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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution and Non-Copyleft Licenses

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Rob Myers <rob AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution and Non-Copyleft Licenses
  • Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 21:20:34 +0000

Benj. Mako Hill wrote:

Since the dominant argument against parallel distribution on this
list seems to boil down to a critique that the clause provide a way
to sidestep copyleft,

The clause provides a way of removing people's rights. If those rights are being used to effect copyleft then this is one example of the harm that can result.

In the case of all licenses it provides a way of removing Fair Use rights, which are very important and which all CC licenses explicitly respect.

The permission given by CC licenses should not have the effect of harming the permission given by the law itself.

is there any objection to a parallel
distribution clause only for those licenses that do not include the
SA option?

At first glance this does appear to fit with the wording of the anti-TPM language in the licenses, which only prohibit removing freedoms that the user actually has. So it might look as though an ND license, under the *current* wording, could have DRM added to prevent derivatives being made. See Mia's comment.

There are two problems with this though.

The first is that this ignores the existence of and allows the removal of Fair Use, which the CC licenses explicitly acknowledge. I really cannot overstate the importance of Fair Use, and how counter-productive it would be if CC licenses unintentionally harmed Fair Use by people assuming they are the limit of the permission given to users and removing the possibility of any others.

The second is that all CC licenses allow noncommercial copying, which DRM can be used to prevent. It would be nice if this was an unalienable right but I don't get that impression. It's something to bear in mind though.

This isn't a license partisan issue. NC-ND users presumably want promotion. DRM can limit that. NC users presumably are opposed to other people making money off their work. DRM is a way of locking users to a business model. And so on.

- Rob.

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