[cc-licenses] Comments on List Discussion Responses Document

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Fri Oct 6 18:25:00 EDT 2006

Mia -

Some responses to your excellent responses. My apologies for not sending 
these sooner.

Numbers refer to lines/sections from the PDF.


I am concerned that projects and business models will be based on the 
two possible interpretations if the license allows both to be drawn, and 
that this will cause problems far worse than the divergent NC 
interpretations. Dual distribution should therefore be specifically 
prohibited or allowed if the current language allows room for 


There are Free Software operating systems available for installation on 
most of the systems we have discussed. Developers who are interested in 
Freedom can use those.

That said, an easily conceivable case is that proprietary software 
developers might want to use a CC-BY texture image or sound effect in 
their DRM-covered game. Since BY allows derivatives to be all rights 
reserved, if the game is a derivative DRM should be allowed in this 
instance. I believe that this is true of any *derivatives* of BY work, 
but see 10 below.

It would be very bad if Debian decided that BY is 'Free' by their 
definition but that BY-SA is not.


PSPs can play non-DRM music and video quite happily and have a built-in 
web browser that can read HTML and other formats for textual and 
graphical work. PSP users are therefore not at the mercy of their 
vendor's DRM for "software" other than binary executable computer 
programs and so CC licenses are not a restriction for them.


Source code should not be under a CC license. If the code is GPL this is 
a breach of the license (by virtue of the privacy not the DRM), if it's 
BSD it is not.


All the CC licenses allow at least noncommercial copying of 
untransformed works. DRM can affect a recipient's ability to do this. It 
may therefore be important to differentiate between original and 
derivative works when discussing whether DRM can be applied to non-SA work.


If I receive the DRM (or non-DRM) version and decide later to 
re-distribute it but cannot find the other version (let's say the 
company has folded or the artist has faded into obscurity), how can I 
re-distribute the work?

- If I have to provide a non-DRM version but cannot, this is going to be 
a problem.

- If I can just redistribute the DRM version, this will be a problem 
much sooner.


Identifying changes is fair on the original author and may help with 
Moral Rights issues around mis-attribution of work. The labeling of 
changes is a permitted requirement under the DFSG IIRC. It is touched on 
by the FDL's requirement that derivative works have different titles. 
And the GPL version 3 drafts allow identifying modified versions as an 
additional requirement.


The interaction of moral rights with Free licenses is an untried area as 
far as I know, and will be unavoidable in jurisdictions where you cannot 
waive your moral rights (such as Germany). So this clause levels the 
playing field for moral rights under CC licenses internationally, 
avoiding any expoits that might be possible by moving work from strong 
moral rights jurisdictions to weak moral rights jurisdictions.


A "no endorsement" clause also answers one of the BBC Creative Archive's 
concerns, their CC-incompatible license based on NC-SA was drafted in 
part to include one. This change is therefore useful for those of us 
lobbying the Creative Archive to use a Creative Commons license.

Non-endorsement is also included in the FDL with its requirement of the 
removal of endorsement sections in derivative works, and in the GPL 3 
drafts as a permitted license extension.


I thought the Japanese license enumerated all (or at least many) legally 
conceivable transformations and modifications to simulate the concept of 


This was an unintentionally silly question on my part. Sorry about that.


This being the case should this section also refer to cinematographic 
and phonographic works to make it clear that derivation or copying 
between different media is explicitly permitted (by those licenses that 
do allow this)? Or does this section absolutely only refer to rights 
over literary and artistic works?


I forgot about the other treaties. Sorry about that.


After writing the comment that you address here I actually spoke to a 
local Free Culture group that includes circus skills in its workshops.


My comment was not made due to an aversion to US phraseology, and I 
personally much prefer Fair Use to Fair Dealing. It would just be 
convenient for those of us in Fair Dealing jurisdictions to have Fair 
Dealing explicitly mentioned. As with a clause saying "you can only 
license work that you hold the rights to" it would be legally redundant 
but socially useful.


It is a shame that it is not possible to allow DRM technology but not 
DRM law in this way.


As Andres has pointed out this does not seem to have the effect claimed 
and is indeed an artifact of Scottish law.

- Rob.

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