[License-discuss] Creative Commons vs private content

Joel Ray Holveck joelh at piquan.org
Thu Oct 20 10:44:16 UTC 2016

I'm not going to address whether or not this list is appropriate to discuss CC licenses, but I will offer a brief reply.  The short version is: these are not the licenses you're looking for.

Open source licenses always let me download a program to give to my neighbor.  Similarly, Creative Commons licenses always let me download a cultural work (such as a photograph) and give it to my neighbor.

Any license that divides the world into groups of "these people may see this work, but those other people may not" is not an open source license.  Similarly, the Creative Commons licenses always let me share a photograph with my neighbor, not just an organization member.

While I'm happy that you want to create a community for sharing culture, these licenses are about allowing everybody, not just your members, to share works freely.

I certainly hope you find a way to encourage people to create and share free cultural works for the benefit of everybody.  But for the portions of the site which you don't want people to share, you'll need another license.

Also note that (for example) CC-BY-SA works cannot be used as part of the "restricted" portions; the authors of CC-BY-SA have decided to let you remix their works only if you agree that everyone may share the final product.  (I'm summarizing; you can read the CC licenses for details.)


> On Oct 19, 2016, at 23:46, Richard Grevers <pinz at dramatic.co.nz> wrote:
> Greetings from New Zealand,
> I've struggled somewhat to find a forum in which to discuss matters relating to Creative Commons, so I hope this isn't Off-topic here. (If it is, feel free to redirect me!)
> We are redeveloping a website (for a national permaculture organisation) with user-contributed content and a CC-BY-SA license. naturally there are restrictions on who can create content.
> 1) There is some content created by us which is members-only for various reasons - privacy laws/confidentiality, or simply withheld as an incentive to actually join the organisation.
> 2) There is also some interest from users in being able to limit the visibility of content they contribute - just as, on other social media, you can limit content visibility to friends, followers etc. For example, a member might be happy to share a photo of a project in which their children feature with other members, but not happy about it being available to the world on an open license.
> Are the two concepts above in conflict with the CC license? Is a different license required for that specific content - or some rider attached to the general license?
> Regards
> Richard Grevers
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