[OSM-legal-talk] Are CT contributors are in breach of the CC-BY-SA license?

80n 80n80n at gmail.com
Mon Apr 18 15:09:56 BST 2011

Thank you for your patience and the detail of your answers.

This whole thing is a complicated business and the subtleties when
various different licenses and so forth are combine are often


On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 1:48 PM, Francis Davey <fjmd1a at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> That is the situation you are describing.
>> I'm not sure what you mean by "the situation you are describing", but
> Ah, this is where we are probably at cross purposes. I am sorry for
> that - its been a long thread. 80n's original query concerned
> uploading work to OSMF by someone who has agreed to the contributor
> terms. That is a sublicence (because it is expressed that way) and
> that is something which CC-BY-SA does not permit (I think we agree on
> that point).
>> it's not how CC-BY-SA works, since CC-BY-SA specifically says that it
>> does not grant permission to sublicense.  Instead "Each time You
>> Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation, Licensor offers to the
>> recipient a license to the original Work on the same terms and
>> conditions as the license granted to You under this License."
> ... and my mistake, yes of course the right to sublicense applies only
> to derivative works. Under the US 3.0 at least, the CC licence grants
> a right to sublicence derivative works but not the original work.
>> Under CC-BY-SA, X licenses the work to Y, Z, and any other third
>> party, granting permission to distribute the work under [the terms of]
>> L1, L2, or any other Compatible License.  The licenses to the
>> contributions of X come from X, not from Y.
> Yes.
>> If Y made modifications to the work, Y's license covers only Y's
>> modifications.  If Z then makes modifications, Z's license covers only
> No. Y's licence covers the whole of the derived work. X's licence
> covers all the work as not modified by Y. Z benefits from both those
> licences as against the respective licensors, which makes sense.
>> Z's modifications. I assume the reason this is done is to simplify the
>> chain of title, and also to avoid complications with copyright
>> transfers, inheritance, infringements, etc.  On the "why" though maybe
>> a CC list would be the best place to ask.
> Yes, that was my  understanding. The CC model is a new licence to all
> users of the work from the original licensor which avoids problems
> with chain of title. To the extent that CC licences are not contracts
> this is fine. Certainly in the UK CC doesn't rely on contract to work.
> I suspect there are more difficulties with ODbL style contract-reliant
> effects to third parties of this kind.
> Anyway, as you say this is fairly off topic and not what 80n asked.
> --
> Francis Davey
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