[cc-licenses] CC ShareAlike: Include a requirement for source form of the work? (was: BY-SA compatibility proposal: GPLv3)

Kat Walsh kat at creativecommons.org
Tue Feb 10 17:24:56 EST 2015

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 4:54 PM, Ben Finney <
bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> Sarah Pearson <sarah at creativecommons.org>
> writes:
> One of the greatest incompatibilities as I see it is the CC SA lacks the
> guarantee recipients can obtain the corresponding source to the work.
> In my opinion, if derivatives are expressly permitted, then the
> recipient's access to the corresponding source form of the work is
> crucial to actually exercising that permission.
> What is the current state of discussion to change the ShareAlike
> requirements to guarantee the recipient can actually make derivative
> works from the corresponding source?

Sarah mentions that SA isn't going to be changed, something I agreed with.

My opinion is that the source requirement in the GPL is applicable without
requiring SA to address it specifically--and that the burden should be on
the reuser who wishes to apply GPL to ensure that s/he can meet that
requirement before applying the license to adapted material. (Leaving
aside, for now, the question of just what exactly source as specified in
the GPL might *be* for an SA-licensed artistic work where there isn't a
canonical format for it.) If the SA licensor has not provided and is not
willing/able to provide source, the fact that a reuser is permitted to
apply a compatible license when adapting would not compel them to do so.

Just because a license is compatible does not mean you can always apply
it--but it would not be the terms of redistribution in the licenses
stopping you, but rather the practical consideration that you just do not
have the source. (A similar thing is true when, for example, your national
laws or company policies prohibit you from distributing adapted material
under the terms of a compatible license. The licenses are still compatible.)

I *do* think it is more in line with the spirit of BY-SA if a licensor does
provide the material is a format that would be considered "source" for the
purposes of GPL and would encourage it,


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