[cc-licenses] [Cc-icommons] Wording issue about Commons Deed

Jedi Jedi at creativecommons.org.tw
Fri Mar 10 14:34:22 EST 2006

I see more danger in this future.

In case any additional specification make this "contract" valid and
won't violate CC licenses, one can makeup any CC license by using CC:by
license with lots of annotation. You may ask why one will want to do
this. Here is why:

Currently, all three search engines supported CC licensed content
(Google Advanced Search, Yahoo! CC Search Beta, and Nutch) use two
option to filter four different using context. When one select "find me
works I can use even for commercial purposes," let's take Google as an
example, search engines will in fact waive any result that contains
"NonCommerical" CC element, and "find me works I can modify, adapt, or
build upon" will waive any result that contains "NoDerivs" CC element. You
can see how Google implement this by watching its URI argument.

Says, there is an author Ali and his work "Artoo." Ali wanna release
"Artoo" under CC:by-nd-nc license. But Ali want to enhance Artoo's
PageRank in Google search engine as well as let more users see Artoo in
their search result. So Ali doesn't use Metadata of CC:by-nd-nc
directly; oppositely, he use Metadata of CC:by with lots of annotation
to makeup a equivalent contract to CC:by-nd-nc license.

Now, according to the "contract," what users can and can't do while
using Artoo is just like using other works which were licensed under
CC:by-nd-nc license. But when people search "artoo" from any
CC-supported search engine, even with "find me works I can use even for
commercial purposes" and "find me works I can modify, adapt, or build
upon" options, they will always get Ali's Artoo in their result.

Yes, it's all about SEO (Search Engine Optimize). And because of this
phantom menace, I believe that this already violate the spirit of CC. So
that, if possible, we'd better do something now to prevent future


> I think there are legal issues that we have to elaborate:
> CC licenses are contractual means to quasi-waive some of the copyright
> holder's rights.
> In Israel and in continental Europe the contract is what the sides see as a
> contract, even if it's different of the written one.
> In our case, thought, it's explicitly written that the author asks for the
> designation as a part of the contract.
> As I see it, anyone can write in his webpage, beside the link to the
> license, something like "This work is released under CC BY 2.0 License and
> in these conditions" and link to a page where he interprets concepts like:
> attribution, commercial use etc.
> Therefore, if the deed says "in the manner specified by the author" and the
> author didn't specify - it's the customary manner.
> If he did specify - his specifications are a part of the contract, the
> license, whether it's written in the CC license or the deed, whether it
> isn't.
> I think this issue is legally critical - mainly if contract law is different
> in some countries. Please do comment on my legal analysis.
> Elad
> _____________________________________________________
> Elad Wieder, Coordinator
> Haifa Center of Law & Technology
> Faculty of Law, University of Haifa
> Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
> Tel: +972-4-828-8569 Fax: +972-4-824-0681
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cc-icommons-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:cc-icommons-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Jedi
> Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 11:31 AM
> To: cc-icommons at lists.ibiblio.org
> Cc: CC Taiwan Mail Archive; Tyng-Ruey Chuang; hjw223 at ntu.edu.tw; emyleo;
> Jyh-An Lee; cc-licenses at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [Cc-icommons] Wording issue about Commons Deed
> Hi,
> Weeks ago, I have a discussion with Mike Linksvayer on IRC. I think that
> there currently is a wording issue on CC's commons deed webpages which may
> mislead users and make people a little confused.
> It's about the discription of CC's "Attribution" element. It was "You must
> give the original author credit" (please refer to http://0rz.net/2d19m ).
> After CC 2.5 licenses go, Mike told me, the words were modified to make them
> more general to cover both 2.0-and-before and 2.5-and-after CC licenses. So
> it is "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or
> licensor"
> now, on Commons Deed page of any version of CC licenses.
> Here are my points:
> 1. The Commons Deed is a summary of the key terms of the actual license
>    (which is the Legal Code). People think of it as the user-friendly
>    interface to the Legal Code beneath.
> 1.1. Although this Deed itself has no legal value, and its contents do
>      not appear in the actual license, Commons Deed should never violate
>      actual Legal Code behind it. That is, no over, no lack.
> (Point 1. and 1.1. please refer to http://0rz.net/3318N )
> 2. Main change from CC 2.0 to CC 2.5 is:
>    a) restrict users from removing "any reference to such Licensor or
>       the Original Author" (2.0) -> restrict users from removing "any
>       credit as required by clause 4(d)" (2.5)
>    b) in 2.5, clause 4(d) added "if the Original Author and/or Licensor
>       designate another party or parties (e.g. a sponsor institute,
>       publishing entity, journal) for attribution in Licensor's
>       copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means,
>       the name of such party or parties; ...." text.
> 2.1. In short, 2.5 have more specific methology about "Attribution" so
>      that users now must obey the manner specified by original
>      author/licensor. But 2.0 only require users to give original author
>      credit by conveying the name of the original author (or pseudonym,
>      if applicable).
> 2.2. So that "attribute the work in the manner specified by the author
>      or licensor" is overmuch accroding to the Legal Code of CC 2.0.
> 3. Says, there is two people, Ali and Bob. Ali released his work "Artoo"
>    under CC:by 2.0 license but also noted "...in order to attribute this
>    work, users have to designate publisher CoPix..." Now Bob is willing
>    to us Ali's work, "Artoo."
> 3.1. Although Ali specified a manner to attribute his work, Bob doesn't
>      have such duty to follow this manner, according to actual CC
>      license which "Artoo" is released under. However, the discription
>      of "Attribution" shown on Commons Deed of CC:by 2.0 may make Bob
>      think that he have to obey so.
> 3.2. Worse, Ali may misbelieve that all users have to obey this manner
>      when using a CC 2.0 license. He now may have a legal friction with
>      Bob in case Bob doesn't obey so.
> 3.3. Again, because of this misbelief, Ali and other authors don't have
>      any mind to push some on-line album service provider, Dlickr, to
>      upgrade its licensing mechanism which currently only provide CC 1.0
>      and 2.0 licenses for its users.
> You see, this is what may happen. I know it's a rare case. But I believe
> that prevention is better than repair. So I suggest that we rethink about
> the wording on Commons Deed, especially for "Attribution" of varied version
> of CC licenses.
> Best,
> /Jedi/
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