[cc-licenses] questions about attribution

Francesco Poli invernomuto at paranoici.org
Sat May 12 07:29:09 EDT 2012

On Fri, 11 May 2012 15:32:10 -0700 Sarah Pearson wrote:

> All -- We have some specific questions about attribution/marking in v.4,
>  In draft 1, we tried to simplify the attribution and marking requirements
> by putting them all into one section of the license in list form. This is
> designed to make it easier for licensees to understand and comply with
> their obligations.

I think this is a good choice, for the very reasons you mentioned.

> Specifically, when sharing the work, licensees must provide the following
> information when it is supplied by licensor:
>    - Name of the author
>    - Name of parties designed by licensor for attribution
>    - Title of the work
>    - Copyright notice
>    - URI associated with the work
>    - URI associated with the CC license
>    - Notices, disclaimers, warranties referring to the CC license
> *(1)* Is there any *other* information we should require licensees to
> provide when fulfilling the attribution and marking requirements under CC
> licenses?

No, please.
I think they are already a good number (if not too many!).

> Alternatively, is there anything in this list that is unnecessary
> for licensees to provide even when it is supplied by the licensor?

I would be happier, if the requirement to mention the "Attribution
Parties" were dropped entirely.

Also, please don't forget my attribution-related suggestion:

> *(2)* All of these requirements may be fulfilled in any reasonable manner
> based on the medium the licensee is using to share the licensed work. This
> flexibility is intended to help ease compliance with the license
> conditions. Does the current language grant licensees too much flexibility?

I don't think so.

> Not enough?

I am under the impression that the amount of flexibility is more or
less OK, but if you really need to fine tune it a bit, I'd prefer
seeing it changed in the direction of *more* flexibility...

> Is there anything else we should change to make it easier on
> licensees that are remixing content from multiple sources – the so-called
> “attribution stacking” problem?

Maybe dropping the "Attribution Parties" requirement (as I said above)
would be a step in the right direction.

> *(3) *If the URI associated with the work refers to a resource that
> specifies the name of the author (or attribution parties, if applicable)
> and title of the work, licensees may include only the URI rather than
> specifying that information separately. This is another attempt to make
> compliance with the license conditions easier and more flexible without
> compromising the needs and expectations of licensors. Is this shortcut
> appropriate and/or helpful?

I think it is.

> If the URI points to a resource that includes
> the other required information (e.g., the copyright notice), would it be
> preferable to allow the URI shortcut to satisfy those other requirements as
> well?

I don't think it would be preferable: copyright notices, disclaimers of
warranty and the like should be readable, even without any Internet
access. Hence, I think a URI is somewhat insufficient for this goal.

> *(4)* Some licensors have more detailed expectations for attribution of
> their work. Should we make allowances for licensors who want to include
> specific attribution requirements (e.g., a particular attribution
> statement), or would this unnecessarily complicate license compliance?

No, please!
It is already non-trivial to comply as it is now!

> *(5) *Another possibility is to change the language to a more general
> requirement to acknowledge the author and cite the original work and
> applicable license. We could then include the current list of attribution
> and marking requirements as an example of best practices rather than as a
> specific legal requirement. This would potentially give licensees more
> freedom to adapt attribution to their particular circumstances, while
> maintaining the spirit and purpose of the requirements. Is this a proposal
> we should pursue? Why or why not?

This could be a good idea, in my opinion.
It would make life easier for licensees: we should remember that Free
Software (or Free Culture, if you prefer this term) is about giving
freedoms to licensees, so that they may share/participate and,
possibly, become licensors themselves.

I hope my feedback is useful.

 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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