[okfn-discuss] Open Source movie definition

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu Apr 2 10:09:33 UTC 2009


> Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
>> I quite agree that sources are crucial. To my knowledge (though I may
>> be wrong) the (open) CC licenses don't really talk about this. Of
>> course for software you've always had a clear source/binary
>> distinction and this has even been written into the licenses.
> You're right.
>> Such a distinction clearly also exists for content (pdf vs. the raw
>> document from which the pdf was made). However, I think it is rather
>> less agreed exactly what is source and what is binary in most areas
>> (one of our retired projects from 4/5 years ago was aiming at trying
>> to address this: <http://okfn.org/iai/>).
> The distinction exists but is a lot fuzzier and degraded forms remain
> useful for modification, just somewhat less useful, unlike software
> where object code is tremendously less useful than source.
> I often put a few slides on this in presentations eg
> http://www.slideshare.net/mlinksva/how-far-behind-free-software-is-free-culture-presentation
> but need to (am) write it up more thoroughly.

Very good to hear. I think this is interesting issue that merits
further elucidation :)


>> If you actually wanted something in a license the obvious approach
>> here would be to mod an existing open license (e.g. CC by-sa) with an
>> addendum saying: "And in addition you must make available the source
>> files" (perhaps with some examples of what this would mean).
> You couldn't call it a CC license and doing so would be pretty dumb as
> your modified scheme would be incompatible.

NB: I wasn't advocating this! I was simply responding to what I took
to be a request to have something explicit in the license. As you say
adding such additional requirements would be problematic. Perhaps it
could just be a statement separate from the license.

> Or as Rob Myers just said, it would be a logistically difficult
> requirement to introduce.  It wouldn't be impossible with cooperation
> of  the license creator, perhaps analogous to the AGPL in terms of
> creating new requirements while maintaining some compatibility with
> the existing mass of copylefted stuff in the domain.

Interesting suggestion. At least, as a start, recommendations or
'non-license' addendum might be an attractive way to go here. E.g.
could be some standard blurb people add for their open source movies
saying: "In addition to the basic license we ask you to make available
your material in 'source' as well as 'compiled' form so that others
can easily reuse and build upon your work just as you have done upon

> However, copyright enforcement (ie licenses) isn't the only thing in
> life.  If "open source movie" can be made to mean something (certainly
> uphill), or for that matter FCW/OKD gaining a strong brand that
> reusers avoid the lack of, that's a vector. Probably even more
> important are creation and publishing tools that make is easy to share
> source (another analogy with software services ecology).

Absolutely. Most of the time open licenses are enforced by the
community not by the courts -- though that doesn't mean their status
as actual licenses isn't important ...

>> I think it is great you are doing something here  -- as you say clear
>> definitions are needed (by the way: is it the case that archive.org
>> will let you upload stuff with a CC Non-Commerical license? I thought
>> that they restricted to CC by and by-sa but may be wrong).
> archive.org doesn't require any license at all, they just recommend
> choosing one, and don't recommend one over another.
> http://www.archive.org/about/faqs.php#223  I'll recommend to someone
> there that they recommend choosing a FCW/OKD compliant license.

Interesting. When I last uploaded stuff I thought I was only given
options of CC by, CC by-sa and PD (though there may have been an
"other" option that I am now forgetting about)


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