[odc-discuss] ODbL and Creative Commons

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Mon Feb 6 19:13:57 UTC 2012

On 06/02/12 15:50, Richard Fairhurst wrote:
> On 06/02/2012 13:58, Ed Avis wrote:
>> As you know Creative Commons are planning to produce version 4 of
>> CC-BY-SA this year.  Having two separate silos for share-alike data
>> is not good, so we should find ways for ODbL and CC-BY-SA to
>> interoperate, or better still merge into a single licence.

Yes this is a good question.

I'm torn between wanting a single "zone of freedom" and wanting licences
that are appropriate to the work they cover and that don't overreach

> Databases, particularly factual ones, and creative works are distinct
> spaces. To my mind, adapting CC's share-alike to be suitable for
> databases is about as sensible as making it usable for code. It's
> possible - everything is possible - but I struggle to see a reason.

Part of the discussion is about making BY-SA "compatible" with the GPL.

I personally am unconvinced of the need for this in computer games,
which is the area there's a big community push from. But I can see how
it is useful for 3D-printed works, where functional and artistic
materials may be combined in a single derivative.

> More clarity can be obtained by having one licence per space, and aiming
> to get to the position where interoperability is well understood.
> Software and creative works of differing licence philosophies
> (proprietary/copyleft/permissive) work well enough together, even if
> there are occasionally some questions around the edges. ODbL is an
> opportunity to bring similar clarity to databases, and I hope that CC
> might see fit to unofficially relinquish the role of their share-alike
> licences for databases in the same way that FSF relinquished GFDL for
> certain creative works.

Naming no wikis... :-)

> That makes sense within the "space" which CC there define as "the Free
> or Libre Culture movement". However, it is likely to rule out merging
> CC-BY-SA and ODbL, because of the Produced Work option. (FWIW I don't
> particularly see Produced Works as an additional freedom or a "weak
> copyleft", more a formalisation of the "distinct spaces" concept.)

Separate magisteria? ;-)

Some questions, which I will forward to cc-community as well:

Are produced works "compatible" with the GPL in themselves?

If BY-SA was expanded to cover the database right outside of the few
jurisdictions where it already does, would BY-SA's data copyleft clash
with the ODbL's data copyleft in BY-SA produced works?

- Rob.

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