[cc-licenses] Version 3.0 - Public Discussion

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sat Aug 12 10:15:35 EDT 2006

On 12 Aug 2006, at 06:57, Greg London wrote:

> 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"?

"Open" is a, well, open term. You can call anything you like Open.  
They're not calling it OpenSourceCourseWare.

For reasons beyond the understanding of mere mortals, large  
educational institutions that you have to bankrupt yourself to attend  
believe that their use of work in exchange for money counts as non- 

> 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?

The draft NC guidelines, which I believe are very good, actually went  
against this definition.

If people hadn't gone all "what happens if a unicorn tries to use  
NC?" on its ass it would be a useful resource to discourage  
unintentional mis-use of NC by educational institutions.

I think the under-defined nature of NC predates MIT's use of the  
license. It comes from the fact that the definition of NonCommercial  
seems like it should be pretty obvious. It's just that the definition  
is obvious to different people in different ways. So CC haven't  
twisted anything here as far as I can see, and certianly not in favor  
of any stakeholders.

As far as I know the only bit of NC that does go against the *legal*  
definition of noncommercial is the permission for p2p sharing, which  
is defined as commercial use in the US. But this simply corrects a  
non-intuitive part of the law for end users.

- Rob.

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