[cc-licenses] New Generic and ports

Andres Guadamuz a.guadamuz at ed.ac.uk
Sun Oct 8 04:47:29 EDT 2006

drew Roberts wrote:
> First, let me say that it seems you took my question above as some "comeback" 
> whe
First of all, apologies, I can come across a bit snippy, particularly if 
I' writing late and I've been working all day :)

> Personally, I am only interested in BY-SA for my own works and BY for possible 
> use in my BY-SA works.
> There may indeed be a lot of ND works out there but I don't consider them as 
> being too useful to a creative commons.

I think that ND is still an important element of CC. I was checking 
statistics and as of today, about 23% of Yahoo linkbacks direct to ND 
licences. I think that ND is indeed greatly useful for some types of 
works. I have published a couple of articles using BY-NC-ND because I 
don't mind if people re-use and re-publish them, but I don't see much 
sense in anyone making changes to the article and re-publishing under 
their name. However, I agree that ND may not be as valuable in other 

> Well sure, not yet. But in 20 years? If there isn't going to be this long 
> chain of re-use, do we really need a creative commons? Do the majority of 
> people involved in the creative commons actually believe that a creative 
> commons is important?

I think that this is a good question. I have been analysing chains of 
re-use in open source for quite a while, and I think that the derivative 
will eventually be so unique that it is perfectly possible that it will 
be an original work in its own right. This I think applies to all open 
licences. I think of it as evolution, minute changes eventually lead to 
new species.

However, let's analyse an international chain of distribution. Let's say 
that I write a song and release it under CC-BY-SA Scotland licence. 
Somebody in Slovenia takes the song, remixes it and releases it. They 
are under an obligation to republish under CC-BY-SA, but they can choose 
their local version. So the derivative will be CC-BY-SA Slovenia. Then a 
Mexican remixes and releases their version under CC-BY-SA Mexico. Then a 
Colombian musician remixes it again, but they don't use the licence. Can 
I sue for breach of contract? I believe I can, but to sue for breach of 
contract I would have to have third party rights. It would be easier for 
the Mexican musician to sue for me. However, I can easily sue for 
copyright infringement.

In my opinion, the fact that all intermediaries are using ported 
versions of the same licence is of no importance to the final result. By 
the way, this is also a problem encountered in other copyleft licences. 
Shameless plug here, I have written an article explaining precisely this 
scenario using the GPL as an example. You can find it here:


> This was unnecessary in my humble opinion. However, I do know that it is easy 
> for such things to slip in online discussions.
Again, apologies. The assumption that English always prevails and should 
be used by anyone is one of my pet peeves (I'm not accusing you of 
holding this view by the way).



Andres Guadamuz
AHRC Research Centre for Studies in
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Old College, South Bridge
Edinburgh EH8 9YL 

Tel: 44 (0)131 6509699
Fax: 44 (0)131 6506317
a.guadamuz at ed.ac.uk

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