Creative Common Copyright Notice in Standalones

David Bovill david at
Fri Jan 7 13:15:23 EST 2011

On 7 January 2011 16:25, Richard Gaskin <ambassador at> wrote:

> One of the reasons so many developers like the Creative Commons license is
> that there are many flavors to cover a broader range of specific usage
> rights than GPL, and certainly X11, affords.
> The goals of sharing code can cover a broad spectrum, from those of the
> purist like rms or those of companies who earn their living with proprietary
> code like Apple, with a nearly infinite variety of needs in between.
> So while I can appreciate the desire to have the smallest possible number
> of FOSS licenses in use, I can understand when a developer may find them
> inadequate for their particular needs.
> For my own needs, I'm disappointed that CC isn't recommended for code. I'd
> release more FOSS code if it were sanctioned for such use (I may even still,
> since others have ignored the caveat and use CC for code anyway).

I share your concerns, and thoughts on this. I've looked long and hard at
licensing, and tired as you suggest to use CC licenses for code, but I could
not get it to work, and aside from a few causl individual uses I don't know
of any projects that do this. I do think it is strange that there still is
not a software license with a CC-type "non-commercial" clause in it, even
after many years of popular use for creative content - seems strange.

The main issue for us here is about mixing code projects together in ways in
which the code can be used in clear ways for commercial and non-commercial
projects - removing the uncertainty. Let's just make sure the code bases can
be mixed together. If someone uses a "strange" - CC style license, which is
not GPL compatible, then I won't be able to combine it with code that uses
other licenses in any legally robust way. As a practical example I would not
be able to submit my code libraries or code I have form other people to the
revIgnitor project, as the license was hand crafted. Ralf changing the
license to a GPL compatible license made everything start to work nicely.
The same will go with other projects that seek to make compilations of open
code. A mosaic of poorly thought out licenses will cause real problems.

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