[cc-licenses] Version 3.0 - Public Discussion

Mia Garlick mia at creativecommons.org
Wed Aug 9 17:21:46 EDT 2006

# Public Discussion of Version 3.0 Launched:

As was mentioned a little while ago (http://lists.ibiblio.org/ 
pipermail/cc-licenses/2006-May/003557.html), we are looking to move  
ahead with versioning the CC licenses up to version 3.0 to improve  
the clarity of the terms of the licenses and to address some concerns  
of one of our first and very prominent license adopters — MIT, with  
their OpenCourseWare project (http://ocw.mit.edu/), and to also take  
on board the concerns of the Debian group about the clarity of some  
provisions of our licenses.

# New US and "generic" license

Another big feature of version 3.0 is that we will be spinning off  
what has been called the "generic" license to now be the US license  
and have crafted a new "generic" license that is based on the  
language of international IP treaties and takes effect according to  
the national implementation of those treaties.  This may only be  
something that gets IP lawyers excited but I thought it might be good  
to share this draft with the community as well in order to ensure  
full transparency and in case people were interested and/or had any  

# Anti-DRM language - possible parallel distribution language

Finally, there has been much discussion - preparatory to releasing  
these drafts to the public - about whether to amend the CC licenses  
to include a "parallel distribution" amendment to the existing "anti- 
DRM" (or more correctly an "anti-TPM" (technological protection  
measures)) clause of the CC licenses.  As you probably now, the  
existing clause of the Creative Commons licenses states that:

"You [being the licensee, not the licensor] may not distribute,  
publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the  
Work with any technological measures that control access or use of  
the Work in a manner inconsistent with the terms of this License  

As you can see from the drafts below, version 3.0 includes amendments  
designed to make this language clearer.  But there are some in the  
Debian community that feel that this renders the CC licenses  
inconsistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (http:// 
www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines) (although the group has  
deemed the FDL, which has similar if not stronger "anti-DRM" language  
in it, DFSG-free http://www.debian.org/News/2006/20060316) and that  
if CC introduces parallel distribution language we could achieve both  
freedom of content and freedom to code for open and closed systems  
(see this discussion for an explanation of the reasoning behind  
allowing TPMs on free content: http://evan.prodromou.name/ 
Free_content_and_DRM). The parallel distribution provision  
essentially says that a licensee can apply a technological protection  
measure to content only if they also release the content in an  
unrestricted format.

However, our international affiliates (http://creativecommons.org/ 
worldwide), as well as others in our community, are strongly opposed  
to the introduction of this amendment for various reasons, including:  
(1) lack of demonstrated use cases showing a strong need among CC  
licensees for this kind of an exception to the existing "anti-TPM"  
language; (2) risks of unduly complicating the licenses which defeats  
alot of the point of CC licenses being to be simple and easy to use  
and understand; and, (3) the strong opposition to technological  
protection measures by many in the CC community generally.

Consequently, CC is currently not proposing to include this new  
parallel distribution language as part of version 3.0; however,  
because it is not clear whether the Debian community will declare the  
CC licenses DFSG-free without it and because it represents an  
interesting proposal, we felt that it was appropriate to circulate  
the proposal as part of the public discussions of version 3.0.

The discussion about version 3.0 will occur on this cc-licenses list.

Below are drafts of the US v 3.0 license, the new "generic" v 3.0  
license and the parallel distribution language.

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