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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] CC vs GPL: how to ensure compatibility and compliance

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Javier Candeira <javier AT>
  • To: drew Roberts <zotz AT>
  • Cc: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] CC vs GPL: how to ensure compatibility and compliance
  • Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 01:36:03 +1000

drew Roberts wrote:
> On Saturday 29 September 2007 02:10 am, Javier Candeira wrote:
>> If I understand it correctly, his argument was along
>> the lines that a GPL videogame with CC graphics and music was not linking
>> software, and could be considered "mere aggregation",
> OK, so it might depend on the design of the system right?

That's what I was thinking. The article says if the path to the resource is
harcoded, then the GPL is violated I don't know enough to say "bullshit"
right away, but it does seem a bit arbitrary.

> If you had a GPL game engine that played content according to a certain API
> or
> format. So the game consists of an executable engine say and a data file
> say.
> And as long as the data file was in a certain format then the engine would
> play it... Then the data file could non-GPL compatible.
> BUT. If it was all one big executable...?

Yes, that's what I was thinking. Not an issue in a distro like Debian, where
everything is nicely modularised, but a possible issue in Windows games that
come packaged as one big fat .exe.

Maybe if you provided a directory tree from which the executatble can be
built, including the GPLd code and the CC'd resources, the GPL is followed
(you can build the executable, and the code is not linked to any non-free
code)... I don't know, and that's why I wanted to discuss it on the list.

The rest becoming slightly more OT:

>>> The remaining licenses, CC-BY-SA and CC-BY, stick only to elements that
>>> satisfy the free software definition. But to be GPL-compatible, a license
>>> must also be a copyleft license -- meaning the license ensures that once
>>> a work is made available to the public, it cannot be taken away again.
>>> CC-BY makes no such requirement, thus it is not copyleft and is
>>> incompatible with the GPL.
>> (of course that's silly, many non-copyleft licenses such as BSD are
>> GPL-compatible precisely by dint of being non-copyleft. It is the OTHER
>> non-GPL copyleft licenses which are mostly non GPL-compatible).
> Indeed, super wrong... but crazy statements like that seem to crop up over
> and
> over in the area of Free works.

Yes. I teach "Introduction to Free Software" and my students have a knack
for finding seemingly authoritative articles, written by lawyers, professors
and other impressively credentialed folk, that clearly explain how one
difference between Free Software and Open Source is that Free Software has
to be copyleft but Open Source can be non-copyleft. Why my students fail to
read the FSF's Free Software Definition (which we point to in every way
possible) I don't know.


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