Licenses for Blogs

John Palfrey of the Berkman Center wrote a post proposing licenses specifically for blogs and feeds, based on Creative Commons licenses. I completely agree on one hand — more explicit licensing and discussion of rights and responsibilities is always a good thing. On the other, I don’t think we don’t need more licenses in this case. His suggestions and my comments (with props and attribution to Mike):

Option 1: Full-text republication, with attribution and link-back: I consent to the republication of the copyrighted works that I publish via my source, whether alone or repurposed with other sources in a derivative work, with no restriction on how much of the feed is rendered or how it is used, so long as republication involves attribution to me and a link from the aggregator back to the primary page where my source is published by me.

Great idea; see Attribution 2.5.

Option 2: Truncated-text republication, with attribution and link-back: I consent to the republication of the copyrighted works that I publish via my source, whether alone or repurposed with other sources in a derivative work, so long as only 200 words or fewer are included in what is rendered and so long as republication involves attribution to me and a link from the aggregator back to the primary page where my source is published by me. (This option would presumably be the one that Susan Mernit suggested in the last go-round.)

So this one is a little different, but I’m not convinced it requires an entirely new license. This is basically applying Attribution 2.5 to the first 200 words of your work. Why not just publish two feeds: one with full posts under something more restrictive, another with the first 200 words, under Attribution 2.5?

Option 3: Personal aggregation only: I consent to the republication of the copyrighted works that I publish via my source, but only for strictly personal, non-commercial use.

Is a license needed for this? Earlier in his piece Palfrey states: “What I think I’ve heard is that every blogger expects that other people will, at a minimum, be able to render your works in an aggregator for personal use, or else they would not be offering an XML feed.” I suppose being explicit is better than implicit, but why not Attribute-NonCommercial (or one of it’s ShareAlike or NoDerivatives cousins)?

Option 4: No aggregation except with permission: I do not consent to the use of my source for any purpose, except with prior written permission or as required by law.

See: fully copyright; no license required.

Option 5: No restriction: I place no restriction on the use of my source for any purpose.

Hmmm…. sounds like the Public Domain.

This shouldn’t be intepreted as a slight to Palfrey; I think its good that people are discussing exactly which right they want to retain and which they want to release. I just think we should look at the tools available before creating new ones.

(Disclaimer: I do not represent my employer in these comments)

date:2006-03-18 07:50:32
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slug:licenses-for-blogs
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category:General

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