What about the applicable law?
If a license has a clause about the applicable law, is the license free? In my opinion, this clause is a problem because only the people that know a certain law can understand license's implied sides.
- I think CC are working on licenses covered by Berne/WIPO law only. But a license needs a jurisdiction to avoid confusion or argument over terms and meaning, so in this case having a jurisdiction may protect freedom. --Rob Myers 20:06, 14 June 2006 (CEST)
I had some issues with the definition of free content here. Firstly, the document attempts to define "free content" as so many have done in the past, yet there is no clear definition of what is and isn't free content in the "free content movement" you discuss. It concerns me that a definition is being created in isolation from the wider community without proper discussion.
I see the definition here models itself on the free software definition, but misses several important and fundamental aspects:
How does the definition handle digital works (such as images, documents, etc) versus non-digitual works (such as hard-copy books, paintings, sculptures, etc)?
How should digital works be treated? A digital work, such as a wordprocessor document, can be viewed in two ways: firstly, as a work in and of itself, i.e. content, but also as a piece of software itself that can display a final work. Should you only have the freedom to study a work (content), or should you also have the freedom to study how a work was created (software)?
The definition talks about the freedom to make and release (distribute?) modifications but it doesn't say anything about source copies of work. I can think of several examples where the freedom to make modifications can be provided, but without a source copy of a work (i.e. in the format preferred for making modifications) making modifications could be prohibitive:
- Protected PDF - sure, decrypting such a PDF is possible but its a) tricky to export a PDF to a format that can be modified with all the information intact (images, tables, etc), and b) it may be illegal to decrypt protected PDFs in certain juristictions (DMCA?)
- Text content as image files - a user could allow users the freedom to modify his written works but only distribute them in image format. It is difficult for downstream users to then extract the text content
You also talk about "free content licenses" where you should really be talking about free content works: a license enables a free content work, but
Free experession is not the same as free content: you can have the right to free expresssion without having free content, and free content does not guarantee free expression.
I hope this is helpful. --Rgladwell 20:25, 1 May 2006 (CEST)
- Thanks for your comments. If you don't mind, I will move them to Talk:Definition/Unstable and respond there, just to have all comments in one place. First thoughts: You raise a very good point. Is it possible for something to be free content without the "source code" (or something equivalent) being available? Under the current definition, it is. Perhaps we need to find a wording that requires source availabiliy where such sources are essential to modifying the work. More later,--Erik Möller 20:42, 1 May 2006 (CEST)
- I've dispatched some of the comments into their own sections in Definition/Unstable. --Antoine 22:16, 1 May 2006 (CEST)
- Is there somewhere I can sign? -rhY-
License 333 and version 0.66 -- it is a sign! Excellent.
The Open Knowledge Definition
This came out of various discussions with people working on open geodata, open access, and open databases of scientific data. As I wrote then:
"The Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) provides an answer to the question: what is open knowledge? It puts forward, in a simple and clear manner, principles that define open knowledge and which open knowledge licenses must satisfy.
The concept of openness has already started to spread rapidly beyond its original roots in academia and software. We already have 'open access' journals, open genetics, open geodata, open content etc. As the concept spreads so we are seeing a proliferation of licenses and a potential blurring of what is open and what is not.
In such circumstances it is important to preserve compatibility, guard against dilution of the concept, and provide a common thread to this multitude of activities across a variety of disciplines. The definition, by providing clear set of criteria for openness, is an essential tool in achieving these ends."
I therefore think this new initiative is a big step forward at a time, when at least to judge from my experience of debates about the CC license at Free Culture UK, there is no clear consensus about terms such as 'Free Content' (and therefore no consensus about the norms of the community).
Given the common interest in these issues I'd very much like to get further involved in the FCED -- and parhaps also look at a way to merge the OKD and the FCED.
- "Works built by communities collaborating as volunteers, art created for the purpose of shared enjoyment, essential learning materials, scientific research funded through taxpayer money, and many other works do not benefit from artificial scarcity. They benefit from being used freely."
I think this needs some revising. Production and quality do not benefit from artificial scarcity- individual works may very much so benefit. The last sentence needs some amending- Free content is not just used Freely, but more. An important distinction to my mind.
- the freedom to redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
- the freedom to make improvements or other changes, and to release modified copies
This freedom isn't very clear. Does this involve not charging, or are "reasonable and non-discriminatory" licensing fees acceptable?
- "Any original work of authorship is copyrighted. Under copyright law, authors are considered God-like "creators" and are given legal powers they can use against those who duplicate "their" content in altered or unaltered form."
Personally, I'd like a bit of a mention of the artificiality of copyright. That first line certainly makes it sound like copyright is a God-given natural right.
More generally, the attribution section strikes me as troublesome. What happens if I take an article, on Fujiwara no Teika, say, which is a stub, and work like the dickens on it, until it is orders of magnitude larger, such that there is not so much as a single word in common with the original article? Should the first person still be credited as the original author? --maru (18.104.22.168 06:47, 6 May 2006 (CEST))
Please also consult the Adelphi charter.
And regarding Public domain there is also the concept of "gemeinfrei"/common free in droit' auteur regulation. i.e. public property vs. free to use