[cc-licenses] NonDerivative NonCommercial Licenses

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Thu Mar 30 07:57:58 EST 2006

On Thursday 30 March 2006 04:14 am, rob at robmyers.org wrote:
> Quoting Greg London <email at greglondon.com>:
> > Well, by "proprietary fork" or "commercial fork"
> > I mean someone is able to get more rights to the
> > work than is available to the gift economy project.
> There is no wall between Free Software and commerce. This may mean that
> Free Software is not a gift economy, although there is no wall between gift
> economies and commerce either (although the interactions can be
> problematic). But possibly Free Software is closer to a guild (Dave Berry)
> or a kind of ironised union (me).
> BSD code can easily be made proprietary. Ask Microsoft. So there are
> proprietary
> forks of Free Software.
> And there are examples of GPL projects being moved away from their
> commercial sponsors and *social* owners to the community that was
> previously around that project. So there are certainly a-commercial forks
> of commercial GPL projects.
> > There are, uhm, I'm not sure what you call them, er...
> > well, I'll just call them "content forks", which are
> > different than "proprietary forks". A content fork
> > means someone took the original content and created a
> > derivative that is distinct from the original, but is
> > still under the same license.
> This is a useful concept.

So, what types of fork are legally possible with a GPL or other pure copyleft 

1. Content fork, more normally known in the software world as a code fork.

2. Commercial fork where the content remains the same but someone else is 
trying to get the financial rewards from the content.

3. Anti-commercial fork, where the content remains the same, but someone is 
trying to remove costs of content aquisition. (Or for some other reason.)

4. A combination of 1 and (2 or 3) from above.

Any others possible?
> > The most obvious example
> > I can think of is the Linux desktop fork between
> > Gnome and KDE.

This is to Greg - how deep are you into the Free Software world?
> They are not literal forks, though. They relate historically, but then so
> do MacOS and Windows. Both are examples of competing projects rather than
> forks.
> The BSDs are the classic example of a content fork. The XFree86 fork is a
> good recent example.
> > Since you can prevent proprietary forks and commercial
> > forks with a license and since I know of no way to
> > prevent a content fork with a license (nor would I
> > really want to), when I'm talking about licenses and
> > forking in the same sentence, I probably mean proprietary or
> > commercial forking if I didn't specify.

CC prevents a content fork with the ND clause. I do agree that this is not a 
wanted outcome though and I would not want such a license either.

Again, Greg, I think you would cause less confusion by not equating 
proprietary and commercial.

It is tough to come up with proper language for the other side of Free 
Software if you want an accurate term other than non-Free Software though. 
(And by extension, Free Content and non-Free Content.)

Also, in fact, due to the difficulties with finding a reasonable working 
equivalent for the source requirement in Free Software (or at least the GPL 
software) I am not sure we really have found any pure copyleft license for 
content yet. (BY-SA is a long way towards one though.)

> There is no such thing as a "commercial" fork in the accepted sense of both
> words though.
> - Rob.
I don't know Rob, you could get commercial forks with two groups selling 
basically the same codebase but with different logos / trademarks and sales 
and support organizations. I know what you are getting at, but I think that 
would come close enough to deserve the term fork.

all the best,

Record a song and you might win $1,000.00

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