[LAU] [OT] Another problem with creative commons licenses [UPDATE]

Cesare Marilungo cesare at poeticstudios.com
Wed Feb 20 21:53:59 EST 2008

Rob wrote:
> On Wednesday 20 February 2008 16:52, Cesare Marilungo wrote:
>> Those who already got the tracks from Opsound can probably use them
>> commercially, and they can give away the track but the license is
>> not transmitted with the tracks. So those who get the tracks from
>> these people cannot use them for commercial purposes. Otherwise one
>> wouldn't been able to license things with many different licenses.
>> Am I wrong?
> I'm no lawyer, but even in version 1.0 of the CC by-sa license, it 
> says in section 4a, "You may distribute, publicly display, publicly 
> perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work only under the terms 
> of this License [...]".  These terms apply to the people you gave it 
> to, which I guess would be Opsound.
> So Opsound distributed it under the terms of cc-by-sa, because that 
> was the only way they could have done so, and then the people who 
> downloaded it from them were covered by the terms of cc-by-sa, due to 
> section 4a, when they distributed it further.  They were granted the 
> right "to reproduce the Work" (section 3a) but only "under the terms 
> of this License" (4a).  So when they in turn distribute the song to 
> someone else, it's still licensed under cc-by-sa, and so on.
> It's hard to take back a work distributed using a copyleft license... 
> just ask SCO.
Hi Rob,
thank you for helping me.

Keep in mind that on my own website, on jamendo and everywhere else it 
has always been clearly stated that the tracks were licensed under the 
cc-by-nc-nd (non-commercial, non derivatives).

It's not that I changed my mind.

My website was linked from there and the tracks were hosted on my own 
server. Probably I didn't put enough attention when submitting the 
tracks, and I didn't notice the radio buttons with the license options 
(which, at least now, is between cc-by-sa and public domain).
>> http://danheller.blogspot.com/2008/01/gaming-creative-commons-for-p
>> rofit.html
>> Maybe the author is wrong, but my understanding is similar.
> I think that he is wrong, and again, just ask SCO.  Or the author of 
> any formerly free software project who changed the license to 
> something less free, only to discover they couldn't do a thing about 
> the people continuing to distribute (and modify) the last free 
> version of their work, usually eclipsing the "improved" proprietary 
> fork.
> However, this particular theory -- that you can win damages despite 
> previously having distributed the work under a free license with free 
> sublicensing, by forcing the defendant to demonstrate that he 
> obtained it under that license -- has never gotten as far as a 
> courtroom as far as I know.  With source code it's easier because you 
> usually have a copyright notice at the top of every file referencing 
> the GPL or whatever.  With photos you might have a watermark 
> mentioning which CC license applies to it.  But with music, what do 
> you have, an ID3v2 tag?  Usually not even that.
> In the end, at least in the US, anyone can cost you a lot of money 
> just by bringing suit against you, whether they have grounds or not.  
> What makes the system work most of the time is that the expense cuts 
> both ways. 
> Back when I was younger and too broke to afford a lawyer, in the early 
> days of the web, I received a legal threat from someone who claimed 
> something on my web site infringed a copyright, one he himself didn't 
> even own.  He was pretty explicit about his strategy being to cause 
> me expenses I couldn't afford, regardless of whether he had standing, 
> and I had to capitulate.  Eventually I called his bluff, put the 
> material back online and told him to shove off, and he went away.  It 
> costs money to pull that kind of crap as well, and I pity the 
> copyright owner who tries this strategy the first time he uses it 
> against someone with more money and time than he has.
> Oh, wait.  No I don't, because that would once again be SCO.
> Rob
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