[cc-licenses] derivatives and source

Francesco Poli invernomuto at paranoici.org
Sat Apr 7 17:42:48 EDT 2012

On Sat, 07 Apr 2012 09:18:30 +0200 adam wrote:

> On 07/04/12 04:52, Mike Linksvayer wrote:
> > If I were adam I'd want some form of one-way BY
> > and BY-SA compatibility with GPL rather than adding source
> > requirements to CC licenses.

I am already asking for a one-way conversion clause from CC-by-sa to
GPL and from CC-by to zlib.

> I would normally agree but we must also admit that licenses are not just 
> licenses. CC as a meme is on one level a primary marketing vehicle for 
> free culture. The GPL, as much as I love it, is not seen as a player in 
> this greater context - it is seen as exclusively married to software.

It is seen by (too) many people as exclusively married to computer
programs, while it can actually be used for other types of works as
That's unfortunate, I believe.

> FLOSS Manuals uses the GPL for books

Yes, and I cannot find adequate words to express my gratitude for this

> and I believe it *is* the right 
> license for source requirements for us

100 % agreement!

> but I can't tell you how many 
> people write to me almost on a monthly basis asking why we use a 
> software license for culture. Many of them get agitated when I tell them 
> the GPL is not just a software license. They simply don't believe me no 
> matter how many references I send them.

Please keep spreading the word around: the GNU GPL is suitable for many
types of work, not just for programs.

> I do not believe you can convince even a small minority of software devs 
> that the GPL can be applied to other content - they will not believe 
> you. I also don't believe you can convince culture and knowledge workers 
> in the greater sense - that the GPL is not a software license. I have 
> tried repeatedly and the message does not float.

Please don't give up!

> So, it might be a point to argue that this is the FSFs problem - get a 
> better marketing team - but promoting the GPL for non-software works is 
> by and large not their mandate as they see it.

It's not a marketing issue: it's that RMS does *not* want to promote
the GPL for non-programmatic works. He wants to promote the terrible
GFDL for documentation and the like, and other licenses for other types
of works.

Nonetheless the FSF admits that the GPL can be used for
non-programmatic works:

> CC on the other hand has a strong hold in this area and I would argue 
> that mindshare in this discussion is as important as the terms of the 
> license themselves. In that light I really believe it is both necessary 
> and possible to make a source requirement in the CC licenses.

I agree.

> A source requirement might be stated together with something like 
> "unless otherwise stated the artifact provided is to be considered to be 
> the source".

This is a bit problematic, though: I think there would be many cases
where the actual source would not be made available, while the license
text would force the recipients to assume that what they get is genuine

 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE
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