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Missing CC0

The page was missing the CC0 license which replaced the Public Domain Certification and Dedication. I couldn't see a good reason for it to be excluded, so I added it. If there was a good reason to exclude it, by all means get in touch and tell me. --Sanglorian 11:57, 26 January 2012 (EST)

CC BY and CC BY-SA not attribution?

The grid listed CC BY and CC BY-SA as not having an attribution requirement. That seemed bizarre, so I've added it. Am I missing something? --Sanglorian 07:17, 19 December 2011 (EST)

An idea for a proper grid

I suggest to send a questionnarie to the organizations that have published the licenses. Otherwise, we risk to get into trouble these organizations. The grid involves a responsability (it is not a simple definition). Antoine is the principal developer of the grid and he doesn't know well the licenses that he values.--Bob4 22:15, 26 May 2006 (CEST)

You can draft such a questionnaire, send it to the interested parties, collect answers and publish them verbatim somewhere (preferably on a separate page because it may be quite long).
But the responsibility argument is nonsense: there is no risk for third-party organizations to get sued for what we say here, since they don't officially take part. Also, it is obvious this page is not legal advice. As is said in the first paragraph: "Endly, we want to stress that, before choosing a license, you must read the license text carefully. No summary, no matter how attractive or reassuring, can replace detailed understanding of the license itself." I believe this disclaimer is clear enough, but you can suggest an alternative if you think it's not.
--Antoine 15:20, 29 May 2006 (CEST)
The problem is not legal, the problem is ethical. For example, you said that GFDL doesn't contain an anti-DRM clause and you wrote "no" in the grid. Without my providential correction, your words would still be see as true by many people. This is a negative fact for FSF. You don't understand this problem?? :-( We can draft a questionnaire together. I'm democratic, Antoine.--Bob4 15:41, 29 May 2006 (CEST)
It's a wiki and everyone can contribute. If you hadn't asked for the correction someone else would have suggested it later.
You can make a first proposal for the questionnaire if you want (a separate page would certainly be more practical). --Antoine 15:53, 29 May 2006 (CEST)
I'm making it. Your criticism is distracted. :-)--Bob4 18:48, 29 May 2006 (CEST)

Also see: My License Page at Free Culture UK, which is an earlier effort towards license evaluation. --Rob Myers 19:48, 14 June 2006 (CEST)


I'm sorry for my non-discussed crass changing of the grid, but I hope you still appreciate my engagement. Please fix/debate/discuss/make recommendations. --Qubodup 20:09, 25 November 2007 (CET)

Against DRM 1.0

In my opinion, Against DRM 1.0 is a free content license.

  • This license is incompatible with any technology, device or component that, in the normal course of its operation, is designed to prevent or restrict acts which are authorised or not authorised by licensor: this incompatibility causes the inapplicability of the license to the work.
  • Any breach of this license [...] will automatically retroactively void this license.

The sense is clear: licensor cannot license with Against DRM 1.0 a work protected by DRM, because the license is inapplicable to works protected by DRM. Inapplicability of the license => no juridical effects.

Licensee cannot protect the work or derivative works with DRM: if licensee protect the work or derivative works with DRM, the license will be void.

Where is the vagueness? --Tom 02:32, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

I find the "incompatible with .. acts which are authorised or not authorised" passage to be vague. Which acts, exactly, are we talking about? Could this mean that a licensor can say: "I disagree with your usage of encryption to conceal your personal data, as this is not an act which I have authorized?" Moreover, there is not even a reference to the work itself in the passage, so it's not clear to me that it only refers to "acts" which are related to the work. I think this passage needs to be explicit that we are talking about reducing the rights of others to the work through DRM.--Erik Möller 02:45, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

Which acts, exactly, are we talking about?

It's very simple: what does licensor authorize with the license? :-)

4. Grant of rights

Licensor authorizes licensee to exercise the following rights:

a. right of reproduction; (act of reproduction, act of multiplication...)

b. right of distribution; (act of distribution, act of diffusion...)

etc. etc. etc.

The law (EUCD) say: the expression ‘technological measures’ means any technology, device or component that, in the normal course of its operation, is designed to prevent or restrict acts [...] which are not authorised by the rightholder of any copyright or any right related to copyright.

Where is the vagueness?

The sense is clear; these acts are: reproduction, distribution... and any copyright or any right related to copyright. --Tom 03:12, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

I do agree with Erik, the wording is much too broad and vague. "acts which are authorised or not authorised" is completely unacceptable as it can mean anything (acts which are not authorized, by construction, are not part of license, in contrast to what you would like to let us think).
Instead "acts which are not authorized" are part of the license: these acts concern possible moral rights. --Tom 15:18, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
By the way, 1) EUCD is not a law but an European directive 2) when the law is vague or dishonest, it is not helpful to base an argument on it. --Antoine 13:23, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
The law (EUCD is applied with national laws) is law: if you want legally oppose DRM, you must speak the language of the law. --Tom 15:18, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
There is no point in trying to oppose what the law defines as DRM rather than what you find immoral. About EUCD, what part of "European directive" don't you understand? Each country drafts its own transposition of EUCD and transpositions can be very different from the original. --Antoine 15:28, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
A license is a legal instrument and a legal instrument must be based on law. A license not based on law is not much effective and a license not much effective realizes nothing (moral principles, ideals etc). I think that you don't know directives' compulsoriness. --Tom 20:26, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
Merely repeating yourself without reading what other people answered does not make you right... I guess this makes the thread dead, unless you want to bring fresh arguments onto the table (like on the cc-fr mailing-list, by the way). --Antoine 01:12, 3 May 2006 (CEST)
Other people? Who? I'm sorry but I'm not accustomed to uncivil tones of voice. You can speak with other people. :-) Thanks. --Tom 11:08, 3 May 2006 (CEST)
No need to use strong terms like "completely unacceptable", I'm sure the Against DRM license has good intentions which are very much in line with the goals of the definition. The question is, could it be clarified and improved? Tom, could you perhaps state what your position is in this matter - are you directly involved with the license? If so, we might be able to hook you up with some legal people from Creative Commons or Wikimedia.--Erik Möller 13:28, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
Against DRM is a new, redundant and minor license. It is not clear that it has been drafted by a legal professional. Both the FDL and the CC licenses have anti-DRM clauses. License proliferation is a bad thing, and there are already too many licenses with the CC license variants alone. Freedom Defined should not reproduce in Free Culture the damage that OSI are seeking to undo in Free Software. Promoting Against DRM is not a good idea, however good its intentions are. --Rob Myers 19:44, 14 June 2006 (CEST)

