[cc-licenses] license draft usage scenario questions

Jörg Zastrau dl1bku at gmail.com
Mon Oct 30 09:48:52 EST 2006


first some OT:

ups... and suddenly I am dragged into a discussion 8-) I only wanted
to evaluate free licenses for myself... well - so I went off and
re-read the CC license draft all over. You can tell be reading it that
a lot of discussion has already taken place because the plain language
renders the license hard to read (too many goto statements). I
couldn't figure out how the "license elements" thing works.

I few things I noticed (I personally don't want to discuss those
personally - I just want to point them out) include:
- If I create a Collection or Adaption I am forced to tag my Name to
it in order to satisfy 4. a) (remove credit upon notice from any
Licensor). Otherwise, he cannot give notice. The original Author
doesn't have to stick his name to the work as 4. d) suggest (the name
of the original Author (if supplied)). To bad if I create a collection
of Wikipedia articles and I use to live in say, China. I'd rather stay
anonymous.
- from a programmers point of view too many references to "x above".
What above? Section, Paragraph?.. well, legalese I guess.
- in some countries 2. is pointless (nothing is _intended_ to restrict
Fair Use). Those sections always raise my eyebrows as it turns out
that in fact in far too many cases the fine print says exactly the
opposite of what is allegedly intended. I understand that under US law
the "intention" of a license is some kind of fallback if in doubt.
- I believe that 3. contains language trying to circumvent
copy-protection (..include the right to make such modifications as are
technically necessary to exercise the rights..). Not that such
copy-protection is allowed in the first place. Ianal, but this
provision might be invalid in some countries.

back on topic...

> [Greg]
> I think that the thing to keep in mind here is
> that people who distribute FLOSS works will
> not look at this as an opportunity for a
> frivolous lawsuit.

well said - in theory. Two points:
- The parties tend to read the license literally in case of a dispute
- and so do people who like to exploit the work of others disregarding
the intent

so the plain language of the license has to reflect its intentions.
The license is broken if it is ambiguous.

> [drew]
> I am interested in discussing this further
> as it seems a bit like the question of whether it is OK for me to have my
> personal staff (who are on my payroll) download NC works to my devices for my
> later use.

hm... I thought about it and I could come up with all kind of special
cases. It basically boils down to the problem to distinguish between
"good" and "bad" DRM-usage if the end user happens to own a DRM
device. You'll open a can of worms if you try and this is what
happened. I still believe that the parallel distribution approach
would be cleaner. From what I read on the mailing list there are
people that feel this doesn't discourage people enough from using DRM.

Now, does the current language of the draft restrict me (assuming I am
not evil)?

> [Peter]
> To "distribute" is to make a work available to the general public.
> Copying is not distribution.
ok, now I distribute CC-licensed work on my web page for all my 20
friends that are unlucky enough to own a MyPod-Player with DRM (for
free) without providing anything else.
Clearly, they cannot exercise their full rights - well, I could try to
weasel out by arguing they could still take a photo/tape etc. to
exercise their rights and the DRM device is read-only anyway (like a
CD or a sheet of paper - you cannot really "unprint" or read thinks in
the same way you put them on the sheet of paper). I could argue that
they need to use another medium/format anyway.

Is the license still holding up? I don't think so.

-- 
Jörg Zastrau
Buchenlochstraße 66a, App. A-14
67663 Kaiserslautern



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