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cc-licenses - [cc-licenses] Sunset Module, was Re: Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Terry Hancock <hancock AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: [cc-licenses] Sunset Module, was Re: Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0
  • Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 00:50:42 +0000

Greg London wrote:

> I haven't heard any explanation of why the "Founder's Copyright"
> isn't simply designed as an extra module.
FC doesn't even show up on the pie chart I assumed that was
because it wasn't being used by anyone (or less than 1% of usage).

I may've gotten this off to a bad start by using the term "Founder's Copyright".

I'm referring to the concept of adding a time-limit to license terms. The
more general term for this is a "sunset provision".

I'm also a little confused by the use of the term for a 14+14 year system,
when I'm pretty sure the original limit was 7+7.

In any case, I regard the two-part system as a needless complication. Yes
that's how copyright used to work, but it's too complicated to implement
(and I think that's the whole reason for the $1.00 charge -- yet another
reason it probably isn't getting used).

So let me rename my request -- how about a "Sunset Module" that
provides certain standard sunset durations for. Say "S7" for a
"seven year sunset".

Also, let me reiterate that my motivations behind this concept are:

1) Provide a way for NC/ND and free license communities to live in
greater harmony by provided a defined migration path.

2) Increase the utility of content, while not sacrificing the artists'
ability to take advantage of copyright benefits, and not requiring
the kind of "religious conversion" and total paradigm shift that
true free-licensed art models call for.

3) Provide a better alternative than using NC/ND licensing, which
IMHO are counter-productive as currently implemented.

4) Make sunsetting non-free clauses a natural and obvious choice,
instead of something that requires lots of original thought.

5) A defined module promotes a *particular* choice of sunset clause
which would then become a well-understood practice, instead of
an obscure edge-case.

I reiterate that I already know you can do this with a well-worded
license grant. But of course, a truly well-worded license grant can
in fact implement the entire terms of any license, so that's a specious
argument against it. It's a matter of convenience, and of marketing,
not mere "possibility".

Besides, if the requirement is so simple to express legally, that
means it should be a no-brainer to implement.

Another option would be to provide modified versions of the specific
modules, e.g. "NC7", "ND7", "SA7". Those would allow each module
to be sunsetted or not according to the author's wishes.


Terry Hancock (hancock AT
Anansi Spaceworks

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