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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: Re: [cc-licenses] Founders as a module? was Re: Getting to Version 3.0
  • Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 14:43:20 +0000

drew Roberts wrote:
Putting a timed-release in a module would not have the same legal
implications as the founders copyright. I say this because once a
person had chosen such a module, CC would not be involved. It would
at that point be an agreement between the artist and the public.

Yes, I agree, and that's what I like about it.

As I said on one of these sub-threads, I may have erred by using the
term "Founders' Copyright", and perhaps should've said "Sunset"
or "Time Release" or something.

I believe that a time-delayed license module (whatever it's called)
would be superior to the Founder's Copyright approach. AFAICT,
there isn't a lot of practical difference between CC-By and Public
Domain, so ISTM you don't really need stuff to go into the Public

Also, this approach (if done right) would allow you to choose to
keep the SA module, instead of ditching it, so stuff would become
CC-By-SA instead of CC-By. I think that could potentially be
very attractive (I'm not certain, but I think this doesn't require
anything special -- always applying the time-release to NC and ND,
with the right choice of license would allow NC-to-By and NC-to-SA
models by just choosing the right terms -- anything with SA would
keep it).

Also, as you argued before, the Founder's Copyright probably isn't
even legal in "Moral Rights" jurisdictions. Not to mention the fact that
the name doesn't make any sense outside of the US -- "*whose* Founders?"
ISTM, it's a US-only license, which is one big strike against it.

Here is another thought to further complicate matters...

While I am a big BY-SA fan, I might be willing to go the other
direction as well. Put a module on my BY-SA works that would allow
derivatives to be closed for 3 years at the discretion of the maker
of the derivative. Something like that. (I doubt I would go for
anything longer than 3 years on things based on my work though. This
is an off the cuff remark and the first time I have thought of this.
I may very well not like the idea after further thought or
discussions, we shall see.)

Well as I said, this was the Parker/Van Alstyne model. They have a paper
in which they model the implications of using such licenses. Intriguingly,
both Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman reviewed this paper, and were
apparently fairly supportive of the research (I interview Van Alstyne
afterwards). You might want to read it, to get an idea of whether you
would like such a world.

What they wanted to do was to allow the time delays (and other aspects
of the license) to be parametric.

Now, it's important to realize that they are economists, not lawyers, so
they don't really specify how you could make all this legal -- and it would
probably require some sacrifices of optimization.

I also should say that I don't necessary "endorse" this paper myself -- I
just think it's interesting research (same link I cited earlier):

Combined with the reverse idea presented above, both camps would be
compromising to work with the other. It might fly.

Well, that's the part I like. ;-)


Terry Hancock (hancock AT
Anansi Spaceworks

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