[cc-licenses] Time limited CC licenses for version 4.0?

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 03:04:49 EST 2011

> There are many cases (I'm thinking websites in particular) where an author
> lists their CC license in a single location, such as the side panel of a
> blog using a CMS.  In these cases it may be difficult to implement this the
> way you suggest.  NC2013 would appear to be applicable for all content,
> from the earliest post from, say, eight years ago to one made yesterday.

I agree, but I think this is not principal problem. The author would be
free to update the license every year (she or he holding copyright, being
able to re-license). The fact that parts expire at an earlier date can be
discovered only through web archiving mechanisms (e.g. webcitation could
automatically display all NC-expired works). The problem of copyright
holders changing licenses is not unique to this, it is a major problem with
using CC-licensed Flickr images.

An alternative is to declare the length of time rather than the year the
> clause would end.  So, NC7 would mean all my work is under an NC license
> until seven years after it's original publication.  This, of course, will
> need to be used in tandem with clearly stated dates of publication, which I
> believe is so in many cases, anyway.  And this is probably an easier
> practice than to state individual licenses for every work.

I think the opposite. Discovering the relevant licensing date (which may be
different from the date of publication) will be very difficult in most
cases. With a "last year" of NC-condition statement being part of the
license URL I can go into any form of webarchiving with machine-driven
discovery. With an NC7-url only humans can facilitate re-use, with deep
research and in most cases significant uncertainties (translating into risk
of copyright violations). I may overlook something... Are the webserver
"last modified" dates still reliable on archived copies?

I think the utility and reliability of automated and legally save discovery
should decide this. In principle I would be happy with either version
(expiration-year-dated or duration-dated).

I also feel the meaning of NC2013 is a little ambiguous.  Does it mean it's
> no longer NC as of January 1 2013, or January 1 2014?  If I'm confused,
> there are probably others out there who would be, too =)

I agree. I think there could be value in  NCexp2013. It just looks more
complicated. It should be visually intuitive. Some further tests, what do
you think of:

CC BY-NC- exp2013-SA
  : I think this is confusing, because the link of expire to condition is
not unambigous
CC BY-NCexp2013-SA
CC BY-NC/exp2013-SA
CC BY-NC(exp2013)-SA

Any other ideas?


Of course, the model of having the license change to an arbitrary other
license is possible. But at least I would initially think if someone say
"the license _expires_" that it simply expires, not that it is replaced by
another license. I find "license expires" confusing (when it really means:
"is replaced by another license", whereas I find "non-commercial condition
expires 2013" intuitive, i.e. the remaining CC conditions continue to be

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