[open-science] SPARC author addendum uses CC-NC licence and now all hybrid publishers have followed

Marcus D. Hanwell marcus.hanwell at kitware.com
Tue Dec 13 02:14:38 UTC 2011

On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM, Nick Barnes <nb at climatecode.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 18:25, Marcus D. Hanwell
> <marcus.hanwell at kitware.com> wrote:
>> The open source world has a lot of experience to offer here, and I
>> don't know of any OSI approved licenses with non-commercial clauses. I
>> hope that the open access community is able to take a similar path, so
>> that we can concentrate on the science.
> I think Marcus is right, that the software world has experience to
> contribute here, so I'd like to say a few words about motivations and
> schools of thought in that world.
> In free software, there are broadly two schools of thought on this
> question of commercial benefit, which may be caricatured as follows
> (bearing in mind that there is a wide spectrum of thought and this is
> just an illustrative sketch).  Both schools are motivated in
> contributing by a desire that their contributions be used - helping
> others who help them in return, working collectively working to solve
> a shared set of problems - and each school includes many who feel that
> commercial benefits should flow, at least in part, back to the
> contributors.  The distinction between the schools is in the relative
> strength of these motivations.
> In school A, the sense of injustice of an unrewarded contribution,
> when money made from a creation doesn't flow back to the creator, is
> felt more strongly than the urge to contribute.  That is, school A
> would rather not contribute than fall victim to such an injustice.
> In school B, the sense of benefit from having one's problems solved,
> and the inherent pleasure of creativity and of contribution, outweighs
> this sense of injustice.  That is, members of school B would rather
> that their contributions are used, even if it is to someone else's
> commercial benefit with no gain to themselves.
> Approximately speaking, school A chooses GPL-like licenses ("viral"
> licenses, akin to CC-SA) and school B chooses BSD-like licenses (very
> liberal, akin to CC-BY).

Very eloquent summary - thank you Nick.
> Of course, many people - including myself - feel both these
> motivations, and others, in varying mixes (and there are other
> orthogonal axes of distinction, such as free / open source), and many
> people contribute to projects without choosing the license.  I myself
> used to choose GPL-like licenses (although usually more terse examples
> such as the Sleepycat license), and now greatly prefer to use BSD
> licenses for my own works.

I certainly used to use the GPL, but now tend toward the BSD (as does
the company I work for). I think it is important to note that there is
no NC, this goes against any of the OSI approved licenses - you cannot
place conditions on how the code is used (commercial, non-commercial,
academic only etc).

As Nick noted, there really is only rough equivalents to CC-BY, CC-SA
and CC-0 type licensing. SA is more viral, meaning that you could make
a charge to others to download the data, but they would be free to
redistribute under CC-SA for example.


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