[Cc-uk] CC licensing by minors

Jonathan Sanderson lists at quernstone.com
Tue Mar 21 05:28:23 EST 2006

Hello all. My apologies for barging in and kicking off with a query.

I'm staging a small-scale pilot of a video production project, backed  
by a national funding organisation. Copyright to the works produced  
will be held by the originators (workshop participants); I plan to  
encourage them to license their work (most likely BY-NC-SA) so it may  
be published on the project website. In return, I will license my  
contributions to them, under the same terms. So far so good.

However, some of the workshop participants will be school students.

The legal advice I have goes like this:

In England, the age of capacity for the purposes of contract law is  
18 years old, and a minor's contracts are voidable at his or her  
option - they are enforceable (so executing a CC license would offer  
protection for the licensor), but not binding until explicitly  
ratified on coming of age. Hence, in principle the CC license could  
be revoked several years after initially being granted, potentially  
exposing the licensee.

I'd be delighted to hear from anyone with experience of using CC  
licenses with minors. What issues did you face, and what approach did  
you take? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

I should also add that there's considerable excitement from the  
funding organisation around the approach I'm taking. Traditionally,  
they've demanded all rights to everything done in their name, but we  
seem to have successfully challenged that and got them thinking about  
their approach.

Jonathan Sanderson
'If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.' (Pascal)

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