Sorting Out the Sharing License Shambles

from the too-much-of-a-good-thing dept

At the heart of the various movements based around sharing -- free software, open content, open access etc. -- lie specially drawn-up licenses that grant permissions beyond the minimal ones of copyright. This approach has worked well -- too well, in fact, since it has led to a proliferation of many different licenses: the Open Source Initiative recognizes over 60 of them for open source. That's a problem because slight incompatibilities between them often make it impossible to create combined works drawing on elements released under different licenses.

To reduce these incompatibilities there has been a general move towards license simplification. For example, Wikipedia was originally licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), reflecting the fact that Wikipedia took its inspiration from the free software movement, which uses the GNU General Public License (GPL), and that in the early days of Wikipedia the Creative Commons licenses simply did not exist.

That became a problem as Creative Commons' cc by-sa license became popular, since it was not possible to re-use Wikipedia content with works released under that license. The solution was to relicense Wikipedia material under both the GFDL and cc by-sa, a shift that took place in 2009.

More recently, in the realm of software, version 2 of the Mozilla Public License (MPL 2.0), used by Firefox and many other programs, has been drawn up; one of its key aims was to reduce incompatibilities with other free software licenses:

the license is now compatible with the Apache license - anyone who complies with the terms of the MPL should also be compliant with the Apache license's terms. Similarly, by default, the license allows the code to be distributed alongside code licensed under the GPL or LGPL.
The Apache license is used by the Apache Software Foundation for the well-known Apache Web server currently running around 60% of the public Web and many other applications. The LGPL is a variant of the GPL. That means that MPL 2.0 is now compatible with the two most important free software licenses a big step forward in terms of tidying up the license mess in the free software world.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:24am

    While sorting out the licenses how about watching a short done by no name people with no money, the FX are awesome, the story is confusing though.

    Dynamo Bit 313-A (Ep1) Uploaded by KarmaPirates on Jan 12, 2012

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:35am

    While sorting out the movies...oops! licenses watch a short movie at karmapirates LoL

    Quote:
    In which the Amazingly Bearded Man (ABM) wards off the Flesh Bats, and Ava makes bad decisions.

    BIT 313-A by Scott Hampson (You know the guy from the Project London, what never heard of him or it? fine just enjoy the short then, both are being produced with no money, just sweat and tears, mostly sweat from what I heard and tears from the LuLz)
    License: CC by NC SA(aka Creative Commons, Non-Commercial Sharealike)

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 1:21am

      Re: License: CC by NC SA(aka Creative Commons, Non-Commercial Sharealike)

      Avoid the NC and ND variants of CC, please. They are non-Free. Stick to one of the following:

      * CC-0
      * CC-BY
      * CC-SA
      * CC-BY-SA

       

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        Neppe (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:01am

        Re: Re: License: CC by NC SA(aka Creative Commons, Non-Commercial Sharealike)

         

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          Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 10:00am

          Re: Re: Re: License: CC by NC SA(aka Creative Commons, Non-Commercial Sharealike)

          Thanks that was very informative.

          Having read through that page, I think it should explicitly state something it implied about commercial use.

          If one of the big traditional media producers wants to use your content commercially, say in a Hollywood movie or TV commercial, they will not just use it with a BY-SA licence any more than they would use it with a NC license.

          Instead if they want to use it and not release their containing content with a BY-SA (which we know they don't) then they will still contact the creator of the content to arrange for different licensing terms (probably with some financial agreement).

          This is why the BY-SA is just as effective as the BY-SA-NC at preventing the exploitative use the people selecting the NC license probably wanted to prevent.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 1:01am

    Seems pretty applicable http://xkcd.com/927/

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:08am

    This is why...

    This is why all my free code gets released under the Beerware License. Do whatever you like with it. If you enjoy it, feel free to buy me a beer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    This blog is very interesting. But if you want to extract the herbal aroma and flavor molecules from the similar ingredients you may that volcano vaporizer . This device has a digital and analog temperature control and two valves options by which it fills the balloon.

     

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    Gabe G, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:55pm

    My thoughts

    Having read through that page, I think it should explicitly state something it implied about commercial use.

    If one of the big traditional media producers wants to use your content commercially, say in a Hollywood movie or TV commercial, they will not just use it with a BY-SA licence any more than they would use it with a NC license.

    Instead if they want to use it and not release their containing content with a BY-SA (which we know they don't) then they will still contact the creator of the content to arrange for different licensing terms (probably with some financial agreement).

    This is why the BY-SA is just as effective as the BY-SA-NC at preventing the exploitative use the people selecting the NC license probably wanted to prevent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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