[cc-licenses] CC licenses appropriate for composite content including code?

Evan Prodromou evan at prodromou.name
Sat Feb 3 11:00:00 EST 2007


On Fri, 2007-02-02 at 19:20 -0600, Becker, Gene wrote:
> I would like to use CC licenses for publishing a composite type of
> interactive content, which may bundle together images, audio, video,
> text, and code (scripts) into a single piece of content.  I'm trying
> to determine whether this is an appropriate use of the CC model, and
> also whether there are any useful precedents for similar usage.  In
> particular I know that CC does not recommend putting software under a
> CC license, and my pieces will sometimes contain a substantial amount
> of scripted code.

CC does not recommend putting software under the licenses mostly for
political reasons. By opting out of the software license biz, they
neatly sidestep the vicious infighting that plagues that arena.

There are no provisions specific to software in CC licenses. There's no
requirement for source code availability, for instance. But otherwise
the licenses are adequate for software -- or, rather, they're about as
applicable to software as the GPL is to text and images. They aren't a
perfect fit, but they work OK.

> It seems to me that my case is not too different from a web page
> composed of text, images, CSS and HTML code.  Also similar to a
> multimedia presentation with SMIL markup, for example.
>  
> Any thoughts/insights greatly appreciated.

Many Flash applications are offered under a CC license. If there is
license trickiness, then there are a lot of people in the same boat.

However, if you want to be safe, and give clarity to your users and
downstream creative folks, you could perhaps dual license the work like
so:

        This work is made available under the Creative Commons
        Attribution 2.5 license or, at your option, under the Academic
        Free License 3.0.

You can substitute your preferred CC license and source code license, of
course. Another option would be to just dual license the source code
aspects:

        This work is made available under the Creative Commons
        Attribution 2.5 license. Source code components of the work are
        also available, at your option, under the Academic Free License
        3.0.

Again, you could substitute the license(s) of your choice, and you might
want to name the source code components explicitly ("ActionScript
files", or even "foo.js, bar.js and baz.py") for clarity.

IANAL, TINLA, I'm just another schmo and I don't speak for Creative
Commons.

-Evan

-- 
Evan Prodromou <evan at prodromou.name>




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