[License-discuss] Beginner question on CCSA and derivative work

Engel Nyst engel.nyst at gmail.com
Tue Nov 19 00:50:15 UTC 2013

On 11/18/2013 04:24 PM, Nick Yeates wrote:
> My question is, if I am incorporating it into a work that is considerable larger, do I need to license the entire piece of work as CCSA?
> The parts from U of Oxford will be, say, 3% of the complete content (derivative work???). Really, most of the content is new/mine.

If it is a derivative, yes. As a CC-BY-SA licensor, I expect the 
derivative works to be available to recipients with similar rights as 
CC-BY-SA gave you. It's not a matter of size. Though, there's too little 
information to know if your work is indeed a derivative work (in CC 
parlance, an adaptation), or a collection, or other cases such as fair 
use of the material for specific purposes.

For example, works known as sequels or fan fiction don't necessarily 
contain even 1% of verbatim copied material, but they are based on the 
original work, use its characters, are set in its world, refer to its 
events. They are remixes, many consider them derivative works.

If the original work is under copyright restrictions (the default 
copyright law), then these works are infringing, and their authors at 
best tolerated. If the original work is under CC-BY-SA, then works 
building on it are free to develop. They just should keep offering the 
same rights to their readers as the original gave them: CC-BY-SA or similar.

IMHO, your best course of action is to ask the author of the work. Note 
that ShareAlike licenses allow commercial use.

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