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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Chuck Peters <cc-licenses AT>
  • To: cc-licenses AT
  • Cc: contact20030704 AT
  • Subject: Free redistribution of a CD and a debian package.
  • Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 18:11:47 -0500 (EST)

I like to get to the point, so my question is:
Can we use the Creative Commons License to allow free redistribution of a
CD and a Debian package such that redistribution in other formats is not

Now for some background and explanations...
We run a few educational websites and use the standard copyright on the
sites. When asked (usually by a teacher or student) we have almost always
allowed people to use the material.

Kathy Miles and I are developing a software product and would also like to
allow free redistribution of the CD.

The CD is primarily an aggregate work based on Debian GNU/Linux. It will
include some non-free software which we have obtained permission to
redistribute. The CD will also include some parts of our website as well
as other writings and graphics by Kathy. She wants to limit the ability
of others to profit from her work, and she doesn't want people posting
her work to their websites.

The CD has a large compressed file which will include most of the
programs, documentation etc... Kathy's work will be in the compressed file
and will most easily be read by running the CD. Furthermore it is possible
to read it without running the CD, but it does require a special tool
which isn't available on your standard Windows OSs or most popular Linux
distributions. We also want to distribute Kathy's work in a Debian
package, this part can be extracted more easily.

The material Kathy develops is HTML and images except that it is in a
format that can't be read by a standard browser, it needs to be
decompressed and extracted. This is where it gets a bit confusing to
explain to the user, they will be able to read the material easily by
running the CD, but we want the redistribution limited to the CD as is and
the Debian package as is. IANAL, but my read of the license is if we
distribute the CD and the debian package under the Creative Commons
License, it will
accomplish what we want. Am I correct or am I missing something?

We certainly need to be clear about it on the uncompressed portion of the
CD. Perhaps just explaining it in the human-readable summary is enough.
But then that brings up the question of a slighly modified version of included on the CD still
the same license, is it still ok to call it the Creative Commons License?

And just in case you are wondering about it... All the code I develop
(and future contributers or employees) for the product will be under a GPL
and our user manual documentation will be under some open license,
probably something that meets the Debian GNU Linux requirements. Note
their is some controversy that the GNU Documentation License does not meet
Debian's requirements.

Please CC contact20030704 AT


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Chuck Peters, Systems Administrator, Network Engineer and Linux Tech.

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