[cc-licenses] Proposal: Derivatives-Only (DO)

Mike Linksvayer ml at creativecommons.org
Wed Dec 28 21:28:15 EST 2011

On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM, David Chart <bydosa at davidchart.com> wrote:
> I have a suspicion that a proposal for a completely new clause in CC 4.0 will meet with resistance, so I want to start with a bit of background, and then explain the reasons for the proposal in detail.

Thanks for spelling out your rationale in some detail, and pointing
out the definitional problem.

Additional info relevant to further discussion.

CC did try something a bit like you propose, called the "sampling
license". If given a string of two letters as an identifier, it might
have been BY-TO -- Transformational uses Only. Almost nobody used it,
and it was one of the first two licenses CC retired, due to non-use,
and because (along with the other, "developing nations") it did not
permit at a minimum worldwide verbatim noncommercial distribution,
which meant there were no common baseline freedoms one could assume
when encountering a "CC licensed" work. A number of people really,
really did not like that, because it made CC meaningless (arguably)
and such verbatim noncommercial distribution is what people were (and
are) trying to shut down the internet over.

The sampling license was also problematic in that it was probably
incompatible with any CC license other than sampling+ (but ironically
not incompatible with transformations under unmitigated copyright).
sapmpling+ (and nc-sampling+) were also rarely used and incompatible,
and were retired more recently. Links with explanations of the issues
& history are available from

A derivatives only license crafted to be compatible with other CC
licenses, perhaps only BY-SA as you mention, could be interesting. The
idea has occurred to me many times. But I think it would be hard to
make part of the CC suite, even if the compatibility problems could be
worked out and a compelling case were made that BY-DO-SA (sounds
yummy!) would effectively expand the commons (accounting for
cannibalization, etc) it would be hard to do so as part of the CC
suite, due to the baseline freedoms issue mentioned above.

Could be interesting for some other entity to address, or for brand of
less than commons licenses stewarded by CC, but not called CC
licenses, that NC and ND ought fall under. :-)


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