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cc-licenses - [cc-licenses] CC:BY ... lost in translation?

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Michael Tiemann <tiemann AT>
  • To: cc-licenses AT
  • Subject: [cc-licenses] CC:BY ... lost in translation?
  • Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 17:04:58 -0500

The text of the CC:BY 2.5 license deed (simplified text) says:

Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified
by the author or licensor.

[ From ]

This is much more broad than what the underlying legal code actually
says, permits, or requires. For example: say I'm the CEO of FUBAR Inc.
I offer a software package under CC:BY, and the manner of attribution I
specify is "whenever you use this software, you must wear a FUBAR T-
shirt over your regular shirt. And FUBAR T-shirts cost $10,000 each,
purchased from our website, ". The detailed license
text paints a much more narrow definition of attribution than this, but
the deed text seems to allow, if not encourage, such extravagant

How can we better characterize what is fair and reasonable attribution
so that CC:BY has a sensibly bounded scope, both in short-hand and long-
hand forms?


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