[cc-licenses] Creative Commons licenses cause a problem

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Mon Jun 5 13:03:38 EDT 2006

On Monday 05 June 2006 12:22 pm, Nancy Ide wrote:
> Creative Commons licenses are causing us a big problem.

I either don't understand what you are doing, or how the CC licenses could 
cause you a problem.
> We are creating a 100 million word corpus of American English texts
> produced since 1990 (the American National Corpus -- http://
> AmericanNationalCorpus.org), intended to be comparable to the British
> National Corpus of British English. We go to the web to find texts
> that can be included in the corpus

Are you talking all of those unmarked, but by default "all rights reserved" 
copyright texts out there in the wild?

If you can use those withoug contacting the copyright holders for permission, 
as a fair use, I would think you could apply the same fair use no matter what 
the license. (I am not a lawyer and that is a guess.)

> --especially fiction, but also 
> blogs and anything else we can find--often looking for Creative
> Commons licensed material. The problem is, the "default" CC license
> most authors choose includes "share-alike" and  "non-commercial use".
> These two restrictions make it impossible for us to include the data
> in the ANC, since (a) the ANC is used by publishers of dictionaries
> and English-as-a-second-language texts, who use the corpus to search
> for linguistic patterns and word usages, which is therefore a
> commercial use; and (b) the viral "share-alike" restriction means we
> have to let anyone else use the materials under the same license, and
> this would violate our strict usage requirements for researchers and
> commercial enterprises. Attribution, the other part of the default CC
> license, is not a problem for us, since information accompanying each
> text identifies the author and source.
> Our experience tells us that many authors would not only be willing
> to contribute their texts to the ANC, but would be happy to know that
> their prose is being used to develop the next generation of American
> English dictionaries and other reference materials. Furthermore, by
> far the largest body of users consists of linguists and computational
> linguists, the latter of which use the ANC to gather statistics about
> linguistic patterns. No one actually reads the corpus (most uses
> involve concordances showing sentences in which a given word, phrase,
> or linguistic construction appear), so there is nothing to lose in
> any case. The worst that could happen is that a sentence from a text
> might be used in a future dictionary as an example usage.
> Creative Commons licenses clearly don't cover a situation where the
> text may be used as a *research tool*, even if the goal is a
> commercial product. In fact, the structure of your information
> implicitly encourages the "attribution/share-alike/non-commercial"
> license.  Could there be a license or option that would provide for
> use as a linguistic resource?
> In any case, if anyone has thoughts on how to reach authors who might
> contribute material to the ANC, even if they do use the default CC
> license, we'd appreciate hearing them. We have an on-line mechanism
> for text contributions, with a license, etc. that makes contribution
> easy.
> Nancy Ide
> Technical Director, American National Corpus Project

all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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