[cc-licenses] Creative Commons & Copyleft question?

Sincaglia, Nicolas nsincaglia at musicnow.com
Tue Aug 29 00:08:38 EDT 2006

CC licenses are built on top of existing copyright law. So one needs to
look to copyright law resources to define collective works and
derivative works. If it still does not seem clear, well....that is why
we have lawyers. :-)


DERIVATIVE WORK - A work based upon one or more preexisting works, such
as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization,
motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment,
condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast,
transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions,
annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole,
represent an original work of authorship, is a 'derivative work'. 17

Based on the above definition, I don't think aggregations are considered





From: cc-licenses-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:cc-licenses-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Charles
Iliya Krempeaux
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2006 10:33 PM
To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts
Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Creative Commons & Copyleft question?


Hello Greg,

On 8/28/06, Greg London <email at greglondon.com> wrote:

> if an image or video is made copylefted by
> licensing it under the Creative Commons BY-SA
> license, then if a webpage were to embed such
> an image or video, then would it (the web page)
> become copylefted too? 

As others have said: no. Because the webpage would
be a collective work, not a derived work.

> To be honest I'd prefer if both situations existed.
> I.e., if there was a Creative Commons license that 
> was like the GNU GPL and if there were a Creative
> Commons license like the GNU LGPL, with respect to
> embedding.

Embedding is really aggregating. and aggregating
is nothing more than putting what could be completely 
unrelated works next to each other.

Feel free to correct me if you see a problem with my reasoning. but....

This distinction you guys make between "derivative works" and
"aggregates" seems quite subjective. 

And, yes I know you guys have put alot of work into defining the what
you call a "derivative work" and what you call a "aggregate" in
legalese.  But it seems like a choice you guys made.

To me, all "aggregates" are "derivative works".

Just a note though... a copyleft license puts limits on what kinds of
"derivations" will cause the copyleft to proagate.  For example, the GNU
LGPL has more limits than the GNU GPL. 

But I'm arguing semantics.  And getting away from the my point....


	The LibraryGPL is based on derivative works,
	saying that basically, the work is copyleft,
	but you can link to it with proprietary works.
	Linking is creating a derivative work, not
	an aggregate or collective work. 

I'm not sure I'd agree with that.  The GNU LGPL puts more limits (than
the GNU GPL) on how copyleft can propagate through derivative works.  In
other words, with the GNU LGPL, there are less types of "derivations"
that would spread the copyleft (than the GNU GPL). 



	Using LGPL/GPL as a model, except applying it to
	aggragates, Creative Commons Share Alike, 
	CC-SA is like a CollectiveGPL, meaning the work
	is treated as copyleft, as are derivatives of the
	work, but you can aggregate it with proprietary works.

Correct me if I'm mistaken.  But I was under the impression that CC-SA
does NOT propagate, and thus is NOT copyleft. 

The ability for the copyleft (or whatever) to propagate is extremely


	If you say you can't even aggregate a copyleft work
	with anything else, then very strange things happen,
	not the least of which would mean that you couldn't
	distribute linux on a CD with anything other than
	GPL'ed code, you might need separate websites simply 
	to distribute GPL'ed works and non-GPLed works.
	If you want to get really extreme, one could always
	attempt to lobby for a copyleft license that requires
	that the work can only be -distributed- with copylefted 
	works, meaning you'd have to do some creative routing
	just to get the work from the server, through networks
	using only copylefted code, to your desktop.
	None of these restrictions would help the gift economy 
	project. And not having these restrictions do not expose
	the gift economy project to unfair competition from
	proprietary sources.

My interest is NOT in any "gift economy" experiments. 

I'm interested in liberty.  I believe that the enforcement of copyright
law is immoral.  I see copyleft as making the world as if copyright law
did NOT exist.   As a way of kind of opt'ing out of copyright law.

I see the spreading of copyleft (in the world we live in) to be a
preferred, because it undoes what copyright law forces upon me and

(NOTE: I am NOT trying to get into a political or philosophical
argument.  Just trying to explain my point-of-view.) 



	> For my particular usage, I could see a business model
	> (a way of making a living) established on copylefting 
	> works under a Creative Commons license like the GNU GPL,
	> ... where one would take advantage of other's reluctance
	> to license their own works under the same license.
	That might be an advantage for you, but such a license 
	would be harmful to the gift economy that created the
	work in the first place.

Again, I'm NOT interested in any kind of "gift economy" experiment.  (As
I explained above) I'm interested in liberty. 

If you think of it from the FOSS -- Free and Open Source Software --
point-of-view.  With that, there are 2 camps.  The "Free Software" camp.
And the "Open Source Software" camp.  (They often work together, but
they are NOT the same.) 

While the "Open Source Software" camp might be motivated in social
engineering experiments.  Saying that the Open Source methodology leads
to the development of better software....

The "Free Software' camp is interested in liberty.  From the "Free
Software" camp's point-of-view, if it all leads to better software
development practices, then great... but that's besides the point.  They
do it all for reasons of liberty.  That's it. 

I'm coming at the Creative Commons from the point-of-view of liberty
(just like the "Free Software" camp).

I want copyleft licenses that help me undo what copyright forces on me
and others.

Also, I believe that one can still (have a working business model and)
make a living in such a situation.  (The "Free Software" world already
has many success stories.)

I think we just need a Creative Commons Copyleft license with a bit
stronger terms for propagating the copyleft.  (A model similar to the
duo of the GNU GPL and the GNU LGPL seems good.) 

See ya

    Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.

    charles @ reptile.ca 
    supercanadian @ gmail.com

    developer weblog: http://ChangeLog.ca/
 Make Television

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