[cc-licenses] Is something like "version 3.0 or any later version" allowed?

Evan Prodromou evan at prodromou.name
Mon Aug 27 01:41:30 EDT 2007

On Sun, 2007-26-08 at 16:10 -0700, Mike Linksvayer wrote:

> >> Recently, an outsider proposed that it was perhaps better if we
> >> required that contributions be under "Creative Commons Attribution
> >> License 3.0 or any later version published by Creative Commons".
> >> Something akin to what some GPLv2 projects do.
> > 
> > It's probably unnecessary -- the CC licenses already allow for
> > derivatives to fall under future licenses.
> Licenses version 2.0 and greater including the ShareAlike term do.  It 
> isn't relevant for non-SA licenses, which don't mandate release of 
> derivatives under a particular license.

However, derivatives do have to follow the terms of the original
license. You can make derivatives available under any compatible license
you want, but derivative works still have to deal with restrictions on
the original license, not least the Attribution requirements.

Are the different versions of CC licenses with identical license
elements upward-compatible? With a work available under Attribution 1.0,
can you make a derivative available under Attribution 3.0? I'm not 100%
sure. It would take some careful review.

You also can't relicense a work under a new version of the license
without the contributor's permission. It's a big hassle for wiki
adminstrators or other content distributors to keep track of what
license each page, image, or piece of music is available under. If you
want to build a whole licensing framework for your software (this piece
is under this version of this license, this one was available under this
version but now it's available under that version, blah blah blah), you
can, but it's a huge amount of effort that's probably better spent
building functionality people actually need.

If someone's given the "or any later version" permission, it's possible
to just move the whole site forward at once, rather than waiting for
derivative-version requirements to kick in.

Ivo, I've greatly regretted not using the "or any later version"
language on Wikitravel, and I use it now on all other CC-licensed sites
I have. I strongly recommend it to you and anyone else who's managing a
large collection of open media with a single license.


P.S. Xiph rocks!

Evan Prodromou - evan at prodromou.name - http://evan.prodromou.name/
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