[cc-licenses] New Generic and ports

Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts cc-licenses at lists.ibiblio.org
Sat Oct 7 18:36:07 EDT 2006

Peter wrote:

> AFAIK if the work is merely distributed, then this would mean that the law of the licensor 
> would be chosen, but if the works has been adapted (or in any other way 
> heavily transformed) then the law of the licensee would be chosen.

When I've run into this issue --- which has been people wanting to 
translate my material into the local language --- my generic solution 
has been to use Babelfish to machine translate my content into that 
language, then slap the CC licence for that language/country onto the text.

The translator then goes to work, cleaning up the machine translation. 
Even though they refer to the English content, the work product is 
strictly under the localized CC Licence.  If there are any legal issues, 
the binding licence is the localized one, with the jurisdiction being 
that country. [The reason for the machine translation, is to minimize 
the number of English language documents with two or more licences.]

> Both of these strongly suggests, IMO, that it's the subjective opinion 
> of the licensor/copyrightholder that should govern the interpretation of 
> the contract (provided of course that the license text can accommodate 
> the licensor's interpretation).

I suspect that the licence that will have the most problems here are the 
"NC" licences.  I am not convinced that any court will automatically 
accept what the person who put material under that licence thinks it 
means as being what it means. I wouldn't be surprised if a court ruled 
that the CC interpretation of "Non Commercial" was meaningless, and that 
the Licence meant something quite different.

>> No license and a fall back to standard copyright? Something else?
> Based on legal theory I would say that the license would be considered 
> void and there would be a return to copyright law, but that is a rather 

My impression was that there were a couple of jurisdictions in which the 
content reverted to "public domain", rather than "all rights reserved", 
if the CC licence was found to be invalid. [I don't remember which 
countries.  :(   ]

> unproductive solution. It's more likely ,I think, that a court would try 
> and find a reasonable interpretation of the license. It would try and 

The "legal limbo" that gets very expensive, very fast.

Note: I am not a lawyer.  This is not legal advice.



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