[cc-licenses] Yet more on NC (was: Re: New Generic and ports)

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Tue Oct 10 19:28:28 EDT 2006

On Tuesday 10 October 2006 06:11 pm, Jonathon Blake wrote:
> Henri wrote:
> > Makes you want to quote the KJV, doesn't it?
> The KJV is under copyright, so quoting from it would be a copyright
> violation.  [Crown Copyright.  I've forgotten the exact wording for
> the duration, but the paraphrased version is "until the end of
> eternity".]

Not in the US at least. I had heard that it was in England. Does anyone know 
of the status for their country?

As a practical matter, the crown does what with its copyright on this version? 
They actually charge congregations royalties for reading from the bible 
during services? What ways do they seek royalties from it? Or do they just 
want control of the text, for instance more of an ND type interest?
> For the Protestant Canon, on the only Bible that can be "safely' used
> is the WEB Bible.  For the deuterocanonical books., Bretton's
> translation of the LXX is one of the few with no licence/copyright
> issues.
> In small churches, the royalty payments for reading the Bible, singing
> hymns, and multi-media presentations are amongst the largest items in
> their budget. 

So, for instance with hymns, BY-SA would get them out of this pickle while 
BY_NC will not. I am not sure about these multi-media presentations you speak 

> [Whilst the payment is based upon congregation size, in 
> some instances a slight increase in the number of people who attend
> the service, can result in a large enough increase in the royalty
> payment, that the church is forced to consider whether or not to sing
> hymns during the service.  (What these churches want/need, is a hymnal
> that contains hymns for which the words, score, and arrangement are
> royalty free, and that that position can be easilly proven to every
> organization from the RIAA down to your local superior court judge.) ]

Yes. BY, BY-SA, perhaps BY-ND, I don't think BY-NC though. Plus, at least in 
the US, I think there is a distinction made between "worship services" and 
other events.

One of the problems I find is that the copyright does not keep a simple list 
of works that have fallen into the public domain. This would greatly aid 
those looking to make use of public domain works for various reasons.
> > that religious commentary could be collaborative in a wiki style.
> There are a couple of Wiki commentaries on the bible.
> IIRC, the order of popularity was:
> ARR, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-ND, CC-BY-SA, then "other licences".

Current popularity does not really interest me.  Like others have pointed out 
and like your list there shows, ARR is the most popular, obviously the CC 
folks do not think it is the best.

> [More wiki based commentaries of the Bible  have no licence, than any
> of the other options.]
> Most of the religious orientated wikis have not attracted the numbers
> needed to take off.

Things take time.
> > > My sense is that most organizations that us the NC licence are either
> > > non-profits,
> >
> > Surely it has to be an important consideration if the monopoly of
> > potentially making money off the work is held. If it weren't, why
> > should a non-profit care about someone else making a profit?
> Revenue protection.
> * It is not income from royalties, but donations that count.  If the
> material is "CC-BY-SA" the donors have the perception that the
> organization is allowing other companies to profit, at the expense of
> the non-profit.. With the "CC-BY-NC"  the donors do not have that
> perception.  

Ah, now I think I get more of what you are saying. Surely then, this is an 
issue of educating their donors. This too can take time. BY-Sa does seem a 
natural fit for this area as it does for the area of PBS and NPR. (If there 
are no sneaky motives behind it all.)

> [Their question after seeing "CC-BY-SA" is "Why donate to 
> this non-profit, if they are going to allow others to make a buck off
> of it?"]

One answer is because we are doing our best to make the world a better place 
and this choice of a license is a part of that. there are other answers. 
Would you care to brainstom\rm for some?

> * IRS rules on "profit" also come into play here.  [I'll let a CPA
> explain when, how, and what makes a difference there. The gist of it
> is that income --- other than donations --- typically needs to be "an
> arm's length away", to retain the 501 (3) (c) status.]

Wouldn't this exclude royalties in the first place? 
> > > * Software support can generate revenue.  That doesn't exist for text.
> >
> > It seems to me that teaching courses based on textbooks is a support-
> > like service for text.
> a)  My perception is that NC permits material to be used in a course.
> It does prohibit it from being sold.  [This is where the lack of
> definitions in the licence is a major issue.  The  guidelines that CC
> issued are very unclear here.  On one hand, a parent can use the
> material to teach the child that they home school, but the local
> school district can not use the material. The Red Cross can use it in
> a course, but the Salvation Army can not use it, even if teaching the
> same course, using the same instructor.]

Now we are back to wanting to make money as income whereas before we were not 
wanting that but to receive donations. Perhaps we should organize these 
"objections" by scenario?
> b) With software, one can get sell a "maintainance contract".  I don't
> see an analogy to that, for text.   I can teach a course once, and
> maybe a refresher in a year's time.  

Sure there is: As I make improvements to the text, I will send them out to you 
post haste.

> there is no ongoing contract that 
> generates $x per month, regardless of the number of times i am called.

You can have a stipulation that it costs $x per call to call you. What would 
stop you from making contracts?

>   Or $x per incident, as some software companies charge.  [Where $x is
> a figure greater than 0, but less than a googol.]
> > I find it strange that MIT is pushing NC and all the ambiguity it
> > entails.
> I had forgotten which institution it was.  :(
> For MIT, NC makes perfect sense. 

