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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] Draft 4 discussion period: license drafts and open issues

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell AT>
  • To: Development of Creative Commons licenses <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Draft 4 discussion period: license drafts and open issues
  • Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2013 10:38:42 -0700

On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM, Rob Myers <rob AT> wrote:
> I'm torn. This ability has been there since 2.5, and exists as I
> understand it to avoid burdensome attribution for Wikis.

It has a ... uh. somewhat sordid history.

> But as an advertising attachment exploit it is clearly unacceptable.
> There's a difference between contributing work to a massively
> collaborative project and using (to take CC's example) an image hosting
> service. Can this be made clear in the license?

I thought the prior drafts addressed this, without the URI-barnacle problem:

[draft 3]
> indicate if You have modified the Licensed Material and if so supply a URI
> or hyperlink to the Licensed Material in unmodified form if reasonably
> practicable; and

My understanding of Drat 3 is that if you remove the the URI you
received it under you must (subject to it being practicable) supply a
hyperlink to the material in unmodified form. The simple thing to do
is to just provide the original one. ... but if the original source is
problematic, or if there are contributions from many viable paths, you
can host the original material yourself and link to that.

This appears to avoid asymmetry between contributors and first vs
later hosts (since "anyone" can offer the original work at any time).
... but also sets up an easy path to compliance for the single
canonical source case that will usually do what people usually want.

I'm not sure why it was changed away from this text, except perahaps
was the wish of people who are thinking exclusively about the very
direct model where the original author picks a host (which they like
and likely control) and ... a little URI-barnacling is really not so
harmful in the one-author, one-canonical-host, no ToS imposition of
URIs, etc. model. But it becomes a huge mess once you start trying to
collaborate and you adapt or combine works from many sources.

I think some balancing here is required, and that the best that can be
done is making it so that the default encourages the thing thing for
the cases where the URI isn't a problem, but gives equitable access to
alternatives to all future users and collaborators of the work.

[In general, I think the attribution behavior is vastly improved in
4.0, I don't want my complaints here to make it seem that I don't
think that 4.0 is enormously better constructed than 3.0 in this

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