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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 20:11:05 +0200

On Jul 2, 2007, at 7:54 PM, adam hyde wrote: CC and FSF are helping who exactly with license
interoperability? I really get that monty python feeling where the
factions are spitting on each other in the arena....

hmm. there is no point in interoperability (as in being able to relicense something that was originally under one of the licenses under the other): the GPL is intended for software, the CC licenses are for works under copyright that are *not* software. as rob explained distributing CC-BY-SA and GPL licensed works together is fine both under the GPL and the CC-BY-SA. the only 'problem' in this regard is the position of Debian legal. as far as i know they are still deliberating if they are going to consider CC-BY-SA 3.0 (which resolved most of the issues they had with the pervious versions) free according to the DFSG or not. one would hope that they will.

will be see two 'prosumers' sitting on a bench, one asking "is that an
'organisation for free licences'?" and the other replying "no! thats a
free license organsation!... wankers!"

and i won't even get started on asking questions about the FDL...i've
already made up my mind on that one...

as i said before the GFDL is one of the obvious candidates for inclusion in the list of CC compatible licenses. if i am not entirely mistaken the incompatibility between CC-BY-SA and GFDL is the main reason for the inclusion of the compatability clause in CC-BY-SA 3.0. i am not really getting why the GFDL seems to be get you even more upset when thinking about compatibility. in the case of the GFDL there is a real need for compatibility as both licenses are intended for the same type of works, namely non-software works protected by copyright.



On Mon, 2007-07-02 at 18:36 +0100, Rob Myers wrote:
(I am not CC, I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.)

adam hyde wrote:

It would seem the GPL would not be 'compatible' under these terms as the
GPL does not explicitly permit: "the relicensing of derivatives of works
made available under that license under a particular Creative Commons

That is correct.

The gpl does not do this. However, how does the CC-GPL fit into this
picture? :

Its the GPL with a CC the CC-GPL considered to be living
within the CC family of licenses? If so, then the CC-GPL is 'compatible'
and the question is answered.

Ignore CC-GPL for the purpose of this discussion, that is just CC trying
to explain the GPL to people. It's a very good idea (CC-FDL anybody?)
but can be confusing.

is there anyone that can clarify this?

Just to retour...My specific question is:

Can content under the CC-BY-SA (3.0) be distributed under the GPL? ie.
Is the GPL or 'CC-GPL' a 'similar' or 'compatible' license as per the
license statement :
"you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a
compatible license."

anyone want to make me a happy camper with a categorical yes or no? ;)

Categorically: no.

The GPL is not compatible with BY-SA, and is unlikely to be declared

See above. ;-)

If you are the original licensor you could dual-license under BY- SA and
GPL, but that's a very bad idea.

The reason _why_ this is an interesting question for me is that
documentation about free software is often written in CC BY-SA. If this
material can be then distributed under the GPL then the docs could be
distributed with source code without causing developers extra license

You can distribute BY-SA material with GPL material. The FDL was
designed to be applied to documentation distributed with GPL-ed
software, and the principle is the same. This is aggregation, and is
fine under the GPL.

So a GPL-licensed piece of software with BY-SA documentation should be
absolutely fine. Unless it breaks the rules of a particular distro (e.g.

- Rob.

adam hyde
'free as in media'


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