[cc-licenses] input requested: GPL compatibility

Sarah Pearson sarah at creativecommons.org
Thu Apr 2 10:56:21 EDT 2015

The public comment period for GPL compatibility is now closed. We'll be
doing our final analysis internally based on comments received and will
announce a compatibility determination on this list in the next several
weeks. More soon.

Thanks to those of you who gave input.


On Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 8:38 PM, Sarah Pearson <sarah at creativecommons.org>

> This final discussion prompt is essentially a catch-all, intended to
> encourage you all to raise any final concerns about one-way compatibility
> from BY-SA 4.0 to GPLv3 before we close the public discussion period.
> We also wanted to highlight two other areas of difference between the two
> licenses, though as you will see below, we do not view either issue as
> particularly problematic for compatibility purposes.
> The first is *license termination*. Both licenses terminate automatically
> upon breach. BY-SA is reinstated automatically if the breach is cured
> within 30 days of discovery. GPLv3 is reinstated for first-time violators
> who cure within 30 days of getting notice of the violation from the
> copyright holder, and may be reinstated after other violations if it has
> been corrected for 60 days without the licensor's objection. These
> differences make it so one could technically have rights under the GPLv3
> reinstated but not under BY-SA in situations where both licenses apply
> (i.e. when BY-SA content is adapted and integrated into a GPL-licensed
> project).[1] As a practical matter, licensors and licensees in both
> communities typically deal with license violations outside the strict
> letter of the license, so we feel this is unlikely to be a real world
> obstacle to compatibility.
> The other difference we wanted to highlight was the *option to comply
> with later versions*. GPLv3 gives licensees the option to comply with a
> later version of the GPL if the licensor has so specified, or to use *any*
> version of the GPL if no version number was specified, regardless of
> whether the work has been adapted. BY-SA allows licensees to comply with
> the conditions of future versions of BY-SA, but only if that version was
> applied to an adaptation of the work. Because only version 3 of the GPL is
> under consideration for compatibility at this time, reusers that adapt
> BY-SA content into GPL-licensed projects would only be able to use GPLv3
> unless and until other GPL versions are made compatible. With solid
> education for both communities and encouragement of clear marking by
> licensors, we do not feel this should not be an obstacle to compatibility.
> Does anyone disagree with the analysis of these two points and/or have
> other issues to raise before a final compatibility determination is made?
> Please raise any questions or comments on or off-list as soon as possible. *We
> plan to close the public comment period on March 31. *
> best,
> Sarah
> [1] Theoretically, one could have their rights reinstated under BY-SA but
> not GPL, but this does not create the same risk of potential infringement.
> Because we are only considering one-way compatibility from BY-SA to GPL,
> the adapter’s license (i.e. the last-applied license) will always be the
> GPL. If someone looks only at the GPL when using a GPL project that
> incorporates a BY-SA work, at worst they will they will not realize they
> still have rights to the BY-SA work.
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