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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Liz Berg <lizb AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Third-party licensing of works
  • Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 17:20:35 -0400 (EDT)

Thanks for the insight, Jo and Terry!

WFMU is actually a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so I'm about 99.999% sure we fall under the CC definition of non-commercial. Rather than cull from the pool of currently available CC-licensed music, we'll be trying to convince artists who might not know about CC to license their works as such, and then we'll include those tracks on our site.

Because these artists may be finding out about CC for the first time through us, we want to make sure that we give them all necessary information and have some definitive statement from them about which exact songs they'd like to license, should they choose to.

As I understand from Terry's advice, we should license the right to distribute the work (we're actually not compensating the artists in any way, just providing a curated platform for distro), making by-nc or by-nc-nd conditions for the agreement. Sounds like a great plan that will cover all bases.

Again, thanks for your advice, this is very helpful!


Joachim Durchholz wrote:
Liz Berg schrieb:
WFMU wants to write up a contract that summarizes the by-nc or by-nc-nd licenses (also providing the URL for the full legalese version of the license), lists songs that the artists agrees to license under CC, and asserts that these songs will be included in WFMU's Free Music Archive website. Does this kind of agreement sound kosher? Or should we approach this in a different manner?

The artists will have to place the works under BY-NC resp. BY-NC-ND.
That's enough so that everybody can download the works for free.

If WFMU is non-commercial [...]
However, if neither of these scenarios hold, you need to license the
songs from the artists so that you're allowed to redistribute them.
Should be a rather straightforward license though - you only need the
license to distribute, you don't need the right to sublicense or
anything because that's already covered by BY-NC resp. BY-NC-ND. [...]

Actually, if you're acting as the publisher -- and particularly if you
are paying for the work or otherwise compensating the artists -- then
it's pretty straightforward: you simply license the right to distribute
the work under one of the licenses you listed (you can allow the artist
to decide which one or you can insist on one).

This is technically the same as granting one license (NC) to others and
a special license to you, but it's a little more conventionally stated:
you are making your right to distribute the works under the stated
licenses a condition for publication on your site. Since publishers'
licensing arrangements are often custom, this is nothing particularly new.

But, I'm not a lawyer, etc. So if you are really trying to draw up a
contract, you'll probably want somebody to review it.

Which suddenly makes me wonder why we don't have a list of
CC-knowledgeable lawyers to refer people directly to. Wouldn't it be a
good thing to have a list of lawyers willing to review contracts? Seems
like it would be a good little job mill, too. Does that already exist?



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