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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] cc-by-sa and gpl

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Paul Keller <pk AT>
  • To: adam AT, Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] cc-by-sa and gpl
  • Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 17:53:41 +0200

On Jul 2, 2007, at 4:38 PM, adam hyde wrote:

I was wondering...Can material that is licensed under the CC-BY-SA (3.0)
license be re-issued under the GPL.

I know the two licenses are not compatible. However the clause states:
"you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a
compatible license."

What exactly does 'similar' mean? Is the GPL sufficently 'similar' to
the CC-BY-SA?

dear Adam,

i think the term 'similar' is not chosen very well. it does not refer to licenses that are similar in terms of the requirements and permissions but rather other licenses from the cc core licenses suite that have the same license elements (BY, SA). this becomes obvious if you compare the section from the commons deed (which you quoted) with the underlying section from the legal code:

You may Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation only under the terms of: (i) this License; (ii) a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License; (iii) a Creative Commons jurisdiction license (either this or a later license version) that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g., Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US)); (iv) a Creative Commons Compatible License. If you license the Adaptation under one of the licenses mentioned in (iv), you must comply with the terms of that license.

(i) = same
(ii) & (iii) = similar
(iv) = compatible

As Andres noted licenses which are sufficiently similar in terms of requirements, permissions and scope would eventually become listed in the compatible licenses list. i do however doubt that even the GPL 2 will be compatible with CC-BY-SA as the former has lots of clauses concerning source code which the latter completely lacks. the more obvious candidates to eventually appear on this list are the GFDL and the FAL.

best, paul

paul keller | kennisland
t +31205756720 | e: pk AT |

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