I'm not involved with the license: I'm a jurist and I like this license for many reasons (what you call "vagueness", I call, in this case, "elasticity" and "knowledge of right"). A license is a technical text that must be analyzed with a technical background. In my opinion, in this simple license nothing is casual. --Tom 15:18, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

One might also refer to the debian-legal thread about Against DRM 1.0. --Antoine 14:35, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

Superficial discussion. :-) --Tom 15:18, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

GNU General Public License

Any reason this license isn't included as a free content license? --Ricardo Gladwell 14:13, 2 May 2006 (CEST)

It is, under "all free software licenses".--Erik Möller 14:15, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
Apologies, I missed that. Wouldn't it be better to explicitly list the GPL as many individuals use it as both a software and contennt license? - Ricardo Gladwell 14:36, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
Erm, it is, under "all free software licenses", which is followed by, "including the GNU GPL ..", but feel free to arrange the page differently.--Erik Möller 22:23, 2 May 2006 (CEST)
Ricardo, I've tried to change the wording so as to make it explicit that the GPL is a proper free content license. Feel free to improve :) --Antoine 01:51, 3 May 2006 (CEST)

License characterization

I think the current rough list is fine at the moment (the high priority task is to have a clear, precise, ethically correct, internationally secure Definition ;-)). However, in the future it will be useful to characterize the licenses more precisely according to a grid of criteria. Here are some criteria I suggest:

Copyleft / non-copyleft

Well, this is easy. Let's not forget about "agregation" however. For example, the GPL is a copyleft license which allows agregation with non-GPL works; the FAL is a copyleft license which does not allow agregation with non-FAL works (unless the resulting work is not considered a derived work under copyright law).

Attribution / non-attribution

Easy as well.

Access to source code

The GNU GPL mandates access to source code. The GFDL mentions transparent versions, which may (may not??) equate to source code. I don't know about any other free content licenses requiring access to source code; are there any?

The GFDL requires a source copy of the document, which must also be "Transparent" (that is, a simple, open standard format). The Design Science License also requires a source copy. --Ricardo Gladwell 12:57, 7 May 2006 (CEST)

Internationalization scheme (translation / adaptation)

This one is rarely mentioned. There are roughly two main internationalization schemes currently:

  • the GNU/FAL style: GNU licenses have only one legally binding version which is the original English one. The Free Art License is translated into several languages but translations are literal. The net effect is similar in both cases: the exact same concepts and clauses apply to everyone in the world.
  • the CC style: licenses are not just translated, they are adapted. Consequently, licenses can be slightly different. For example, the French CC licenses have different wordings, warnings and restrictions compared to the American ones.

It is not obvious whether both of these schemes make for safe international interoperability. However, it is important that the issue is explained.


Ok, so I've finally tried to give a clear structure to the page. I'm not sure to what level of detail we must go when talking about each license. In any case, help is welcome since the list is far from exhaustive. --Antoine 19:10, 20 May 2006 (CEST)

Er,, could you log in and tell who you are? It is easier to collaborate with human beings than with IP addresses ;) About your edits:

  • I would like to know why you removed the blurb about the Against-DRM License; it is an important question to know who wrote a license, so that we also understand their philosophy and their intents for the future;

Movimento Costozero ( ) is one of the most important association in Italy for digital freedoms ( ). They invented Copyzero ( ) and all their projects (for example, "Scarichiamoli!" , supported by Stallman, Lessig and Creative Commons Italy) aim at freedom. It's sufficient?
--Carlos 01:27, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

The problem is not whether it's sufficient, it's why the Against DRM web site does not state any of this. A whois result is not a very interesting information since it doesn't indicate a statement of intent. I think it would be clearer if the Against DRM web site made a clear statement about its authorship, and also provided at least some insight into what philosophical values it wants to promote. --Antoine 01:58, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
The problem was that you did not know who wroted the license, his philosophy etc.. Now you know who wrote the license, his phylosophy etc. ... but the problem is that the Against DRM web site does not state any information about who wrote the license. :-) What can I say you?? Contact them! Speak with them. :-) --Carlos 02:36, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
The problem is not for me, it's for potential users of the licence and for the general public. Inquiring in private is not practical and is not a sign that the authors are willing to provide information. --Antoine 12:12, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
This is your opinion. --Carlos 11:06, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
I don't understand the problem, Antoine: if an anonymous killer or Osama bin Laden publish a good free license, I use and suggest that license because it's a good free license. STOP. If Lessig publish a not free license ( this, for example: ), I don't use it. STOP. We must value only if a license is free. However, it seems that we know who writed that license and his philosophy... so I really don't understand the problem.--Bob4 10:26, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I disagree with you. A license (especially a copyleft license) also often comes with an ecosystem, a community of authors sharing together some values. It is not an ad hominem argument as you try to make it look like. Licenses don't only have a legal value, they have a social and normative value. That's why the intent of the authors, the existence of a community are important. --Antoine 12:12, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
A license is a legal text. STOP. If Osama bin Laden publish a good legal text, I use it with any problem. However, there is a not secret organization behind that license. Where is the problem, Antoine? Why do you ignore this? --Bob4 12:32, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Again, the problem is explained above. I'm not interested in repeating myself...
As for "a license is a legal text. STOP.", we'll have to agree to disagree. --Antoine 12:42, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
We have two different opinions: where is the problem? It seems that you want always the last word. :-) No problem! The last word is your!--Bob4 20:19, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Actually, I agree with Bob4 here. Of course a license is also accompanied by a community, but the community is nothing without a properly drafted and clear license. What is important is whether a license permits the publication of free content or not according to our definition, everything else is fluff. --Ricardo Gladwell 20:26, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Yes, everything else is fluff. --Carlos 11:06, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

