[cc-licenses] Most important feature: GPL-compatibility

Francesco Poli invernomuto at paranoici.org
Fri Dec 30 10:16:04 EST 2011


On Thu, 29 Dec 2011 08:39:10 -0500 drew Roberts wrote:

> On Wednesday 28 December 2011 16:44:43 Francesco Poli wrote:
[...]
> > In my own personal opinion, the most important feature that really has
> > to be implemented into CC-v4.0 licenses is GPL-compatibility.
[...]
> > Hence, I think that:
> >
> >   * CC-by-sa-v4.0 should include an explicit one-way conversion clause
> > that would allow redistribution of the work under the terms of the GNU
> > GPL version 2 or any later version
> 
> This is no viable. It wouldcertainly cause me to seriously consider not using 
> cc licenses at all.

I am sorry to read that, especially taking into account that one of the
main reasons why I still do not accept CC licenses is that they are
GPL-incompatible.

> And just to be clear, I use the GPL for my own code. It 
> is bad enough that I put my non-code works under a Free & copyleft license 
> created by an organization that is not committed to Freedom for all such 
> works.
> 
> To put them under a license from an organization that is committed to Freedom 
> for certain types of works but not for my works of this class is worse to me 
> on the face of it.

I assume you are referring to the FSF.
I am too unhappy to see the FSF promote different philosophical
standards for different works. Nonetheless, the GNU GPL is a license
that may be applied to any type of work, luckily, and thus it can be
used to Free any work, despite the recommendations of the FSF itself
(which admits the GPL may be used with any kind of work, but recommends
other licenses for non-program works...).

> 
> I am quite happy to let my BY-SA works mix and mingle with GPL and AGPL works 
> though.

Then you are not against my proposal, it seems.

> There must be (***I hope***) a way to approach this that does not 
> require the conversion mentioned.

Another way is dual-licensing.

Licensing a work under the terms of the CC-by-sa-v3.0 or the GNU GPL v2
or later (at the recipient's option) is already possible, but each
single copyright holder has to be actively persuaded to do that...
That's unpractical and is not a real solution for the incompatibility.

> 
> One of my main goals for BY-SA in the 4.0+ world is stronger copyleft 
> protection for all works. It would be highly counterproductive to then allow 
> the conversion of works so protected to a license that did not have those 
> protections.

CC-by-sa is a weaker copyleft than the GNU GPL in many respects.
For instance, it does not require making source available.
Hence, from my point of view, it's the other way around: a conversion
from CC-by-sa to GPL would strengthen the copyleft mechanism!

> >
> >   * CC-by-v4.0 should include an explicit one-way conversion clause
> > that would allow redistribution of the work under the terms of the zlib
> > license: http://www.gzip.org/zlib/zlib_license.html
> >
> > I chose the zlib license, since it's a simple permissive non-copyleft
> > license which is GPL-compatible. Another similar license could be
> > chosen as well, if considered more suitable (for example the Expat
> > license: http://www.jclark.com/xml/copying.txt   or the 3-clause BSD
> > license: http://www.debian.org/misc/bsd.license).
> 
> I don't see why BY could not go to any Free license although would some lose 
> you your BY "protection"?

As I said in another reply, CC-by is GPL-incompatible, so it needs a
conversion clause to fix the incompatibility.


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