Peter Prohaska pitrp at wg78.de
Wed May 26 08:54:42 EDT 2004


On Wed, May 26, 2004 at 11:03:19AM +0100, Rob Myers wrote:
> On Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at 10:42AM, Peter Prohaska <pitrp at wg78.de> wrote:
> >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.

Of course that is the idea behind it.
The difference between a license allowing relicenscing under a newer
version of the same license and the case where you allow redistribution
under similar licenses is implied trust to an organisation or person.

1. Case with newer versions allowed implies:
   - I once and forever herby trust the authors / maintainers (and
     whoever they will be in the future) of this license.
   - I ultimately agree with their decisions

2. Case where i allow redistribution under "compatible" licenses:
   - I recognize that relicensing might be a reasonable action to take
     place in the future and therby allow it as long as the idea of the
     current license is not violated.
   - If you really want to be sure, you have to ask me for permission
     and that is because i refuse to agree with anything that will turn
     up in the future without having seen it and decided about my
     position then.

Practically, the problem is whom you trust. In the first case, you
accept the risc of giving ultimate trust to someone you don't even know.
This probably eases the case of relicensing on the user's side.
On the other hand, if the license requires derivative work to be
released under the same license terms, you require the "derivator" to
also put ultimate trust into that same third party.

In the second case, you trust only yourself ultimately and put the
burdon on the user to decide wether he trusts you and your intentions
enough to relicense under a newer version of the license without asking.
If you fear that you get too many relicensing requests, you could still
publish a note in a publically accessible place that you consider
relicensing under licences x, y and z appropriate and allow it without
explicite request from the time of writing on.

Actually, these strategies have also a lot of influence on how
information flows. In case (1) people check a central authoritative side
and decide about what to do. In case (2) someone might ask you for
approval of a new license and you might benifit by realising that a
problem exists while you might have overlooked it in case (1) because of

> 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)?

AFAIK, No. (unless not including such a clause counts ;)
That is exactly why i do not like such licenses very much. I prefer to
know exactly what license i use und replace it "the hard way" if it really
becommes necessary. Maybe i'm a bit paranoid, but people change and i
don't put ultimate trust in someone (i do not even know) happily.

> "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.

Absolutely. S.o.

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

Well... point of view. The process is always replacing a license. Since
the GPL is compatible with itself via the "further versions" clause, it
boils down to the same problem IMHO.

> >> 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". :-) 

FAIK. Yes, it is possible. What should prevent it from beeing legal? You
explicitly allowed it in you licence (2.0 in the example).

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/attachments/20040526/f5cfad26/attachment.bin 

More information about the cc-licenses mailing list