Who wrote Free Art License?
You are Antoine Moreau? Can you tell me about your philosophy and your intents for the future? I'm sorry but I don't know you. You have an organization (without irony)?--Carlos 01:32, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

I'm Antoine Pitrou, Antoine Moreau is a different person. As for the Free Art License, like most other licenses (including GNU and CC ones), its web site features detailed information about the history of the license, its intent, its authors, etc. (granted, many of those texts are in French) --Antoine 01:58, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

Related rights

About "related rights", I don't agree that other licenses reserve them as you state. For example, the Free Art License is meant to grant them to the user (clause 2.1). Creative Commons licenses also grant them (clause 3c and 3d in by-sa 2.5). I welcome your help in solving these points. --Antoine 20:39, 20 May 2006 (CEST)


You have the right to copy this work of art for your personal use, for your friends or for any other person, by employing whatever technique you choose.

This is another thing: this is the freedom to copy the work (economic right)... all free content licenses grant this (the author/licensor grant this right). Related rights aren't rights of the author; they are rights of producers and executors. An example: I'm an author of a song and I release it under Free Art License. A producer takes my song and produces a CD with my song (new execution of my song): producer and executors acquire related rights over CD and registrations. So you can copy and distribute the work (the corpus mystichum). You can copy the registrations (the corpus mechanicum) for private use (private copy). But you cannot copy and distribute (etc, etc.) these certain registrations.

Which is the solution?

"Against DRM" say:

... performances of the work, phonograms in which the work is fixed, broadcastings of the work must be released with a license that provides:
a. the renunciation to exclusive exercise of rights referred to in the articles 4 and 5 (copyrights + related rights);

You can grab CD and share mp3 only if producer and executors expressly renounce to their exclusive rights (related rights)! Free Art License doesn't speak about related rights. Free Art License speak only about copyrights (the rights of the author).--Carlos 01:27, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

Did I say 2.1? I'm sorry, that should have read 2.2. Clause 2.2 of the FAL is "2.2 FREEDOM TO DISTRIBUTE, TO INTERPRET (OR OF REPRESENTATION)". Freedom to interpret and freedom of representation covers related rights, at least as I understand it. Clause 2.3 of the FAL also talks about "distribution (or representation) of the modified copy".
Do you agree that CC licenses (at least by and by-sa) also grant related rights? (clauses 3c and 3d in by-sa 2.5)
--Antoine 01:58, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

Creative Commons License say:

For the avoidance of doubt, where the work is a musical composition:

Performance Royalties Under Blanket Licenses.
Licensor waives the exclusive right to collect, whether individually or via a performance rights society (e.g. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), royalties for the public performance or public digital performance (e.g. webcast) of the Work.
Mechanical Rights and Statutory Royalties.
Licensor waives the exclusive right to collect, whether individually or via a music rights agency or designated agent (e.g. Harry Fox Agency), royalties for any phonorecord You create from the Work ("cover version") and distribute, subject to the compulsory license created by 17 USC Section 115 of the US Copyright Act (or the equivalent in other jurisdictions).

These royalties are possible only because some related rights (on corpus mechanicum) are exclusive. So CCPL expressly reserved related rights for music (for the avoidance of doubt: infact, these related rights - as I said - are reserved also without this specification). --Carlos 02:09, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

My English dictionary tells me the verb to waive means to renounce one's rights. Therefore, the meaning of this clause is certainly the opposite of what you are saying: the licensor (not licensee) gives up his rights to collect royalties related to performance and the like.
Also, you said nothing about clauses 3c and 3d in by-sa. You can't ignore them, can you?
--Antoine 12:12, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Sorry I omitted the most important part (the final part):

The above rights may be exercised in all media and formats whether now known or hereafter devised. The above rights include the right to make such modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats. All rights not expressly granted by Licensor are hereby reserved.

As in Free Art License, Licensor grant his rights (also related rights, but his related rights). Instead, License expressly reserves related rights that Licensor not granted (logically also related rights of other persons: executors and procuders). It's very simple: you can consult Creative Commons about this. Only in "Against DRM" related rights are copylefted.

This is the great invention of this license, imho.--Carlos 14:58, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

No doubt it's an interesting point, but it doesn't justify negating the fact that other licenses do provide related rights; the license list is not here to promote a particular license. I'll modify your last edit so as to give more useful information.
Obviously other licenses grant licensor's related rights; my old grid said: Copylefted related rights -> NO/YES. It was correct. Now the grid says: Related rights -> -/granted/ganted+copyleft. It's correct too.

I don't promote a particular license.--Carlos 11:21, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

By the way, when you significantly modify existing contents in a page, could you justify your edits somewhere in the discussion page? Thanks in advance. --Antoine 19:20, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Sure. --Carlos 11:21, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

Now I see Free Art License . :-)--Carlos 02:12, 21 May 2006 (CEST)


You can freely distribute the copies of these works, modified or not, whatever their medium, wherever you wish, for a fee or for free, if you observe all the following conditions:
- attach this license, in its entirety, to the copies or indicate precisely where the license can be found, - specify to the recipient the name of the author of the originals,
- specify to the recipient where he will be able to access the originals (original and subsequent). The author of the original may, if he wishes, give you the right to broadcast/distribute the original under the same conditions as the copies.

