[cc-licenses] Attribution: licenses should not require excessive credit

Francesco Poli invernomuto at paranoici.org
Sat Jan 14 18:25:35 EST 2012


Hi all,
another clause that should be improved in CC-v4.0 licenses is the
following one, found in CC-by-v3.0, in CC-by-sa-v3.0 (and in other
CC-v3.0 licenses):

[...]
|     in
|     the case of a Adaptation or Collection, at a minimum such credit
|     will appear, if a credit for all contributing authors of the
|     Adaptation or Collection appears, then as part of these credits
|     and in a manner at least as prominent as the credits for the
|     other contributing authors.
[...]

If "a credit for all contributing authors [...] appears", credit for
the licensor must be "at least as prominent as the credits for the
other contributing authors".
Even when the licensor's contribution is *not* comparable to others!
I think that this restriction is excessive and fails to meet the Debian
Free Software Guidelines.

See my previous comments[1] if you need to read a more detailed
analysis.

[1]
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/2006-November/004474.html

In summary, suppose a novel is written by three co-authors who
respectively write, say, 21 chapters, 25 chapters, and N chapters,
where N is enough to grant the third co-author the author status, but
still non-negligibly smaller than 21 (maybe N is 1, or 2, or something
like that...). In this scenario, if a credit for all contributing
authors appears, the third co-author must be credited as prominently as
the other two, which does *not* seem to be reasonable.

I think that requiring *excessive* credit is a non-free restriction and
that crediting in proportion to the contribution (rather than
necessarily in a manner equal to every other credit) should be possible.


I think that this clause should be amended so that it says "at least as
prominent as the credits for the authors of other *comparable*
contributions".

I hope this recommendation may be followed, while drafting CC-v4.0
licenses.

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