IMC Tech Copyleft Discussion 2006

A imc-license list and ImcLicense wiki page were was set up after a CopyLeft, Indymedia and content licenses thread starting in December 2005 and running into January 2006 on imc-tech got out of hand.

This page is somewhere to document that discussion, this page is a work in progress, so far it contains quotes from email upto and including 8th January 2006.

Problems with multiple licenses on one site

On 26 Dec 2005 Chris sent a email to imc tech, pointing out that "Dada sites and some others (eg Germany) allows users to select a license when publishing to the newswire" and asking if "anyone considered that this can lead the the situation where various newswire posts on the same site can't be combined together?".

Chris illustrated this with an example, "if I upload some photos under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike and someone else uploads some text under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike and then someone wants to create a feature article using some of the text and some of the photos this would not be allowed..." and pointed to an article on this issue, Copyleft Hits a Snag.

That day Bart replied and said "licenses were suppossed to make it easier to share or stuff. if they don't we shouldn't use them".

Public domain

Bart's email on 26 Dec 2005 also suggested that "we can also consider going for public domain or so for our content. it would make stuff a lot easier. the last thing i want to do when i make a feature is comparing the licences of all articles involved."

On 4 Jan pabs pointed out that "the "public domain" isn't available everywhere - in some countries, apparently copyright holders can't get rid of certain aspects of their copyright". That day Txopi confirmed this, "That's the case of Spain. An author can't legally give something to the public domain. The laws protect the atribution and you can't remove it, although if you want it." MJ Ray added "In general, I'd suggest encouraging public domain or pd-style licences (as mentioned, some countries don't let one put things into the pd before all rights expire)."

Applying multiple licenses to content

On 4 Jan Alster suggested that we could "change the article submission forms in a way where you multi-license if you do less-restrictive licenses and where you single-license if you do the most restrictive one". Chris pointed out that multi-licensing "gets very complicated very fast..."

On 8 Jan Alster replied that he would imagine "that multiple licenses which the user is able to choose from make it more easy for her to get it the way she wants and needs it." That day Chris replied "I suppose from a Indy CMS point of view it would be a matter of changing, for example, the Dada radio buttons for selecting licenses to a multiple select list and I guess by default everything (all licenses) would be selected? Public Domain, ShareAlike Attribution, ShareAlike NonCommercial etc...? " In response Alex said "that the vast majority of users will not care about licensing enough to make a choice, but rather just select the default value."

A Indymedia license

On 4 Jan gdm suggested that we could "ignore all other licenses and create and indymedia version".

Creative Commons Non-Commercial option

On Jan 4 MJ Ray raised some concerns with the Creative Commons Non-Commercial clause, "No picture under an anti-commercial licence can be used in free software and it hinders people who cannot fund distribution by other means. Does indymedia try to distribute information freely or put up a small obstacle to commerce, even if it hinders private non-profit exchanges?" and he went on to say "NC terms aren't free software licences, but are more like council-flowerbed-style. I'd prefer a thriving wild green space to a flowerbed. I wrote more about this on the now-closed creative-friends list last year:"

That day Chris pointed out an "interesting email on a CC list -- it has lots of edge cases": Use cases for NonCommercial license clause.

Topic revision: r2 - 24 Jan 2006, ChrisC
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