Downstream relicensing

drew Roberts zotz at
Mon Mar 7 16:17:56 EST 2005

On Monday 07 March 2005 12:49 pm, Todd A. Jacobs wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 07, 2005 at 10:35:10AM -0500, Greg London wrote:
> > You cannot license a derivative with fewer restrictions than the
> > original author gave out in the original license, because you don't
> > ahve those rights to give out.
> That's not entirely true. If you license something BY-NC, and I create a
> derivative, I can certainly license my derivative as BY, BY-NC, BY-ND,
> or even BY-NC-SA. I could also use the derivative commercially, since it
> is *not* the non-commercial original work, but an allowable derivative
> under the license.
> I'm not a copyright lawyer, but my understanding is that *I* would own
> all rights not held by the original author in any properly-licensed
> derivative, and could therefore submit *my* derivative into the public
> domain--just not the parent work. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to
> do so, and I think a court would have a field day parsing both works to
> determine if they were sufficiently differentiated so as to avoid
> submitting substantial amounts of the original in violation of the
> license, but I'm reasonably confident that the *theory*, if not the
> practice, is allowable under a non-SA license.
> So, yes: you *can* license downstream works under both more-open as well
> as more-restrictive licenses, unless ShareAlike has been designated.
> That's why I think judicious use of SA is critical to the widespread
> acceptance of CC licenses.

Since I like SA for my original works and, so far, I have bot built on the 
works of others, I have not considered these issues.

I think the relicensing matrix that was mentioned earlier is looking more 

Or an acceptable license for works built from works licensed with X listed on 
every page for license X.

all the best,


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