[cc-licenses] Creative Commons & Copyleft question?

Peter Brink peter.brink at brinkdata.se
Wed Aug 30 16:24:45 EDT 2006

Charles Iliya Krempeaux skrev:
> As you said, not according to the law.  But (to be blunt)... so what?!  So
> what if the law defines it (or redefined it) that way
> When I speak I use the definition of words (like "derivative" and
> "collective work") that are in my head.  This definition is usually similar
> to the definition of my friends, colleagues, co-workers, and others I
> associate with.  I learn definitions through various means from those I do
> or have associated with and through materials I can learn from.
> We have things like dictionaries to help people who do not associate with
> each other communicate with each other by keeping people's definitions of
> the same words similar.
> If the law said "2 plus 2 makes 5", I'd still think "2 plus 2 makes 4".
> To me, it seems obvious all "collective works" are "derivatives" based on
> how I've learnt "collective works" and "derivatives" to be defined.
> Now, having said that, when writing something like a license, I can see 
> that
> one is compelled to use the language and definitions as given in the law.

It might be worthwhile to realise that laymen (i.e. non-lawyers) are not 
the intended audience of the license text, lawyers are. In the end, if 
there's a dispute over how to understand the license, legal 
professionals are the one's who will be called upon to arbitrate the 
conflict. And they will read the license using the legal language they 
have been trained to use. If there's a concept called "derivative work" 
in the license, then everyone will assume that it's the concept used in 
copyright law that's intended.

Trying to rewrite the central concepts of copyright law would, IMO, 
weaken the license, making it less defendable in court.

/Peter Brink

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