[cc-licenses] When to use unported?

Dana Powers dana.powers at gmail.com
Sat Mar 10 19:24:43 EST 2007

Jurisdictional "ports" are legal translations aimed at addressing
differences in local laws not necessarily language barriers.  The unported
license uses a number of international treaties, instead of any particular
jdx's laws, so it should be legally understandable in most countries
although it may, of course, need to be literally translated.  Sometimes a
jdx port is itself literally translated into multiple languages (Canada for
example), but it isn't frequent.  On top of the legal text rests a layer of
"human readable" text (the deed) which is usually translated into many

CC licenses have multiple audiences:

The choice of legal code should be made with an eye towards the legal
audience: lawyers and judges.  Are the lawyers/judges/etc who are most
likely to read, scrutinize, and enforce your license going to be more
familiar with the laws of a particular jurisdiction?  If so, thats the
jurisdiction you should use (this is almost certainly the country you're

The human readable code is what most non-lawyers will interact with, so you
might link directly to a deed translation for the license you chose that
best fits that part of your intended audience.  At the top of the human
readable deeds are links to lots of literal translations:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.5/br/deed.en_US , for example,
is an english translation of the Brazilian CC-ND 2.5 deed.  Notice that if
you click the link for Legal Code at the bottom it will still be in
Portuguese.  Even if you don't link to a particular translation of the human
readable deed, the user should be able to recognize the list of translations
at the top and select one in their preferred language (I'm unsure if the
webserver does any magic language negotiation when someone links to the
default page).

Well anyway, that is the basics.  The unported license should hopefully be
understandable to lawyers in countries that are members of TRIPS and/or
Berne (that includes the U.S.), although it probably won't be as familiar as
their home jdx port.


On 2/27/07, Henri Sivonen < hsivonen at iki.fi> wrote:
> Is there a reason why a US-based licensor shouldn't use an Unported
> license? If Unported is supposed to work, why are ported English-
> language licenses needed at all?
> Should people who publish in English but who are based in a country
> whose ported CC licenses are not written in English use an Unported
> license?
> Should international collaborative projects headquartered in the US
> make a policy to use an Unported license considering that the
> licensors are spread throughout the world?
> --
> Henri Sivonen
> hsivonen at iki.fi
> http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
> _______________________________________________
> cc-licenses mailing list
> cc-licenses at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-licenses
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