Creative Commons: GPL-Copyleft versus Share Alike

Ward Vandewege ward at
Wed Mar 19 11:33:00 UTC 2003

On Wed, Mar 19, 2003 at 11:11:00AM +0000, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> > I think CC and the FSF are complementary in the way that CC is much more
> > accessible to the masses.
> More accessible yes, but I don't think the CC licenses would offer as
> much protection for software as the GPL does.

Hmmm. Interesting. I guess you are right. From the CC FAQ at

  Right now we don't plan to get involved in software licensing at all.
  Instead, we'll concentrate on scholarship, film, literature, music,
  photography, and other kinds of creative works.

> > >Ultimately you can do what you like, but I
> > >think you could run into problems if there are any conflicting terms in
> > >either of the licenses.
> The CC person appears to be wrong in this case.  Dual licensing cannot
> cause such "conflicts".  If you dual license, the receiver of the item
> can choose to use it under the terms of either license.  Could you let
> me know who said this so that I can clear this up?

Well, she did put the IANAL disclaimer first. And now it is time for me to be
embarrased, since my question to her was:

>I would like to cover my writings under your BY-SA license and the GDL
>(without invariant sections), and give people the option of licensing
>derivative works under either the BY-SA license or the GDL (without 
>invariant sections) or both. Can I do this?

As you can see, not about software but about non-software - and comparing the
CC licenses with the GNU Documentation License, not the GPL.

So I don't think there is much need to clear up things.

> I'd strongly suggest you consider not dual licensing the GPL and a
> CC license.  Using a CC license will leave your software far more
> open to exploitation.

Point taken. I'll stick with the GPL for software. For all the rest
(writings, photos, etc) I think I'll go with the CC licenses.

Bye for now,

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