Author/licensor is speaking about his rights: logically licensor give you, for example, the registration x of his song. He authorises you to copy registration x (because he is the owner of the related rights concerning registration x). But what about registration y executed by A and produced by B? The license doesn't bind executors and producers to the renunciation of their future related rights.--Carlos 02:28, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

The only interpretation you could draw (and I'm not convinced it's the proper one) is that the Free Art License is not copyleft when it comes to related rights. But it doesn't mean it "reserves" them since they are explicitly granted to the user.
--Antoine 12:12, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Only the related rights of the author (as executor and/or producer) are (logically) free (otherwise you cannot dowload that copy of the work!).
But any other related right is reserved (expressly reserved in CCPL).
Infact, I maked an example concerning future related rights of other persons.--Carlos 14:58, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I just had an answer from a lawyer who interprets section 3 of the FAL ("3. INCORPORATION OF ARTWORK : All the elements of this work of art must remain free, which is why you are not allowed to integrate the originals (originals and subsequents) into another work which would not be subject to this license.") as concerning all possible uses of the work in subsequent work, including performances, recordings, etc. In that interpretation, related rights are copylefted under the FAL.
--Antoine 19:56, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Les droits voisins ne portent pas atteinte aux droits des auteurs. Yes: I can reproduce, distribute, modify... the work (corpus mystichum) but I cannot distribute, reproduce, modify... for example, a certain registration (corpus mechanichum) of the work. It's simple.
Many classical compositions are in public domain (so I can reproduce, distribute, modify... these compositions): but I cannot reproduce, distribute, modify... the version of Von Karajan produced by Deutsche grammophon--Carlos 11:46, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
Carlos, I agree with your point about public domain, but it was not the argument I was making. Public domain is not transitive (copyleft) so it's no surprise that you can make proprietary works from public domain works. I quoted a specific clause ("3. INCORPORATION OF ARTWORK") which a lawyer thinks implies copyleft for related rights. I'm not claiming lawyers are always right (often they don't agree between themselves ;-)) but it's an interesting interpretation at least. What do you think about it?
--Antoine 12:25, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
All the elements of this work of art must remain free, which is why you are not allowed to integrate the originals (originals and subsequents) into another work which would not be subject to this license.
An execution of the work is not another work! A certain registration of "work x" is not another work ("work y")!
Another work is a new work (work y) that contains work x (the original or derivate work released under the license).
So the incorporation does not concern related rights: the incorporation concerns copyrights on collective works. You can say this to the lawyer. :-)--Carlos 13:13, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
Why do you say an execution is not another work? It involves a creative effort from the executor (perfomer, etc.), which seems to make it qualify as a genuine work. If I take some existing lyrics and sing them, then I'm creating a work because singing qualifies as a creative action.
No! This is a great, great error, Antoine The creativity of performers doesn't concern copyrights but related rights! When I play Sting, the author is Sting! Sting has the copyrights, I have related rights on that registration. Is it clear? And Sting cannot sell my performance of his song! Do you unerstand what I'm saying? If we don't know these basis, it's dangerous to work on this project.--Carlos 13:40, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
I understand what you are saying, but I don't understand how it answers the question. The question is "why do you think performing a work does not create a separate or derived work?". The fact that the performer is not considered author the same way the original author is (the difference is in what economic rights are granted, AFAIK), does not mean the performance is not a work in itself. It seems to me that these are two separate questions. Aren't they?
If you want, I can try to put you in contact with the person I was talking about. Perhaps it is easier if you can discuss it together by e-mail?
--Antoine 14:04, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
He answered to you. A copyrightable work is object of immaterial property. A derivative work is not a certain material execution of the same work. A derivative work of a composition is a different composition, a composition based upon the original work but, for example, with a different melody in certain parts (or with a new arrangement... ).

Two links for Antoine:

(Antoine I suggest you to deepen your knowledges about copyright, related rights, derivative works etc etc). --Bob4 15:09, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

An interpretation or performance is also the object of "immaterial property" (related rights are a form of "immaterial property"), so I suggest you find a more compelling argument.
Also, let me remind you that the discussion is about a specific clause in the FAL. If you don't want to elaborate about the precise point which has been made, then please start a new discussion thread elsewhere.
Oh, and please indent your comments properly, thx. --Antoine 15:29, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
Ok, it's impossible to speak with you! :-(

You said that derivative works are also the executions of a work. It is not true! If you don't believe to me, see that links! What means "indent your comments properly"??--Bob4 15:38, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

I did not say that. I said that, in my opinion, they should be considered either separate works or derivative work (please note the alternative). The point was that the FAL covers both (as for CC-BY-SA, I did not check).
Your opinion... ok ok. :-)
(as for legal status of the performer, in French right the performer has moral rights on his performance - article L212-2).
Where I can read that, in France, a performance is a derivative work or a "separate work"? The creative work is the copyrightable work. See also: (in french: Un travail dérivé suppose une transformation, modification ou adaptation qui constitue par elle même une création susceptible d'être protégée par le droit d'auteur. Only an author can make a copyrightable work or a copyrightable derivative work. A simple performer or a simple producer cannot make derivative works! Perhaps you don't know what juridically means the term work in the copyright laws. --Bob4 16:13, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
Er, "copyright" does not exist in French right. There are "patrimonial rights", which belong to the author as well as to the performer (although in a different extent and with different modalities). So if you are looking to know whether performances and representations are "equivalent-copyrightable" in France, yes they are: they are the object of patrimonial rights.
You don't know what you say. :-/ You must study! Patrimonial rights aren't related rights! Also the terms are different! (La durée des droits patrimoniaux est de 70 ans à partir du 1er janvier suivant le décès de l'auteur. La durée de protection du droit voisin est de 50 ans à dater de la prestation. ) In France you have Droits patrimoniaux (economic rights) and Droits voisins (related rights). In France patrimonial rights regard the author, instead related rights regard: artistes interprètes, producteurs de phonogrammes et de vidéogrammes, entreprises de communication audiovisuelle. I'm tired Antoine, very tired. :-( --Bob4 18:17, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

