[cc-licenses] Version 3.0 - Public Discussion

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Sat Aug 12 01:57:22 EDT 2006

I took a look at the license wording.

: You may not impose any technological measures on
: the Work that restrict the ability of a recipient
: of the Work from You to exercise the rights granted
: to them under the License.4

So, if the interpretation of this can be taken to mean
that someone cannot use technological measures to prevent
someone from exercising the right to "create derivative works",
then that means any forks taken behind DRM must be made
available. If the interpretaion of this can be taken to
mean that someone cannot use technological measures to
prevent someone from exercising the right to "copy" and
"distribute" the work on DRM hardware, then that means
that someone cannot use DRM-only hardware and the DMCA
to situate themselves as teh sole source of the open work
on that DRM-only hardware platform.

These are rather large "if"s. I believe these "if"s are
only true if one can take a rather wide interpretation
of "the rights granted them". A narrow interpretation
might say that someone can copy, distribute, and
create derivative works, just not on our DRM-only hardware

So, if the "if"s are true, then it should be fine.
If the "if"s are false, you're leaving a barn door open
that could be exploited down the road if someone chooses.

On a completely different topic:

I had to go back to Mia's original email to find the
wording for the new license and I noticed this little nugget:

: to address some concerns of one of our first and very
: prominent license adopters — MIT, with  their OpenCourseWare
: project (http://ocw.mit.edu/)

So I follow the link and discover that the "OpenCourseWare"
project is licensed not CC-SA as I would have expected,
but CC-NC-SA.

then I'm looking at the NonCommercial guidelines over here


And I'm wondering a couple of simultaneous things:

First, why is "OpenCourseWare" licensed with the worst possible
combination of CC licenses? NC-SA? Has anyone told these people
about the Open Source definiiton and the fact that they fail
miserably to meet that definition of "Open"?

Second, is the reason that it's been so f-ing unbelieveably,
bullet-in-my-brain painfully hard to define what "NonCommercial"
really is, is because CC had to twist the license to let their
"first and very prominent license adopters" define noncommercial
to mean exactly what they wanted it to mean?

Does CC-NonCommercial mean what people generally think of
noncommercial to mean? Or does CC-NC mean what MIT wanted
it to mean? Because the fact that the guidelines specifically
lists "Nonprofit educational institution/library" as an
allowable NC user (see A1b), and specifically allows money to
change hands for a CC-NC work if the recipient of the money
is an "educational institution" (see C2i)?

In hindsight, this does seem to explain a lot of old
conversations that occurred around the "education"
license and the seeming unrelated fiasco around the
definition of "noncommercial".

But maybe I'm just not being pragmatic enough.
There's probably sufficient inertia behind this
whole mess that it's too late to change anything now.

Screw it. Pull the trigger on 3.0.
It can't make things much worse.

Wikipedia and the Great Sneetches War

More information about the cc-licenses mailing list