[cc-licenses] New Generic and ports

Jonathon Blake jonathon.blake at gmail.com
Tue Oct 10 14:16:37 EDT 2006

Drew wrote:

> pointed out that the judge may apply the thinking of the licensor as to what
> is non-commercial and that it doesn't matter what CC thinks as they are not a
> party to the matter.

By defining the terms in the licence, the judge is much more limited
in what is meant, than by not defining the terms.  If CC uses a
whacked out definition in the licence, then the judge might ignore it.
 If CC uses a reasonable ( in legal terms ) definition, then the Judge
will probably go along with it.  I'll grant that finding a definition
fo "NonCommercial" that is valid for all 250 odd countries in the
world is going to be hard work.  [For that matter, finding something
that will fly in both the UK, and USA will be hard enough.]

> Inconsistent. here, revenue seems unimportant.

it is, and it isn't.
Revenue generation from royalties is not important.
OTOH, protecting revenue sources is important.

With a BY-SA licence, the non-profit is "obviously" disregarding their
revenue sources.  With an NC licence, they are "obviously" protecting
their revenue sources.
That might not be the reality, but it is the perception.

> > [This gets back to the dual licence: "All Rights
> > Reserved" for the hard copy, and "NC" for the e-text.]
> Which isn't gonna work in CC land it seems.

For NC that _might_ be the case.

> And how is a more restrictive license supposed to help spread this insight?

People do not pay attention to the licence, when they look at
material.  It is only when they want to use it elsewhere, that the
licence becomes important, and even then, only if what they want to
use, would be more than "fair use doctrine" allows.

Go back to the phrase "Better Copyright Options".

A formal licence for artistic work that roughly parallels the various
open source licences for software has been in existence for roughly
seven years.  People, and organizations are still learning what it
means, much less how it works.

Back in 2000 I gave a talk trying to persuade an organization to
release its code of ethics, rules of conduct, and "best practices
documents" under the then GNU-FDL.  It was unanimously rejected,
because the organization members thought that the copyright owner
could hijack the material, preventing further distribution. That
organization is still convinced that the GNU-FDL, CC licences, and
similar licences allow the copyright owner to hijack the material,
preventing them from distributing it.

For an organization to use, or even consider using an NC licence,
means that they are looking at options to the standard  ARR, or more
restrictive EULA.  If the experience is positive, then they might risk
a little more, and use an ND licence, or even BY-SA.

In the meantime, they have a long history of PD on the one hand, ARR
on the other hand, and a home crafted licence that is somewhere
between the two, and nobody other than them understands.  PD means no
revenue, unrestricted ARR requires non-productive research into
alleged copyright violations. The home crafted licence works, but
would a different licence help/hurt/have no effect on things.

> Is it important for these NC users to insure their revenue stream? Or is it
> more important to get their message out? I think you are inconsistent on this
> in your different points.

It is inconsistent becaues organizations are inconsistent. Revenue
generation, message distribution, and revenue protection are equally
important. They get emphasized differently, at different times during
the process of deciding which licence to use.

> Do people re-use text, or don't they? Some places you say they don't, other
> places it seems you indicate that it will be a problem that they can.

I'm not sure what I wrote, that made you think that it is a problem if
people reuse text.  I don't think that text reuse is an issue one way
or the other.

Look at what sort of derivatives are possible:
* Translation;
* Copy editing;

* Lesson outlines;
* Lesson plans;

* Abridgements;
* Incorporation into an anthology;

* Reformulated as a play;
* Reformulated as a video;
* Reformualted as a movie;
* Reformulated as a musical;
* Reformulated as a song;
* Reformualted as a TV mini-series/series;
* Reformulated as a documentary;
* Reformulated as an infomercial;
* Reformulated as a video game;
* Reformualted as a trading card game;
* Reformulated as a table top game;

* Reformulated as a presentation;
* Reformulated as a monologue;

* Reformulated as poetry;
* Reformulated as prose;

Then look at what sort of text reuse is done:

* Copy editing;
* Translation;

* Lesson outlines;
* Lesson plans;

Wikipedia --- which is argueably the most successful work done under a
CC-style licence --- has produced nothing more than copyedits, and
some translations, as derivatives.  And copied en masse on other
sites, with nothing to indicate any "give back", by those sites.

With an ARR the reformulations are the things that every author dreams
of, but are so rare as to be insignificant. Is there any data to
suggest that those reformulations are more likely to occur under any
CC licence?


Ethical conduct is a vice.
Corrupt conduct is a virtue.

Motto of Nacarima

More information about the cc-licenses mailing list