January 31, 2004

Creative Commons 2.0

Some comments to the draft of the version 2.0 Creative Commons licenses.

Obviously I share with Dan Bricklin the sentiment of being pleased to hear that they have dropped the warranty in the default license texts, since I opposed it strongly here. If you read Japanese, I also have an article in PDF format up here summarizing my criticism of the warranty in the 1.0 version.

I have two comments on the issue in the draft 2.0 version.

One: There might be a need to change the wording of section 6 as well. The part "AND EXCEPT FOR DAMAGES ARISING FROM LIABILITY TO A THIRD PARTY RESULTING FROM BREACH OF THE WARRANTIES IN SECTION 5," is still there. But what "warranties in section 5" remain?

Two: The draft goes not as far as the GPL or the MIT Creative Commons license. These include language to disclaim any warranty. In contrast, version 2.0 just says nothing about the issue.

As I have pointed out here, I think that the GPL or MIT approach might go to far in excluding liability, since it excludes even liability for acts in bad faith. For example, if some company sees to it that their proprietary code ends up in some Open Source project so that they can start suing people later on, they might be acting in bad faith and not deserve any relief from a warranty disclaimer. So I still think that the compromise of the German Open Content Lizenz project is a good idea.

I have another comment on the new back-link requirement. One might set this up somewhat different.

In almost all cases the licensor never knows if a license contract with a licensee has been closed or not. The licensor usually offers the license and the licensee accepts that offer by some act the licensor never hears of.

But that could be different when using the work on the Internet.

Here you could say that acceptance of the license by the licensee is made conditional on the backlink. The act of backlinking would be the act of accepting the license contract.

That way, anybody not backlinking would not have a license in the first place.

I don't know if that's a good idea. I will leave it for later to possibly offer an opinion on the issue.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at January 31, 2004 07:22 PM | TrackBack