Forums

    5 posts

  • avatar
    4 sounds
    2 posts
    CC Licenses cannot have "Extra Conditions"


    Today I got seriously burned by another user on this site. I don't want to name names here, but this is what he did:

    1) He put a lot of content up which is marked as "CC By" (Creative Commons Attribution-Only).

    2) He put a parallel legal statement on his profile on "conditions for using my work on Free Sound". These terms were, unsurprisingly, both "non-free" and contradictory of the "CC By" license.

    It may not be clear to everyone just why this is "dishonest" or "harmful" (it probably seems innocuous to the person doing it), so I want to explain the harm it does to me:

    Creative Commons license meta-data on sites like Free Sound exists for a GOOD reason, as do the Creative Commons licenses themselves.

    Free culture projects rely on people being good citizens and playing by common rules. When you mark a publication as a free-culture work using the CC "By" or "By-SA" terms, you are making a legal promise. And I'm relying on that promise.

    I take advantage of metadata-based search engines that let me quickly narrow down the search to material I can legally use. To read long complex license statements or backtrack to the profile on every sound sample would be incredibly time-consuming. So I rely on metadata when collecting sounds. I only look up full profile information when I have actually used the sound and want to add proper attribution to my video's credits.

    THEN I find something like this, and the cursing begins.

    Because, NOW, I have to back this sound out of my sound mix in Audacity and go find a legal replacement for it. Or record one myself.

    I CANNOT simply obey extra terms -- not even if I wanted to. I am under LEGAL OBLIGATION not to do so. Because then my work would be non-free, and I would be violating the terms of every BY-SA contribution I have used. This is to say nothing of the loss of community good-will from the fans and backers of my project who are supporting me on the good faith promise that my work will be free-licensed.

    I can personally contact the user and ask them to issue a specific license to me allowing me explicitly to re-release under the By-SA license. Even this is problematic, because the legal status of the work has already been misrepresented -- thus I will need some kind of extraordinary proof (e.g. a notarized letter).

    Now of course, I have done things like that in order to use proprietary music. But for a sound sample? I'm not doing that. Avoiding that kind of hassle is why sites like Free Sound exist.

    No one is required to publish work on a site like this. If you don't want to release under a free license, then don't. You're totally within your rights. But don't SAY you're publishing under a free license, and then renege. IMHO, that's violently disrespectful of fellow artists.

    It's unethical.

    So, I'm posting this as a general plea: "Please, Don't Do This!"

    "Lunatics" - http://lunatics.tv
  • avatar
    429 sounds
    343 posts


    I absolutely agree with you.

    The question is, what weighs heavier, a signature that isn't linked to, or the license agreement that has been checked when describing the sound.

    This all comes down to discussion, but i would say that the CC agreement put on the sound, is what counts, unless the user clearly described otherwise directly under the sound, in the description.

    But no matter what, the contributors have to make it clear to everybody, what license the current sound work under.

  • avatar
    3050 sounds
    476 posts


    I can understand your being annoyed, and I agree with your view. In my opinion, any extra condition imposed by the uploader that contradicts the chosen CC license would be void. That simple.
    And although it should be obvious, maybe an informative paragraph on this should be included in the page that uploaders read, when they pick a license?

    D

  • avatar
    4 sounds
    2 posts


    Thanks for the support! smile

    So far, I've only found one example of this. Which is a relief! I was afraid this was just going to be the first of many painful experiences. I may have been a little prematurely panicked.

    If it's just one case, it's not actually that bad for me (I've already replaced the effect and deleted the downloads I have from that user so I don't use them accidentally in the future).

    "Lunatics" - http://lunatics.tv
  • avatar
    48 sounds
    655 posts


    TerryHancock wrote:
    Thanks for the support! smile

    So far, I've only found one example of this. Which is a relief! I was afraid this was just going to be the first of many painful experiences. I may have been a little prematurely panicked.

    If it's just one case, it's not actually that bad for me (I've already replaced the effect and deleted the downloads I have from that user so I don't use them accidentally in the future).


    Even if you prematurely panicked, I think your point is very valid and what dobroide said should be considered. Thank you for this post. smile

    5 posts