You are wrong. Droits patrimoniaux do include droits voisins. They are explicitly mentioned in article 211-4 in the livre des droits voisins ("La durée des droits patrimoniaux objet du présent titre (...)": this implies owners of related rights do enjoy patrimonial rights).
Les droits patrimoniaux objet du présent titre: LES DROITS VOISINS DU DROIT D'AUTEUR! There are patrimonial rights that regard author and (different) patrimonial rights that regard performers and producers: these patrimonial rights aren't author's rights!
That's exactly what I said two messages above, so perhaps you could have read it instead of trolling (There are "patrimonial rights", which belong to the author as well as to the performer (although in a different extent and with different modalities). --Antoine 19:10, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
I'm not a troll. I'm helping you to understand. Do you remember the question? What does french law say about derivative works? Does french law say that performances are derivative works?? No! Performances are simple executions of the work! Performances aren't new versions of the work! Only the authors make new versions of works. A performer is not an author!! And a producer makes a mechanical reproduction of a work: he's not an author! Work is only the object of a creation! An execution isn't a work but a reproduction of a work. An arrangement is a derivative work! See your law and stop FUD.--Bob4 19:24, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
In all the world works and derivative works are works of an author. An author is not a performer or a producer. A big flame for a simple thing.--Carlos 15:41, 26 May 2006 (CEST) Droit des auteurs are author's moral rights and author's patrimonial rights. Related rights (DROITS VOISINS DU DROIT D'AUTEU) aren't author's patrimonial rights. If you aren't inclined to know the truth, this is your problem.--Bob4 19:04, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

But talking about copyrightable/non-copyrightable is misleading in the context of French law. I'll try to ask the FAL authors if I meet them soon. Perhaps they can clarify in a future version of the license. --Antoine 17:01, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

Carlos, if you hold the view that a performance is not a separate work, then the performance cannot be released under a separate license either (at least not without consent from the author).

What is a separate work? This is not a juridical definition. Derivative work is a juridical definition. A performance is not a work! A performance is an execution of a work!

Against DRM says: Derivative works, performances of the work, phonograms in which the work is fixed, broadcastings of the work must be released with a license that provides [...]. Derivative works are a thing (new derivative creations of another author) and performances, phonograms etc are another thing (they aren't object of the action of an author)... and this is juridically correct. It seems that you don't understand this easy concept.--Carlos 20:54, 26 May 2006 (CEST)

So I still don't understand what the problem with FAL and CC BY-SA is (both are copyleft and grant related rights). Btw., Tomos also provided an answer for CC at the end of this section).

Copyleft only for copyrights, not for related rights. The copyleft clauses are different.

Also, "Against DRM" applies to "works of the mind" which by your own reasoning don't include performances of a work: so it cannot be applied to a performance although clause 7 seems to mandate it. All in all, I'm still not convinced that this "copyleft related rights" is a real distinctive point. --Antoine 16:24, 26 May 2006 (CEST)

The license treats copyrights and related rights in two different points: why do you continue to muddle the things? However, contact a jurist or a lawyer, I think that is the only solution in your case. :-) --Carlos 20:54, 26 May 2006 (CEST)
I would like you to answer the question above. As I said, I already contacted a lawyer on a mailing-list, who thinks there is no problem with the FAL's treatment of related rights.
Once again, there is also an answer by Tomos below which you still did not consider.
Since the Against DRM people are the only one raising this "related rights" concern, I believe it's not my task to clarify the matter. If you don't want to explain it, then please don't make further edits to the pages either, because I'm not willing to leave a distinction which doesn't seem shared by anybody but you.
--Antoine 15:12, 29 May 2006 (CEST)

Do we know for a fact that the GPL and GNU FDL do not cover related rights? Aren't related works covered by derivative works language? Is this important in all jurisdictions? --Ricardo Gladwell 20:16, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

Related rights does not regard software. So GPL (and the other software licenses) does not speak about related rights. It's normal. --Bob4 20:32, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I appreciate the response, but that isn't what I asked: Do we know for a fact that the GPL and GNU FDL do not cover related rights? Aren't related works covered by derivative works language? --Ricardo Gladwell 20:43, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Copyrights and related rights are two different types of rights: a license regulates related rights only if the license expressly speaks about these specific rights. Otherwise the derivative works language regard only copyrights... and related rights are automatically reserved.

For example, performance right allows music creators to claim royalties when their works are played. When you hear music (on the radio, TV, stage or in public), the composer usually receives royalties for this use. Mechanical right (the word "mechanical" indicates the use of a mechanical device to play the music) allows creators to claim royalties when their works are recorded. If the license does not speak about these rights (the juridical term is: related rights), the related rights owner keep the exclusive right to claim these royalties. In many countries related rights does not regard only royalties but also reproduction, modification, copy etc etc (for example, a performer can forbid to copy his execution of a song related under a free license that not speak about related rights). Attention, there is a (copy)right to copy etc etc (author's right) and a related right to copy etc etc (right of the author, performers and producers): they are different but the object is the same (this makes misunderstandings). Only if both rights are granted to you, you can copy (etc etc) the work.--Bob4 00:20, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

I'm asking myself the same question, btw. --Antoine 21:04, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I cannot answer this question. But I raised this question and once at CC-license list [1] in the context of proposed introduction of CC-BY-SA - GFDL compatibility. CC's responce on this matter is available at here
In short, the answer is uncertain to CC people's eyes, though they see it possible that the related rights are covered by GFDL.
Tomos 12:18, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
What do they think about the interpretation that CC-BY-SA does not copyleft related rights (i.e. grants them but does not guarantee that they will be granted to subsequent users too)? Could you try to ask them what they think about it (and how they intended it)?
Thank you :-)) --Antoine 12:54, 22 May 2006 (CEST)
I am afraid I don't understand the question.
Are you talking about granting of related rights by the original licensor to users of derivative works? If so, this particular clause answers your question: "Each time You distribute or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work, Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the original Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License." (CC-BY-SA 2.5 8(b)). This means that if I compose a song, and someone performs it or arrange it, listener of the performance as well as the recipient of the arranged song will be granted the same set of rights from me as the performer and the arranger are granted.
Or is your question about if a licensee has to grant his rights in the same manner as the original licensor? If so, the answer seems to my eyes to be in the first part of 4(b): "You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License, a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License, or a Creative Commons iCommons license that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Japan)." This means, using the same hypothetical example, the performer and arranger are required to grant substantially the same set of their rights to the users of their works as I did to them.
Combined, related rights related to the original work, its derivatives, and any of performances thereof are granted to licensees.
But well, I cannot give any official words of CC, and I am not a lawyer. If difficult question exists, I am more than happy to relay it to the list. (Though questions posted there are not answered in official manner many times.) Tomos 17:19, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

GPL Non-Attribution?

