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

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Evan Prodromou <evan AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] CC:BY ... lost in translation?
  • Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 02:08:27 -0500

On Tue, 2006-14-11 at 23:51 -0600, Terry Hancock wrote:

> > Attribution. You must credit the author or organization by name; note
> > the title of the work; and give the URI and/or text of any copyright
> > notices. If you change the work, you must note the changes.
> FWIW, this already seems too detailed for the deed, to me.

I think the point of the deed is to help licensees comply without
reading through the fine print. Let me quote the applicable text from

If you distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or
publicly digitally perform the Work or any Derivative Works or
Collective Works, You must keep intact all copyright notices for
the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are
utilizing: (i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if
applicable) if supplied, and/or (ii) if the Original Author
and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g. a
sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution
in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other
reasonable means, the name of such party or parties; the title
of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable,
the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies
to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer
to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work;
and in the case of a Derivative Work, a credit identifying the
use of the Work in the Derivative Work (e.g., "French
translation of the Work by Original Author," or "Screenplay
based on original Work by Original Author"). Such credit may be
implemented in any reasonable manner; provided, however, that in
the case of a Derivative Work or Collective Work, at a minimum
such credit will appear where any other comparable authorship
credit appears and in a manner at least as prominent as such
other comparable authorship credit.

That's a pretty dense piece of text. It's difficult to tell even after
two or three reads that there are 3-4 items (name or organization,
title, URL and/or text of copyright notice, change notice if modified)
that are required for the credits.

Calling out those four items will help a lot of people comply, and those
people who have special cases ("The author gave a pseudonym; do I have
to find out their legal name?") can dig further into the legal document.

The current text of the deed not only doesn't specify the actual
requirements, but the wording (in English) seems to suggest that the
licensor has wide latitude to impose additional requirements on the
licensee, which is not the case.

The licensor cannot require the licensee to include a logo, a "linkback"
URL that's not about copyright, a particular formatting style (color,
font), a motto ("Become an editor"), placement of credit on a Web site
or in a book, or any of the other credit requirements that some
licensors want.

I guess I just think that a clearer deed would make the ubiquitous CC
license element a bit easier to comply with.


Evan Prodromou <evan AT>

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