[License-discuss] Newbie post: Localisable open source software license

Kat Walsh kat at creativecommons.org
Mon Oct 21 18:15:12 UTC 2013

On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 7:34 AM, Luis Villa <luis at lu.is> wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 6:29 AM, David Woolley <forums at david-woolley.me.uk
> > wrote:
>> On 21/10/13 07:39, Maxthon Chan wrote:
>>> There is a project, Creative Commons, that focuses on providing free
>>> license for art, music and works alike. They tackled the localisation
>>> issue well, by providing localised licenses that is interchangeable with
>> No they don't.  All the licences seem to be in English.
> Max is correct; you are wrong. Deeds are translated in some cases, but
> licenses also undergo what CC calls "porting": a combination of translation
> and adaptation to local jurisdictions. You can see this, even if you're
> only an English-speaker, by noting that CC has several different licenses
> in English:
> e.g., CC BY "England and Wales":
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/legalcode
> CC BY United States:
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/legalcode
> CC BY Scotland:
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/scotland/legalcode
> Max, it is important to know that CC *now believes they got this wrong*,
> and will stop porting licenses starting in 4.0, focusing instead on
> translations. Some discussion of that here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/2013-September/007451.html

To nitpick slightly, we're not certain that porting will stop entirely--but
we're hoping that it will be unnecessary. (To that end, a lot of effort was
spent during the drafting process consulting CC's international affiliates
to make sure the licenses will be valid and effective under other national
laws. If something arises that could not have been resolved by this
consultation, CC may approve ports--but nothing like the approach for the
3.0 suite, where porting to other jurisdictions was expected.)

And yes--going forward CC will be supporting official translations--which
comes with its own set of complications, but mainly around their creation
rather than their reuse.

>>  each other, even in the copyleft variants.
> Do not take for granted that the licenses (before 4.0) are
> interchangeable. For example, some (but not all!) of the EU Share Alike
> licenses in 3.0 deal with database rights.
In fact, the licenses are not interchangeable. The ported licenses are
compatible with the international (unported) licenses, but not
interchangeable. This kind of complication is one of the reasons CC wants
to avoid porting.


Kat Walsh, Counsel, Creative Commons
IM/IRC/@/etc: mindspillage * phone: please email first
Help us support the commons: https://creativecommons.net/donate/
California Registered In-House Counsel #801759
CC does not and cannot give legal advice. If you need legal advice, please
consult your attorney.
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