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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: "Dave Turner via RT" <licensing AT>
  • To: chris AT
  • Subject: Re: [ #16904] Creative Commons Share Alike License and the GPL
  • Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 16:25:29 -0500
  • Resent-date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 12:10:38 +0000
  • Resent-from: chris AT
  • Resent-to: cc-licenses AT

On Tue, 2003-01-14 at 14:14, Aaron Swartz via RT wrote:
> Chris Croome wrote:
> > Thanks for the reply, I feared that the CC share alike license might
> > not be GPL-compatible :-(
> It's hard to be GPL-compatible without being the GPL. I think even the
> FDL isn't GPL-compatible.
> The more important question to me is whether the license is considered
> free.
> >>> 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.
> I have a hard time believing it to be the position of the FSF that such
> a provision makes the license non-free.

It is somewhat counter-intuitive, and I'm not stating an official
position here. But I do think my reasoning (see below), is consistent
with the current thinking of the FSF.

> The point of the provision is
> to prevent a CC-licensed work from being provided with technological
> restrictions (DRM/copy protection) that prevent you from doing things
> you're legally permitted to. Seeing how the GPL, for example, takes a
> hard stance against adding more restrictions legally (thru patents and
> more restrictive copyright license), I don't see how you can object to
> taking a hard stance against adding more restrictions technically.

Indeed, we do think that adding more restrictions technically is a big
danger. At the same time, we think that you ought to be able to send an
gpg-encrypted copy of gdb to your friend in Unfreedonia, where debuggers
are banned. This could fall afoul of the anti-drm provision of the SA
licenses, because the Secret Police couldn't read the document.

Trying to allow good encryption and disallow bad encryption is one
reason we're having trouble addressing the Trusted Computing problem in
the next version of the GPL.

So, I'm not making an official statement here, but I believe the FSF's
position is consistent with my own.

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
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