[cc-licenses] Possible way to subvert the intention of CC-BY-SA and other BY licenses

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Tue Jan 20 23:02:02 EST 2009

On Tuesday 20 January 2009 19:33:09 Gisle Hannemyr wrote:
> I think the core of your argument (that CC-BY-SA by removal
> of byline is converted to CC-SA) is wrong.  A CC-SA license
> does not exist.  While the photo in this particular instance
> appear without a byline, this  does not in any way remove the
> obligation, imposed by the license, that proper credit must
> be given to the author for all other instances of use.
> What this means is that Eve must credit the author if she
> wants to legally use a photo under a CC-BY-SA  license.
> What the license clearly tells her is: 1) that this work is
> not in the public domain; 2) that the author has used a license
> where he or she makes credit a condition for use.
> Where Eve found it and whether or not it appeared with a
> byline in that particular place does not matter.  The
> license is clear, and whatever scheme Eva as engineered to
> get the byline removed in one particular instance does not
> change the license itself.

Which is all well and good , but what is innocent Jack to do who comes upon 
this work in the attribution removed form and wants to use it? He has a 
license to do so but how is he to track down the BY? If it is easy, then the 
removal effort is likely to do little good...

Is this really what we want? Is there a reasonable way around this problem or 
are people who find such works with attribution removed out of luck as far as 
reuse etc unless they can manage to track down the BY person?

(None of this is intended to hint that your take is incorrect, rather it is 
intended to perhaps spark some discussion on possible solutions.)

all the best,

> On 20.01.2009 21:06, geni wrote:
> > "If You create a Collection, upon notice from any Licensor You must,
> > to the extent practicable, remove from the Collection any credit as
> > required by Section 4(c), as requested."
> >
> > "If You create an Adaptation, upon notice from any Licensor You must,
> > to the extent practicable, remove from the Adaptation any credit as
> > required by Section 4(c), as requested."
> >
> > These clauses are important but they do create a problem.
> >
> > In this case the CC-BY-SA work is a photo with a single author (Bob).
> >
> > Eve wants to use the pic without crediting the author.
> >
> > Eve gets the pic published as part of a collection of highly offensive
> > works and makes sure Bob finds out.
> >
> > Bob uses the credit removal clause.
> >
> > Eve then uses the pic from the collection of highly offensive works
> > and since there is no credit on it she doesn't have to credit Bob.
> >
> > In effect CC-BY-SA has been converted to CC-SA.
> >
> >
> > Getting around this problem is somewhat tricky one approach would be
> > to add a requirement that in the case of such removals it should be
> > made clear that such a request has been made and a second requirement
> > that in such cases a reasonable good faith attempt must be made to
> > find and credit the author. This however suffers from being rather
> > vague. A second option might be to allow the author to have their
> > name/pseudonym replaced by a code that allows the image to be linked
> > to them by a central repository of such codes. This however is
> > complicated and the benefit of removing obvious credit in such cases
> > is reduced (particularly if the authors of the highly offensive works
> > opt for credit in the same way).
> >
> > So I don't really have a solution.

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