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Author Topic: Update Public Domain license to the up-to-date and valid CC0 license  (Read 21363 times)

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LordAndrew

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The Public Domain license in which all modules here seem to be released under is the older, retired version. I'm not well-versed in legality and licensing matters, but it makes me somewhat cautious to utilize music from here due to this.

It'd be nice to see the license updated to the more modern CC0 Public Domain license, to ensure that music here is indeed under a valid and up to date license.
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m0d

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Re: Update Public Domain license to the up-to-date and valid CC0 license
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 15:27:51 »

The Public Domain license in which all modules here seem to be released under is the older, retired version.

This is incorrect, only a few (in the tens) are licensed specifically under PD, the majority are under the TMA distribution license. Additionally you can't just 'update a license' for any items already released, the licenses are stuck to them, however we will consider inserting the CC0 license as an option to select for new uploads from artists who wish to have that flexibility.
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LordAndrew

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Re: Update Public Domain license to the up-to-date and valid CC0 license
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2013, 13:11:12 »

This is incorrect, only a few (in the tens) are licensed specifically under PD, the majority are under the TMA distribution license.

Ah, whoops. I should have worded that better (I'm aware of the other licenses available, I meant the modules specifically released under the Public Domain license use the older one).

Additionally you can't just 'update a license' for any items already released, the licenses are stuck to them, however we will consider inserting the CC0 license as an option to select for new uploads from artists who wish to have that flexibility.

I see, I wasn't aware licenses stuck once they were associated with a work. But that's good, I'd love to see the CC0 as an option. :)
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DrMcCoy

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Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. But I have some experience with licenses from a software perspective. Still, this is not legal advise.

Additionally you can't just 'update a license' for any items already released, the licenses are stuck to them

The original author(s) can of course always change the licensing terms as they see fit, especially when they introduce changes. They wholy own the work, after all. However, earlier versions of the work could still be distributed under the old licensing terms (but modarchive doesn't have to carry both versions).

While maybe not that common in the music field, this does happen in the software world, with software projects changing license after all copyright owners (i.e. people who contributed non-trivial, active code) agreed on the change. Depending on the number of copyright owners, this can be relatively difficult, though.

however we will consider inserting the CC0 license as an option

Me, I'd really appreciated that. especially since the "Public Domain" license was retired for a reason. It's not really applicable to many jurisdictions, since they might not have the concept of a public domain. And even in the US, putting something into the public domain like that isn't really possible. Things fall into the public domain regulated by some strict rules instead. In short, the license might not hold in court, with the original author possibly being able to argue that the terms are void and a third party shouldn't have been able to use the work as they did. Yes, highly unlikely to happen, but still a theoretical possibility.

That's also why CC0, the recommended "public domain" license, has lawyer-approved language that gives the license a fallback with terms that effectively make the work "public domain", even if that concept does not exist in the target jurisdiction or the work wouldn't normally fall under it.

Moreover, the retired "public domain" license is laking explicit waiving of implied warranties, which are a thing in certain jurisdictions (the US included). Unless waived, you guarantee the work is fit for its advertised purpose, free of severe faults, etc. That's what the common "AS IS" blurb you so often see is for.

So, to recap, I'd really like to see a CC0 option for uploads (and the old "public domain" option to disappear). A way to change a license would be great as well, maybe with a visible history (i.e. license X from date - date, license Y now), but I can see how that might be difficult. But letting an author update the old "public domain" license to CC0 should be workable, since CC0 is what the "public domain" license was supposed to express anyway.
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Saga Musix

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While maybe not that common in the music field, this does happen in the software world, with software projects changing license after all copyright owners (i.e. people who contributed non-trivial, active code) agreed on the change. Depending on the number of copyright owners, this can be relatively difficult, though.
You cannot simply e.g. tighten your license and prevent people from using an older version of the software / code under the original license, though. The same is true with music: You cannot simply e.g. releases music under CC-BY and then decide to tighten it to CC-BY-NC-SA and then start sueing people for using your music commercially - the CC grant the user an irrevocable right to use the music under the given terms.
There has been some unpleasant stuff going on on YouTube in the past where exactly this happened, musicians first releasing their music under CC-BY, then changing their minds and screwing over people who used their music for monetized videos. This is something they are not actually allowed to do.

However, of course it would be possible to "update" the license the other way around (e.g. CC-BY-NC-SA -> CC-BY), but there is currently no way to do this on TMA (and noone requested it yet).

I'll look into adding CC0 to the set of licenses, though.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 17:09:19 by Saga Musix »
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DrMcCoy

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You cannot simply e.g. tighten your license and prevent people from using an older version of the software / code under the original license, though.

True. Practically all common free software / free culture licenses grant you irrevocable usage under those terms. That's always been a pretty important sticking point for proponents of these licenses. :)

There has been some unpleasant stuff going on on YouTube in the past where exactly this happened, musicians first releasing their music under CC-BY, then changing their minds and screwing over people who used their music for monetized videos.

Oh, I haven't heard about that. That's...pretty bad, yes.

Of course, there's a lot of icky stuff happening on YouTube anyway, with people being able to claim other's content and collect ad revenue, the content ID matching system not being able to handle CC stuff correctly, etc. It's all very broken. Some of it has been a bit mitigated recently, but far from enough.

However, of course it would be possible to "update" the license the other way around (e.g. CC-BY-NC-SA -> CC-BY)

Oh, right, yes, loosening the terms should be quite safe to do, yeah.

Up to a point, though: consider a work licensed under CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution, NonCommercial, ShareAlike), and a derivative work created by a third party. Since the license included the ShareAlike clause, the derivative work also falls under CC BY-NC-SA. Then original work relicenses, loosening the terms by dropping the NonCommercial clause, making it CC BY-SA. This removal of the NonCommercial is of course not automatically transferred to the derivative work, which stays CC BY-NC-SA if its author so chooses. So this case might introduce a few documentation difficulties, so to speak.

Yeah, I know, this is just completely hypothetical here. :P

I'll look into adding CC0 to the set of licenses, though.

Thanks. :)
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Saga Musix

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Up to a point, though: consider a work licensed under CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution, NonCommercial, ShareAlike), and a derivative work created by a third party. Since the license included the ShareAlike clause, the derivative work also falls under CC BY-NC-SA. Then original work relicenses, loosening the terms by dropping the NonCommercial clause, making it CC BY-SA. This removal of the NonCommercial is of course not automatically transferred to the derivative work, which stays CC BY-NC-SA if its author so chooses. So this case might introduce a few documentation difficulties, so to speak.
That's an interesting case, indeed, I didn't think of that. I am hesistant to introduce this feature anyway, but if so, I think any license changes would have to be documented openly for exactly this kind of stuff.
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Saga Musix

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Artists should now be able to select the CC0 license for their modules.
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DrMcCoy

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Thanks! :)

While I don't really care about that bad module of mine, could you change its license from "Public Domain" to CC0?
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Saga Musix

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Done.
(Mandatory reminder that we usually do not change license types for the aforementioned reasons).
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