Saturday, January 28, 2012

On The Need For A Stronger Copyleft For BY-SA 4.x

On The Need For A Stronger Copyleft For BY-SA 4.x

Copyright 2012 drew Roberts

Creative Commons License
On The Need For A Stronger Copyleft For BY-SA 4.x by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

For those of you have not run into copyleft and its relationship to Freedom before here are a few links:

What is Copyleft?

What is free software?

Definition Of Free Cultural Works

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

OK, so let's consider the the following situation and see if this is really an acceptable situation.

Billy Bloke spends some time searching around on Kompoz and Jamendo and finds a bunch of BY-SA songs.

Billy listens to a bunch and then chooses a bunch on the theme Night. He listens a bunch more and picks some that go together and will fit on a CD.

He puts together this CD.

Let's assume that this CD fits the bill of the BY-SA definition of a "Collection" as per 1.b. of the license.

Therefore Billy Bloke gets a copyright on this collection. Nothing in the license for the songs says that he has to put any particular type of license on this collection. Billy chooses to go with no license at all and keeps his copyright ARR (All Rights Reserved).

Billy starts selling copies of his CD which he has titled Night Dreams. It turns out he has decent taste and the CD starts selling well.

The songwriters and musicians who wrote and recorded the songs notice these sales and decide to try their hand at selling copies of the CD to their fans at gigs.

Billy sues them for copyright infringement and wins. The musicians face huge statutory damages and are told they cannot sell copies of the CDs without Billy's permission. Billy refuses.

They chat about this online for a good while and one gets the bright idea to use most of the songs but replace a few. They start selling that Collection of songs.

Billy sues again on the grounds that their CD is a derivative of his. He wins again and they pay again.

Is this really the situation we want to exist with regards to Free Copyleft works and copyrighted collections?

all the best,


1 comment:

Crosbie Fitch said...

CC-SA was designed by a copyright supporter, not someone who supported restoration to the public of the freedoms that copyright had taken away.

CC-SA is the closest CC has to a copyleft license but as you have discovered, it is not a copyleft license.

No doubt we can also look forward to the extradition bankruptcy and imprisonment of some poor sucker who failed to attribute a CC licensed work that they file-shared...