Perhaps in isolation, I think the person was pointing out that it did not 
appear to jibe with the software license they are famous for.

> They can offer all this material, and 
> everybody can go "yippee".  MIT gets a lot of good karma points. Only
> when legalman walks in, and points out that the local school district
> can't use the material, do people realize just how diabolical it is.

Out of curiosity and ignorance, why do you think the local school district 
can't but another "official" university can?
> A parent who homeschools their children can use the material, but your
> local school dsitrict, that lost its funding because all of the
> students decided to either be home schooled, or go to a private
> school, can't use it. (The former is an individual, and the latter is
> not a 501(3)(c) organization.)  [For whoever wanted to know why the
> licences should be localized, that is an excellent example.  Only a
> court in the US will find that to be acceptable. Most European courts
> will find that to be an onerous clause.]
> > At e.g. Helsinki University of Technology, hard copies of course
> > material is sold to students. This operation has been externalized to
> One of the downfalls of the NC licence --- the distributor has bear
> all of the costs involved in distributionof the amterial.  For 
> internet distribution that is inexpensive.  For hard copy, that cost
> adds up fairly rapidly ( $0.10 per page, if you use your own desktop
> printer. $0.02 per page if you ship it off to Lulu.com.)

I don't think this is necessarily so. Couldn't the "end point" get an 
electronic copy and send it off to lulu themselves for printing?
> > This means that NC is a problem for educational material.
> I've half seriously thought about proposing both a  CC-EDU and CC-REL
> licence. Something that addresses the specific needs and concerns of those
> organizations.

Before we go there, we rally need to know why BY-SA will not work for them if 
"all the players" have a proper understanding.
> > seems to make more sense to get rid of NC than to weasel it so that
> > doing business with NC is OK for educational purposes.
> A pity we can't survey the people that use the CC-NC licence, and find
> out why they are using it. [Especially the bloggers and playwrights.
> (I really would like to know the rational of using an NC licence for a
> play.)]
> If the question about NC was changed to "Do you want to prohibit
> everybody --- including yourself --- from recouping their costs?"
> would the usage go up, or down?

I have been thinking today of writing up something to propose that CC put on 
the site to encourage people to use BY-SA and BY licenses wherever possible 
as it is better for the creative commons. Any thoughts?
> > If a tenured educator is paid on a monthly basis, one has to wonder
> > if the royalty extracted outweighs the collaboration and distribution
> > that is lost due to not being Free as in Free Software.
> It is a step from ARR to NC.   If a college professor can get their
> book used by even half a dozen colleges, their royalties are ensured
> for a five or so years.  Then they do the updated version.  If their
> work is used by more than 100 colleges, their monthly royalty payment
> will be equal to, if not more than their income from teaching.

Yes, and for those looking to earn rents instead of a fair wage, ARR might 
just be the best way to go. I am looking for something better than that in my 
life though.
> >>Commentary of _The Gospel of Judas of Keiroth_
> >
> > But could such commentary be massively collaborative under CC-by-sa?
> > Could such a commentary be more insightful?
> Yes / No / Maybe
> Using Wikipedia as an example.  Massive collaboration can work, but
> edit wars are common.   Is the quality of the content of any random
> article in Wikipedia greater than that of say, _Encyclopedia
> Britanica_.?  The uniform answer is "No".  What Wikipedia lacks in
> quality, it makes up for in sheer quantity.  Use it as a starting
> point, but rely on it at your peril.
> The OpenScrolls Project has only translated 5 of the roughly 850 texts
> from Qumram.
> Whilst this is bad example [ Licence confusion GNU-FDL or C-BY-ND]
> [Translation is difficult]  the quality of the output appears to be a
> par with the academic translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
> http://openbibleproject.org/ uses CC-NC-SA 2.5 uses the footnotes from
> the Geneva Bible as its baseline from which to jumpstart their
> project. [ Ironically enough, they are using the WEB translation as
> the Bible text, because of licensing/copyright issues with the Geneva
> Bible.]  Thus far, they has not been much in the way of "original"
> commentary/additions.
> Historically,  the classic commentaries of the Bible have been by
> individuals.  Either _The Jerusalem Bible_ (1966) or _The Oxford
> Annotated Bible_ (1962) can be credited with the re-emergence of group
> written commentaries. [The previous group commentary would be either
> the appendices to the 1611 edition of the KJV, or the  notes to the
> 1599 Geneva Bible.]
> > believe that many bloggers who are using CC-by-nc had reasons that
> > should have lead to CC-by-nd instead.)
> My blog has a CC-BY-NC licence, because that was the default, and I
> didn't bother to change it.  [I should use a  licence that allows
> redistribution. Format changes are acceptable, editorial changes are
> not acceptable. (IOW, if you want to print it, do so,  but include the
> typos.)]

For opinion pieces etc, I would want BY-SA with BY-SA on the work and 
SA-don't-use-my-name for any changes. Plagerism would cover other abuses. 
(Have I missed something here that I need to consider?)
> xan
> jonathon

all the best,

(da idea man)
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