I'm not sure if the GPL should be categorised as a non-attribution license: isn't the requirement that it requires that the original copyright notice be kept equivalent to attribution? --Ricardo Gladwell 20:33, 20 May 2006 (CEST)

I'm not sure either. I've tried to talk about this point in the Attribution section. It seems to me that often, copyright notice and authorship notice are separate; the copyright notice merely mentions the main or initial author (or the corporate copyright holder), while the authorship notice lists all contributors. --Antoine 20:41, 20 May 2006 (CEST)
Can the copyright notice not also be used as a mechanism for attribution as well? I.e. by listing all the contributors in the copyright section. --Ricardo Gladwell 19:29, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I think the mere difference is that you can do it but you don't require others to do so. Subsequent versions of the work may adopt a different policy (for example including contributors' work without giving authorship), without the original authors having a word in it. An Attribution clause prevents that.
As for knowing whether this is important, well... ;) --Antoine 19:47, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Is that a substantial difference? Subsequent contributors can choose to list authors in the copyright notice. Optional attribution is still attribution. --Ricardo Gladwell 20:11, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
The attribution clause is a requirement, just like copyleft or source code requirements. That's the whole point of it ;-) Of course, you can always grant more rights than the license asks you to. --Antoine 20:38, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Why do you say that, Antoine, that seems like a spurious requirement for an attribution license. Why should we require attribution even on anonymous, unwilling contributors? The attribution in the GPL is still required in the sense that you must maintain copyright notices. What more is required? --Ricardo Gladwell 20:42, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Ricardo, I'm not saying that we should require attribution for every contribution, I'm saying that some licenses do and some licenses don't. All of them are free, it's just a distinctive point that some people will find important.
Perhaps we may drop the "attribution" column in the grid if everybody finds it is useless, but I don't think it is (considering for example that non-attribution CC licenses were dropped after it was found that very few people were using them). --Antoine 21:00, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I also note that you list the attribution in the GFDL as "partial" - whatever that means. This seems unncessary. --Ricardo Gladwell 20:47, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
It is partial because it does not mandate that any significant contributor is mentioned, just the "five principal authors" (whatever that means since the GFDL doesn't precise). Therefore it is not really what other licenses call attribution. --Antoine 21:00, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

Ricardo, this is what the GPL says: "You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program." (emphasis mine)

I still do not see "appropriate copyright notice" as a proper recognition of authorship (we do not know what "appropriate" means here btw.). A copyright notice is a legal statement but it does not state who is (are) the actual author(s) of the work. A movie can be "copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer".

For example, if you look at the source tree for a project like GCC, the "copyright notice" in the README file does not contain authorship. There is also a MAINTAINERS file which does not qualify as a copyright notice, and probably doesn't contain complete authorship information. --Antoine 12:45, 22 May 2006 (CEST)

Anti-DRM provisions

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure why some people seem to consider that the GPL and GFDL include some anti-DRM provisions.

  • The GPL v2 clearly doesn't (v3 should remain off-topic until it is officially released, IMHO).
  • As for the GFDL, I don't think "transparent copies" can be considered "anti-DRM" in the same way as the CC licenses. The GFDL does not forbid use of DRM, it only mentions that you must also provide a copy in a transparent format.

Your thoughts? --Antoine 19:43, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

GFDL: You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. Antoine, this is DRM!--Bob4 20:11, 21 May 2006 (CEST)

Indeed, Antoine, if you are preparing this page you should really be reading the licenses in question more carefully. I'm also not at all certain why we need to provide a license matrix: surely, on this site, all we care about is whether a license is free content or not, according to our own definition. I'm sure the information is useful, but it seems useless for our purposes other than as some attempt to bash other, non-CC and non-AL licenses. -Ricardo Gladwell 20:19, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I similarly note that the GFDL *is* an attribution license:
List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version, together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than five), unless they release you from this requirement.[2]
I would recommend you familiarise yourself with the licenses in question. --Ricardo Gladwell 20:23, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
The matrix is not meant as an absolute reference, just to give a clearer view of the landscape. Erik's request was for a license guide and I thought categorizing licenses against a set of criteria would bring a bit of clarity in the landscape.
We could just make a textual description of each license, but it would be even more subject to judgemental commentary (for example, the FSF's commentary in their list of licenses is usually far from neutral; it is not a problem for the FSF since it is really one person's voice). So I'm not sure what alternative can be found which would be both useful and rather objective.
Thanks for the corrections on the GFDL, by the way.
--Antoine 20:34, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I this best solution is to simply maintaining a list of free and non-free content licenses with descriptions of why they are or are not free content, as per the FSF. The matrix as it stands seems designed to favor CC licenses. --Ricardo Gladwell 20:39, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
Hmm, I'm a bit confused if the matrix really seems designed to favor CC. What makes you think it is? I am not a CC fan...
I have chosen some initial criteria that I found were important. I had already proposed this criteria in the discussion page (see #License_characterization). Other people added additional criteria (namely, "Anti-DRM" and "Related Rights").
As I said in the page, the criteria are not meant to indicate whether a license is "good" or "bad" (some people prefer copyleft, others non-copyleft, same for anti-DRM clauses, etc.) --Antoine 20:53, 21 May 2006 (CEST)
I suppose it was all the "no"s listed against the GNU licenses as opposed to all the "yes"'s listed against the other non-GNU licenses. I think we are confusing this wiki with Wikipedia: we do not care about the aspects of licenses (other organisations already provide this infomation, such as the CC). What we do care about is whether a license is free or non-free and we should focus on providing this infomation which we can't really do until we actually have a final and agreed upon FCD. --Ricardo Gladwell 14:46, 24 May 2006 (CEST)

BSD advertising clause

Rob, I've changed your edits regarding the advertising clause in the original BSD license. First, the FSF does not consider it non-free ("This is a simple, permissive non-copyleft free software license with a serious flaw: the `obnoxious BSD advertising clause'. The flaw is not fatal; that is, it does not render the software non-free.").

Second, this is not the same as attribution since the advertising clause requires a specific sentence in "all advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software" - which is much broader than just derivative works, and stricter than asking to mention the name of authors (as the FSF remarks, "other developers did not copy the clause verbatim. They changed it, replacing `University of California' with their own institution or their own names. The result is a plethora of licenses, requiring a plethora of different sentences." (emphasis mine)).

