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cc-licenses - Re: [ #16904] Creative Commons Share Alike License and the GPL

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Glenn Otis Brown <glenn AT>
  • To: Chris Croome <chris AT>
  • Cc: Dave Turner via RT <licensing AT>, cc-licenses AT
  • Subject: Re: [ #16904] Creative Commons Share Alike License and the GPL
  • Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 10:58:57 -0800

Hi Chris and Dave,

I'll have to look into this a little more -- it's a great question -- but I am not sure why Creative Commons licenses would be incompatible with the GPL.
For starters, our licenses are meant to apply only to nonsoftware works. (Nothing's stopping you from using them with software, but they say nothing about code, so you
are probably better off going with an existing software licenses.) This is one of the main reasons why our "Share Alike" provision is not called copyleft. We were inspired by copyleft,
but the term begins to lose its original meaning outside the software context. The nonsoftware analogue to making the code of a new work openly available is to make the derivative work
itself available on the same terms as the original.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't see the incompatability because I don't see the two licenses even needing to interact, as they cover different types of works. But, like I said, let me read a little more and get back to you on this one.



On Tuesday, January 14, 2003, at 10:41 AM, Chris Croome wrote:


Thanks for the reply, I feared that the CC share alike license might
not be GPL-compatible :-(

Perhaps Creative Commons might what to consider what changes would
be required to be made to make the share alike license
GPL-compatible since it's aim does seem to be the creation of
copyleft material?

Dual licensing material with a GPL-compatible license like the
Design Science or Free Art ones [2] might be good interim measure --
it's something I'm considering.



On Tue 14-Jan-2003 at 11:49:44AM -0500, Dave Turner via RT wrote:

The Share Alike license isn't GPL-compatible, because it requires
derivative works to be distributed under its exact terms, and its
exact terms aren't the GPL. For instance, they include:

You may not distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or
publicly digitally perform the Work with any technological
measures that control access or use of the Work in a manner
inconsistent with the terms of this License Agreement. <<

I'm not actually sure that that provision is consistent with it
being a Free Software license.

On Sun, 2003-01-12 at 17:56, Chris Croome via RT wrote:

I'd be interested to know (and I'm sure others would too) if the
Creative Commons Share Alike License [1] is considered to be GPL
compatible in the way that the Design Science and Free Art
licenses are?

If there is a FSF position it would be great if you added the
information to this page:


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(cc) creativecommons f +1.650.723.8440

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