[cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0

Mike Linksvayer ml at creativecommons.org
Thu May 18 13:00:21 EDT 2006

On Thu, 2006-05-18 at 15:42 +0000, Terry Hancock wrote:
> Mike Linksvayer wrote:
> >"Founder's Copyright" was thought to require a contract between a trusted
> >organization and the copyright holder, another beast entirely.
> >  
> Hmm. I think this probably means that it is currently designed
> rather differently than I imagine it to be.  Surely, just implementing
> a license conversion delay would achieve the same effect for
> less trouble?

You may be right.

> (Is it really necessary for works to go into the Public
> Domain to be considered "free"?).

Let's not talk about that.

> >There should be no need to add additional modules to the licenses
> >themselves to effect delayed licensing.  Just say that the license is only
> >offered after yyy.mm.dd.
> >  
> >
> Yes, in principle, but in practice, it can get pretty complicated:
> "This work is licensed under the Creative Commons 'By-NC-ND' license
> available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5 until 
> 2007-10-01
> after which it will be licensed under the Creative Commons 'By' license,
> available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5."
> That's getting a bit long to fit into an MP3 meta tag.  Which is basically
> the use-case for CC licenses: "ease of application".

I wouldn't recommend putting this in an ID3 tag in any case.  ID3 tags
are always suspect.  The information should be on the web.

> Also, the wording has to be right. We already need to be pretty specific,
> because we have a license changing from one CC license to another on
> a specific schedule.
> It is useful, I think, primarily for resolving these "non-free" issues, 
> and may
> need even be desireable for (e.g.) removing copyleft.
> Yet, the "license grant mechanism" (as above) requires this to be quite
> specific.  It is of course, the most flexible mechanism, but that's 
> precisely
> its problem -- it doesn't  provide much guidance as a result.  I think 
> elevating
> it to license module status would help with that.

I doubt it.  Even if it did the added complexity in the licenses, for
which the normal use case is not delayed, would not be worthwhile.

> If I read carefully what you actually wrote, above, for example, then I 
> would
> find that the explicit wording would really have to read:
> "This work is copyrighted 2006-10-01; all rights reserved. After 
> 2007-10-1, it
> may be distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons 'By' license,
> available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5"
> Your example, BTW:
> >Prodigem (a bittorrent hosting service) has been doing this for awhile,
> >e.g.,
> >http://www.prodigem.com/copyright_plus_prodigem/by-nc-nd/2.0/20060516
> >
> >  
> >
> Demonstrates one reason why I think guidance is desireable. It actually
> does almost the opposite of the Founder's Copyright, by preserving the
> non-free terms indefinitely (i.e. for the full duration of legal copyright).
> *My* point was to have something start out with NC/ND clauses and then
> lose them (but keep By or SA) after a specified time-release.  By choosing
> to bless a particular delayed-release scheme by making it into a module,
> CC could promote that scheme, and encourage a particular "best practice".

Remove "-nc-nd" in the URL above then.

> My particular scheme would have specific CC/free-culture friendly goals:
> 1) it would encourage license-compatibility and reduce "license 
> proliferation"
> 2) it would merge currently disjunct "commonses", thus preserving the idea
>     of CC as an organization for promoting a "digital commons"
> 3) it would mollify existing political tensions between artists who feel 
> that
>     NC and/or ND clauses are necessary for their business models and 
> free-culture
>     advocates who want to see a more robust commons (and they are often
>     the same people, so it reduces internal conflict as well)
> Also, I should like to point out that 'you can do this with the license 
> grant'
> is of course, technically true for *any* license terms -- you don't 
> *need* CC
> licenses at all!  But as a practical convenience, and as a means of creating
> branding around particular licensing practices, the modules are very
> useful.  I would characterize that as the whole raison d'etre for CC, in 
> fact.

Maybe this could be done without touching the legalcode, e.g., after
selecting a restrictive license, a user could be asked if they'd like to
release under a less restrictive license in N years.  If so they're
given the appropriate notice.


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