[cc-licenses] newbie question on Creative CommonLicense: Licensor Warranty of Rights Ownership?

Sincaglia, Nicolas nsincaglia at musicnow.com
Fri Mar 24 12:17:01 EST 2006

On a related note to this warranty issue, I would like to see the
Creative Commons be more active in promoting responsible licensing with
their licenses. By this I mean they should help educate the person who
is considering licensing work under a CC license to help down stream
users of the work avoid any one of the many intellectual property legal
pitfalls that could come up.

Currently on the CC website there are tools to help you select a
license. Just recently Mia sent out the "Proposed Best Practice
Guidelines To clarify The Meaning of "NonCommercial" in the Creative
Commons" Document. That also could be put in web based tool that could
step the users of a work through clarification process to make it clear
to them if they are commercial or noncommercial. 

I envision a 3rd tool to help creators decide if they really should
license their works under the CC license. The tool would ask owner of
the work questions about the work and bring up intellectual property
issues that could negatively affect other down stream users of this
work. Developing the concept of the Creative Commonist 'good citizen',
if you will. A good commonist citizen is a person who does not put down
stream users of the licensed work in harms way.

Here is an example of what the tool might ask:
Q: What kind of work are you considering licensing?
1. Text
2. Sound Recording
3. Photograph
4. Motion Picture

Let's say the user picks 3. Photograph. The tool would ask a question
about the work.
Q: Is this photograph of someone famous?
1. Yes
2. No

If the user selects 1. Yes, the application would provide some
information about how there are issues to consider about the right of
publicity for some people and suggest that if you still decide to
license this work under a CC license you should make it known that this
image contains a famous person's image and down stream users will want
to know this so they don't make the mistake of using the image for
marketing one of their products.

This tool could output your answers to these questions on the screen so
you could copy them and put them in a text file to accompany your work
if any warnings were presented so you can let the down stream users
You can imagine this tool would be very helpful for sound recordings as
well. Q: Is this sound recording of your own original music composition?
Q: Does this sound recording contain any samples that are not copyright
cleared for further licensing? Q: Is this song a parody of another song?

As a potential down stream user of a CC work, I am concerned that I may
not be able to recognize that the work contains subject matter or is
constructed with materials that can cause me legal problems later on. 

The Creative Commons suggests that these licenses help reduce the need
to for lawyers when licensing your works. The problem I see is that CC
licenses are built on top of current IP law and IP law is COMPLICATED!
So unless licensor understand or becomes aware of the many nuances of IP
law, it is unlikely they will understand the full implications of these
licenses have on them and the public, for whom they are licensing them

Since the warranty clause is not coming back, I am hoping to see an
effort like this be considered. I think it would ease the concerns of
down stream users and ultimately increase the adoption of works licensed
under these licenses.


-----Original Message-----
From: cc-licenses-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:cc-licenses-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Evan
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 9:19 AM
To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts
Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] newbie question on Creative CommonLicense:
Licensor Warranty of Rights Ownership?

On Fri, Mar 24, 2006 at 10:34:24AM +0000, rob at robmyers.org wrote:

> There is a difference between offering a warranty (which was in 1.0
> is a bad idea)

I just want to note that not everyone thinks it was a bad idea. I
think it's great, and I like this kind of clause in Open Source

It's still entirely possible to use 1.0 licenses, and if you want that
kind of warranty provision, it's right now the only bet. Unless you
need something from the 2.0 or 2.5 licenses (like, say, group
attribution), I'd say use the 1.0 Attribution-ShareAlike.


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