[cc-licenses] Request for feedback: compatibility in BY and BY-NC

Francesco Poli invernomuto at paranoici.org
Tue Feb 26 16:52:22 EST 2013

On Tue, 26 Feb 2013 12:57:19 -0800 Kat Walsh wrote:

> We believe this approach, of recognizing compatibility with
> other licenses as permitted so long as the terms of the original CC
> license are respected (and providing adequate guidance outside the
> license) best enables interoperability with material under other
> licenses, while respecting the intentions of licensors.
> However, we are open to feedback on whether this language should be changed.

I personally think that recognizing compatibility with other
(permissive) licenses is a good thing to do, as it adds clarity, at
least for people who understand how copyright applies to adaptations.

However, I am strongly convinced that this is not enough to guarantee
compatibility with other (less permissive) licenses.

For instance, please consider a CC-by-v4.0-licensed work.
A recipient could desire to mix it with material licensed under the
terms of a permissive non-copyleft Free Software license, such as the
3-clause BSD license, the Expat license, or the zlib license.
This is currently permitted, as far as I can tell.

But the resulting adaptation will include parts licensed under
CC-by-v4.0, which is GPL-incompatible, unless an explicit one-way
conversion clause is added to it.
Hence, the adaptation will turn out to be GPL-incompatible, despite all
the above cited permissive non-copyleft are perfectly GPL-compatible.

I think that this obstacle to material reuse should be removed.
This goal would be partly achieved by adding an explicit one-way
conversion-to-GPLv2-or-later clause to CC-by-v4.0.

But the most natural and general way to cure the problem would be to
add an explicit one-way conversion-to-zlib clause to CC-by-v4.0,
as I have already suggested in

I hope this may be implemented in the next draft of CC-by-v4.0.

 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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