[cc-licenses] Removal of a clause in non-SA licenses?

Andres Guadamuz anduril13 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 07:23:36 EST 2012


Hi Tim,

I acknowledge that a very narrow reading of the clause could lead one to 
believe that proprietary formats are excluded, but I do not believe that 
is the intention of the licence.


This licence is simply using the legal definition of a technological 
protection measure found in international treaties and transposed into 
national legislation, so any legal interpretation of the clause will 
understand that we are talking about TPMs, and not formats as such.

I agree that the ambiguity could be fixed with a clearer drafting.

Best Regards,

Andres

On 11/01/2012 17:25, Tim Cas wrote:
> Hey there; I am new to the list and thus don't know if this has already
> been mentioned or not, but there is a certain clause in CC-BY-* licenses
> (except for -SA and possibly -NC) that keeps bothering me:
>
> It is listed under 4.a (emphasis mine):
> /You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of
> this License. You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource
> Identifier (URI) for, this License with every copy of the Work You
> Distribute or Publicly Perform. You may not offer or impose any terms on
> the Work that restrict the terms of this License or the ability of the
> recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient
> under the terms of the License. You may not sublicense the Work. You
> must keep intact all notices that refer to this License and to the
> disclaimer of warranties with every copy of the Work You Distribute or
> Publicly Perform. When You Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work, *You
> may not impose any effective technological measures on the Work that
> restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to exercise the
> rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License.* This
> Section 4(a) applies to the Work as incorporated in a Collection, but
> this does not require the Collection apart from the Work itself to be
> made subject to the terms of this License. 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(b), 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(b), as requested./
>
> In case the mailing list or your email client has stripped the bold
> tags, here is the emphasis again:
> /*You may not impose any effective technological measures on the Work
> that restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to
> exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the
> License.*/
>
> I am not a lawyer, but the way I see it, this imposes restrictions on
> technological mechanisms for copying and distribution. For example, from
> what I gather, software could not use a proprietary format for this
> since that imposes such a restriction. Note that a choice of proprietary
> formats is not necessarily malicious intent - for example, the
> proprietary format might simply be more efficient (in one or more
> aspects) to the original, or simply be the native format on the
> platform. One such example is Kindle's format - authors don't have much
> choice publishing for that platform, since Kindle does not support EPUB;
> the only alternative is an outdated format with half-broken support
> (disclaimer: I do not own a Kindle and thus do not know if the situation
> has changed - had it changed, however, I would probably have known as I
> am keeping taps on this).
>
> Of course, this could be misused for DRM, but although I myself am
> against DRM, this is nevertheless probably not what the author intends
> when they release their software under CC-BY-* (-SA and /possibly/ -NC
> notwithstanding).
>
> Think about it - if the authors were worried about someone releasing
> this in (say) a proprietary format, wouldn't have they picked the -SA
> license in the first place? And if they were worried about DRM, wouldn't
> have they picked -NC?
>
>
>
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