Regards. --Antoine 22:54, 14 June 2006 (CEST)

I would like to see a CC-By-SA with source or 'transparent copy' requirement

GFDL is too convoluted. DSL lacks attribution (though attribution is often effort-free with source req). Most anti-DRM sections are either too broad (GFDL) or too convoluted (GPL v3 draft). So maybe a CC-By-SA+TS (TS=transparent source).

There is another dimension to things too, mainly pointed out in the GPL vs. L-GPL. Whether the Share-Alike / copyleft is viral when it comes to integration of the object into a larger object.

(not) adding new licenses

Hi. Just saw some people added the LGPL and the "Libre Commons License" to the license list. While adding the LGPL is arguably justified (it's one of the prominent software licenses), I don't agree about the Libre Commons License. The Libre Commons Licenses are not legal licenses. They do not give the rights that are mentioned in the definition. Whatever the intent behind these licenses, we cannot fool the readers into thinking that using them will legally guarantee that their works are free. So let's remove them.

--Antoine 12:36, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Proposed Additions of New Licenses

License Intended scope Copyleft Practical modifiability Attribution Related rights Anti-DRM Worldwide applicability
Libertarian Licence generic yes; reflexive no no reflexive yes same licence (English version)

Latent Source General Public License

I am currently involved on the cutting edge of the Open Hardware movement with my (and my group's) effort to create an Open Source CAD tool known as DigiDone3D. As I thought more and more about the concept of the Open Hardware, I realized that I did not know of any valuable open source licenses. Even worse, the licenses that pertained to Open Source (the GNU or Apache) were not applicable to hardware. Looking for a solution which implemented what I thought was necessary turned out to be an empty pursuit.

It is with this in mind that I present the Latent Source General Public License. It is my hope that we can construct a license that meshes well with the coming Open CAD and Open Hardware movements. This document is the first attempt at that. I have made changes which you should be able to see by selecting “Edit → Changes → Show Changes”. These are the changes from the base GNU GPL v3 located here This document was written using Libre Office 4, and I ask that any edits of it use the same software.

(after clicking on the link, go to the top left where you can download)

--Cloudform (talk) 14:36, 26 September 2013 (EDT)

The Libertarian Licence

You are free to take any liberties you wish with my published work, with but one constraint: The liberties you take may not be withheld from those to whom you give my work (or your combined/derivative work), who you must similarly constrain. 11:43, 1 June 2007 (CEST) (Crosbie Fitch)

Not Quite a Licence

While not really a license, I think that the Rights Statement of “no known copyright restrictions” as used on Flickr's Commons warrants a mention. I'm not sure this is the right place but there does not seem to be a page (at least I cannot find it) that discusses the Public Domain and cultural works which are Free because no one claims rights upon them. --Inkwina 03:55, 9 April 2008 (EDT)

Open Publication License (OPL) missing?

The OPL is a free culture license that happens to be easy to read and understand. There are some license options that, when evoked, make the work non-free, but the default is a clean and clearly free license. It also does not suffer from the challenges of the GNU FDL 1.0 and its invariant clauses. The OPL has a NO WARRANTY clause that is missing from Creative Commons licenses, making the OPL attractive to (at least) US-based entities. While a warranty does not make sense for all artistic works, there are cases where it does, and certainly any time the free content is, for example, instructions in using a machine or electronic device. We use the OPL for Fedora documentation for these reasons. --KarstenWade 22:07 UTC 23 April 2008

Open Source Hardware missing

Open Source Hardware (OSHW) license is also missing. (I would have already added OPL and OSHW to this page, but it seems to be locked). --DavidCary 07:03, 29 April 2011 (EDT)

It is only semiprotected, you should be able to edit it as a registered user. --Mormegil 09:06, 1 May 2011 (EDT)

In the strict sense OSHW is not a license, but a definition and a guide of how a free-libre-opensource hardware license should look like. Anyways, this section does lack OSHW compatible licenses. I suggest adding the CERN open hardware license. isacdaavid 19:13, 12 December 2011 (EDT)

Chat that took place in the article text

I wonder what the long term problems are going to be a thousand years from now should the world and our culture remain intact. Will these requirements seem reasonable for any popular works? (source)

I doubt Senators would be able to extend copyright beyond a few hundred years. But even then, it will probably be very absurd for massive collaboration projects even for the first dozen years. (source)


I'd like to propose semiprotection of page Licenses, as well as FAQ, Portal:Index and Awareness. As their history pages show, they are especially vulnerable to IP vandalism, spam and out-of-sandbox experiments due to their top location on the navigation menu. If no one opposes in the next two weeks, I'll change their level of protection. Regards, Spiritia 14:51, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

Purpose of this text

What is the exact purpose for this licenses page?

Is it, as the "Summary" section of the definition seems to suggest, a list and a discussion of "free licenses" that, readers may believe, meet DFCW criteria?

Or, as we can read in the "Further reading" section of the definition, a "discussion of individual licenses, and whether they meet this definition or not"?

Is it the intention to include discussions about specific non-compliant licenses here? Is the goal to discuss all existing licenses? only the most popular one? What about the innumerable "free" software licenses out there?

In any case I think a short text explaining the intend of this page should be added. And maybe some rewording in the main definition when linking to this page. Right now I think it can be a bit confusing. Or maybe it's just me and my "not that good" english? --Pierre M 15:24, 16 January 2009 (EST)

Public on Facebook - another Free License !?!

I was surprised to realize that facebook is a major source of free content: when a facebook user provides content with the sharing setting Public. What? Really? Really! Look: says: "When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture)." and "By "use" we mean use, run, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of." [1] So Public content on facebook is free, but content just shared with friends or groups is not free.

