal of a subsidiary clause like the representation (if that had been in 2.0)?

>The problem is that they can do with the downloaded content what they
>belive is right.  It is their right to download a new copy as it gets
>available or not. As soon as they downloaded it with a copyright notice,
>i cannot change this notice anyways.

This is not a problem: they can do what they want, within the terms of the license. If thsoe terms make it easier to avoid problems (by being allowed to upgrade the license), so much the better.

>> 2. Have the update happen automatically by the terms of the license.
>This is not what is going to happen. The only thing that happens is that
>they know that they may use a different license as soon as one appears,
>but the license will never change automatically. The only way to get
>this effect would be by enforcing to distibute the content _only_ under
>the latest version of the license at the time of plublication. But that
>is hard to achieve for a movie database i.e.

"Allow the user to update the license without the burden of further communication with the licensor" is a better description, then. If one wishes to avoid burdening the user, allowing them to use updated licenses removes a burden.

>> Changes need to be compatible, but they may be necessary, and when they are they need making effectively.
>Exactly. But isn't that a request for a clause that allows
>redistribution under a compatible/similar license?

I know the FSF has documentation on using GPL-ed work with other work:


(The last link is good for the BSD advertising clause conversation as well.)

I do think upgrading the license per se is a different issue from compatibility.

>> That said, could Fox buy CC and release a CC 3.0 that made all the work theirs? Or the FSF get bought by MS and have GPL 3.0 as a EULA? You could still use the 2.0 licenses, but is this a possibility even if only in the realm of FUD?
>A bizzare scenario, but i understand it like this:
>1. CC changes owner and becomes MadCC.
>2. ManCC releases CC 3.0 with a clause that everyone using the CC 3.0
>   thereby grants ManCC unrestricted usage rights.
>3. Every product that was was CC 2.0 _may_ be redistributed under CC 3.0
>4. ManCC can now redistribute any content that it can get hold of under
>   the CC 3.0 licencse and i.e. therby ship round an NC clause.

That's the one. Sorry to bring up such FUD, but is it possible? I mean "legally possible", not "ever going to happen". :-) 

- Rob.

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