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Re: Using CC for Software?

From: Joseph Reagle <reagle@mit.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 22:24:33 -0400
To: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>, Lawrence Lessig <lessig@pobox.com>
Cc: ipcommons@yahoogroups.com, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <20020528022433.07867859F5@aeon.w3.org>
Aaron and Larry,

Thank you for your answers! Some follow-up questions are below which don't 
require immediate answers; they're the sort of questions I've had in my 
mind while trying to understand the direction of CC.

On Thursday 23 May 2002 01:31 am, Lessig wrote:
> the aim on this round was not to get into the proliferation game, by
> creating our own licenses. I am eager, however, that we do develop marks
> for standard licenses -- GPL, apache, etc. Then we're just expressing
> other standard licenses, and increasing the pressure towards convergence.
> That is certainly in our near-term plans.

One of the things I've been wondering is to what degree would this be used 
as self-labels and third-party labels (harkening back to the PICS days) . 
For instance, I might want the ability to self describe the license for my 
content, and other organizations might want to say this is "OSI certified" 
or "GPL compatible."

On Tuesday 21 May 2002 01:16 pm, Aaron Swartz wrote:
> I'm hoping to expand the characteristics (like copyleft, etc.) so that
> we can describe other licenses like the GNU GPL or the EFF OAL. Building
> something like Zooko's Quick Reference[1] from the RDF data is an
> interesting place to go. So if one were to say that MIT-style licenses
> were those that only required attribution and no warranty, then they'd
> be easy to categorize.

Yes, this would be nifty.

> Yep. While I doubt that our web site will be able to do that kind of
> thing, it should certainly lay the framework for others who are
> interested.

Question, when I register my content [1] at your site will I have to send a 
URI for every single Web page? Can I specifiy domains such as already done 
in P3P [2] (and other applications?) (Also, it'd be neat if I could feed it 
RSS so new content is fed to CC automatically!)

[1] http://www.creativecommons.org/technology/contributor.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/P3P/#ref_file_processing

> Others can probably explain a little better why software was excluded.
> Reasons I've heard are:
>   - a lot of work has already gone into software, and so we should focus
> on the more neglected stuff

I'd think one could take advantage of the work.

>   - software, by its nature of practicality, has a lot of issues that
> other content doesn't. When was the last time you bought a CD that had a
> shrinkwrap license disclaiming warranty?

Is it the (Red book non-compliant) "copy protected" CDs that have been 
known to crash computers? <smile/> Regardless, even if for natural language 
content that is technical there is often a disclaimer [3].

[3] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/ipr-notice-20000612#Legal_Disclaimer

> Anyway, I hope this answers some of your questions. Thanks for your
> interest in the project and your letter.

Some other questions I have specific to your license include questions I've 
encountered at the W3C including: the right of translation, annotation, 
reformatting (e.g., html -> pdf), the right/authenticity of the submitter 
to assign the work under the stated license (is CC negligent/liable if 
abused?), and will you version the license so you can introduce a debugged 
one in the future, if so, is content under the old licenses also available 
under the new license (e.g., GPL).
Received on Monday, 27 May 2002 22:25:11 UTC

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