Per Wikipedia, Free Content:
..."A free cultural work is one which has no significant legal restriction on people's freedom:

  • to use the content and benefit from using it,
  • to study the content and apply what is learned,
  • to make and distribute copies of the content,
  • to change and improve the content and distribute these derivative works.[2][3]"

It's all covered.--Elvey (talk) 00:58, 7 September 2014 (EDT)

Wow. I can’t say I would gladly accept any such content on Wikimedia Commons. But de iure, it really seems to fulfill all necessary conditions.
It might be moot in a great number of cases, since probably most of the interesting pictures published on Facebook are someone else’s works (cf. commons:Commons:License laundering), anyway.
But hey, a rockband publishing a picture of the band’s brand new CD? This might be interesting!
Let’s try to debate this at commons:Commons talk:Licensing, where you might get better feedback.
--Mormegil (talk) 17:08, 20 September 2014 (EDT)

Update current versions of CC licenses to 4.0?

Under "list of licenses" the current version of CC-BY and CC-BY-SA is listed as "3.0" but as of 25 November 2013 4.0 is the current version. I suggest this be updated. Is there any process for reviewing CC-BY 4.0 and CC-BY-SA 4.0 to ensure they align with the Definition of Free Cultural Works? Or can this page simply be updated? Tvol (talk) 13:36, 19 November 2014 (EST)

I don’t think there is any official process, and I would say we can safely presume the CC licenses do in fact fulfill all the respective requirements. So, go ahead. --Mormegil (talk) 15:55, 19 November 2014 (EST)


  1. November 15, 2013 version, accessed Aug 2 2014.
  2. cite web |url= |title=Definition of Free Cultural Works |accessdate=8 December 2011
  3. cite web |url= |title=Free Software and Free Manuals |accessdate=March 22, 2009 |last=Stallman |first=Richard |authorlink=Richard Stallman |date=November 13, 2008 |publisher=Free Software Foundation

Set-theoretic approach

As indicated by the Existing Movements page, several other groups are also working to compile lists of licenses that make licensed works "free" or "open". Some of this work duplicates the effort being expended in maintaining the list of Free Culture Licenses on this wiki. For example:

The GNU project, sponsored by the Free Software Foundation, maintains an extensive list of licenses in which those licenses are helpfully categorised as free xor non-free. Some of these licenses are for software; some are for other kinds of work, such as documentation, fonts, or designs for physical objects.

The Debian project maintains a partial list of licenses found in Debian "main", all of which are free software licenses according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

Likewise, the Open Knowledge Foundation maintains a list of licenses conformant with the Open Definition.

However, to my surprise, some of the free licenses listed by those resources (e.g. the SIL Open Font License) are not present among the list of Free Culture Licenses on this wiki.

I figure there are two reasons why this might be the case:

  1. The license does not comply with the definition of free culture licenses; and/or
  2. The maintainers of the list of Free Culture Licenses are busy people and haven't had time to expand the list to include those licenses.

I suspect the latter reason is the true reason.

Therefore, to avoid duplicating the effort of the GNU project, the Debian project, and the Open Knowledge Foundation, and to avoid requiring the existence of yet another manually-curate list that violates the [DRY principle] and imposes a maintenance burden upon the community, I propose the following steps:

  1. Move the Defining Free Culture Licenses section to the Licenses article, replacing the current, manually-curated list of Free Culture Licenses.
  2. Rewrite that section (i.e. Defining Free Culture Licenses) to incorporate a concise, set-theoretic part, such that the whole section would read as below.
  3. Protect the Licenses article, and create a Licenses/Unstable article in which the community can create any proposed improvements for moderators' consideration.

Defining Free Culture Licenses

Licenses are legal instruments through which the owner of certain legal rights may transfer these rights to third parties. Free Culture Licenses do not take any rights away -- they are always optional to accept, and if accepted, they grant freedoms which copyright law alone does not provide. When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing exemptions in copyright laws.

Essential freedoms

A licence is a member of the set of Free Culture Licenses if:

  • it is a free license according to the GNU Project's list of licenses here; or
  • works licensed under it are included in the Debian "main" repository according to this page; or
  • it is conformant with the Open Definition according to this page; or
  • it confers upon recipients of works licensed under it all of the following rights:
  • The freedom to use and perform the work: The licensee must be allowed to make any use, private or public, of the work. For kinds of works where it is relevant, this freedom should include all derived uses ("related rights") such as performing or interpreting the work. There must be no exception regarding, for example, political or religious considerations.
  • The freedom to study the work and apply the information: The licensee must be allowed to examine the work and to use the knowledge gained from the work in any way. The license may not, for example, restrict "reverse engineering".
  • The freedom to redistribute copies: Copies may be sold, swapped or given away for free, as part of a larger work, a collection, or independently. There must be no limit on the amount of information that can be copied. There must also not be any limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be copied.
  • The freedom to distribute derivative works: In order to give everyone the ability to improve upon a work, the license must not limit the freedom to distribute a modified version (or, for physical works, a work somehow derived from the original), regardless of the intent and purpose of such modifications. However, some restrictions may be applied to protect these essential freedoms or the attribution of authors (see below).

Permissible restrictions

Not all restrictions on the use or distribution of works impede essential freedoms. In particular, requirements for attribution, for symmetric collaboration (i.e., "copyleft"), and for the protection of essential freedom are considered permissible restrictions.

Alternatively, here is an even more concise formulation:

Defining Free Culture Licenses

Licenses are legal instruments through which the owner of certain legal rights may transfer these rights to third parties. Free Culture Licenses do not take any rights away -- they are always optional to accept, and if accepted, they grant freedoms which copyright law alone does not provide. When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing exemptions in copyright laws.

Essential freedoms

A licence is a member of the set of Free Culture Licenses if:

  • it is a free license according to the GNU Project's list of licenses here; or
  • works licensed under it are included in the Debian "main" repository according to this page; or
  • it is conformant with the Open Definition according to this page; or
  • it confers upon recipients of works licensed under it rights such that those works meet the Free Culture Definition published here.

Permissible restrictions

Not all restrictions on the use or distribution of works impede essential freedoms. In particular, requirements for attribution, for symmetric collaboration (i.e., "copyleft"), and for the protection of essential freedom are considered permissible restrictions.

Sampablokuper (talk) 15:07, 12 May 2016 (EDT)