[d at DCC] Please tell me what to call this...
russell at flora.ca
Thu Aug 7 12:38:49 EDT 2008
> please give me some advice - what kind of recognised/ recognisable
> license (BE: licence, hereafter always implied) can/ should i use in the
> situation described in the enclosed statement (or, if there is no exact
> match, which license you know of that comes closest)?
I saw some replies, but I'm not convinced I understand what you are
trying to do.
> (1) I grant the readers, listeners, viewers of something i have created
> the right to copy, redistribute, excerpt, modify (edit), parody, or
> otherwise use, in full or in part, with or without adding additional
> content, my [insert your choice: creative idea / method / musical score
> / poem / story / music recording / picture / video recording ] in any
> way they see fit, including for the purpose of making money and without
> being required to mention who the creator of said [... ] is, but with
> the exception that, if they choose to mention the creator of said [... ]
> at all, they must mention that it is me.
I've seen many liberal licenses which grant permission to do
everything but not attribute you as the author of the work. Your
special case of saying that they don't have to attribute you, but aren't
allowed to attribute something else, is something I've never seen.
You may want to go with the general case to avoid having to use a
The Creative Commons Attribution license would be great for many
types of works, and a new BSD-style license is great for software.
It is possible that you were just articulating that you wouldn't want
the old-style BSD license which had an annoying advertising clause
mandating that you be attributed in situations far beyond properly
listed in the source code.
Details are at:
The offending clause was:
"3 All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
must display the following acknowledgement: This product includes
software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its
Is this what you were meaning?
> (2) I retain exactly the same rights to do with said [... ] that i grant
> others under (1). I also retain the right to publicize the fact that i
> am the creator of a given [... ] if the person or entity making use of
> said [... ] has chosen not to mention that.
You are the copyright holder, and don't need to offer yourself
permission to do anything. Copyright is a list of activities which
require your permission (or just payment in some circumstances) for
other people to do them.
What types of things are you worried about, and wanted to clarify with
this clause? You never need the permission of a distributor/user of
your work to say that it was your work.
> (3) If readers, listeners, viewers grant a license themselves, in
> regards to any derivative work they have created that include, or
> otherwise make use of, any parts of my work, those licenses (licences)
> may be less or more restrictive than my own license but must in no case
> contradict (2).
This needs clarification.
Are you saying that they can't restrict your access to your own work?
Are you talking about DRM restrictions (IE: they encrypt your work
such that you can't access it without their permission)?
Are you saying that they can't restrict you from doing anything you
want with their derivative? This is very different, and while I've seen
CopyLeft style reciprocal licenses which say that people need to use the
same license for any derivatives, I've not seen any boiler-plate
licenses which say that this open license only applies to you as the
author of the original work.
I think that this just gets complicated for people to understand what
you are meaning. It is far easier to simply go reciprocal/copyleft, or
not worry about this type of scenario at all.
Many people who promote liberal licenses believe that you will get
more bees with honey than vinegar, suggesting that using a liberal
license may encourage other people to use similar liberal licenses over
strong copyleft restrictions. I may have a different opinion, but that
other opinion is quite common.
One of the problems with trying to go with a custom license,
especially one written without the help of a lawyer, is that it will be
unclear to people reading them. You offered us 3 clauses that you
wanted to offer, and I don't think I adequately understood what you were
asking for in any of the 3 clauses. If I received a work with these
clauses, rather than offending the intentions of the author I would
likely just not use the work.
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
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