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Creative Commons Launches CC+ License 67

E1ven writes "Creative Commons has this week released their CC+ protocol, which provides a way for authors to allow other people to commercially reuse their work, and give them a pre-negotiated fee or percentage. It makes it easy for people to release the Material under CC-No-Commercial, and then have a way to charge for commercial use if companies are interested."
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Creative Commons Launches CC+ License

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  • by niceone ( 992278 ) * on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:39PM (#21756884) Journal
    Microsoft release the CC#.NET license which makes it impossible for people to release under the CC-No-Commercial license.
  • Creative Commons Launches C++ License... Do we really need another version of C++? :P
    • Actually, there is a dialect of C++ called CC++ []. I remember stumbling across it on the web 10 years ago or so...looks like it hasn't gone too far since then.
      • I thought someone was being lazy on coming up with a decent acronyms only to find out that it's a lame acronym from the past. How sad... ;)
  • So... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:44PM (#21756978)
    So I could CC+ license my C++ code? What if it was something for a class and I'd only gotten a C- on it? so GCC is GPL, is GGPL now CC+ licensed? I'm confused.
  • That's smart... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:46PM (#21757002)
    Finally a smart license... Open Source, but if you want binary or commercial, here are my terms... That lets the developer play nice with Open Source, but gives those that don't want to be nice to Open Source an avenue to buy, thus letting the developer playing nicer with Open Source...
    • Sounds like the Qt license. It's GPL, but if you want to use it in a commercial product you can license it for money. I've always wondered why such an approach is so underused, as it combines the best of both worlds (i.e., the freedom of OSS and the profit of commercial products).
      • by zotz ( 3951 )
        "I've always wondered why such an approach is so underused, as it combines the best of both worlds"

        As a first guess, I think it might be that to fairly take advantage of community leverage, would result in a very complicated setup.

        Anyone have any ideas on how to put a simple system together to handle such a thing?

        all the best,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AvitarX ( 172628 )

          1)Come up with the terms of your non-conforming (to the GPL) distribution of product.
          2)name your license (I shall choose "QHNDASPL")
          3)QHNDASPL states "you may use either GPL, terms from 1, or QHNDASPL to redistribute"
          4)Only accept submissions with the QHNDASPL license

          This will leverage the many eyes, theoretically, and allow you to use any patches submitted.

          You would not be able to use pure GPL code and leverage what already exists (as GPL), but you could use BSD code and accept patches (if that is wha
      • Re:That's smart... (Score:4, Informative)

        by novakyu ( 636495 ) <> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:21PM (#21760574) Homepage
        Perhaps you should check the definition of free software [], or the Debian Free Software Guideline [] (which is the basis of the Open Source Definition).

        Any license that does not grant free redistribution (not free as in beer, free as in freedom---as in that the re-distributor is free to charge money for the service, if someone would pay) is definitely not free, and most likely not open source.

        I don't know why people get these wrong impressions that "free software" == "anti-commercial", but nothing could be further from the truth. Free software is just about as Laissez-Faire, free, capitalistic economic system as you can possibly get (free from government-granted monopolies, etc.). Licenses that "play nice" with communities by "graciously" granting non-commercial uses is definitely better than completely proprietary licenses (or a lack of one), but it's only halfway there since any such license still restricts your freedom in ways that are not acceptable.

        If you aren't totally convinced still why these "non-commercial only" licenses are wrong, here's a very simple reason why: Those licenses are GPL-incompatible, since GPL does not allow addition of restrictions with small exceptions, and any project or software using those restrictive licenses is excluding a lot of code out there that is already released under GPL.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          I am not talking about a license that disallows commercial use. As I said, Qt is licensed under the GPL. However, many commercial products are not GPL, and using Qt in them would thus not be an option. So, not as a restriction but as an additional option that you would not have if it was just the GPL, you can license Qt for use in non-GPL projects.

          Qt is dual licensed. It's not a modified version of the GPL. It is free software, because it's GPL. In fact, it's, in a way, freer than GPL software, because yo
          • by novakyu ( 636495 )
            Then you should have said "GPL-incompatible" or "non-free" projects ('though GPL-incompatible doesn't mean non-free, as there are many recognized free licenses that are GPL-incompatible), not "commercial". There are plenty of commercial projects (e.g. RedHat, among big ones, and all the embedded devices using BusyBox) that are GPL.

            And I would have to take exception to your claim that dual-licensed projects are somehow freer than GPL, unless it's dual-licensed to accommodate two free software licenses that h
      • by skeeto ( 1138903 )

        It's GPL, but if you want to use it in a commercial product you can license it for money.

        The GPL is precisely why you can use it in a commercial product and make money. The GPL places no restrictions on making money. I could legally sell you that GNU/Linux distribution CD I downloaded off a torrent for a million dollars, if you would only agree to pay that much.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gnuman99 ( 746007 )
      Bull. Sorry. There was *always* a way for OSS copyright holders to relicense under proprietary licenses. There are *many* examples of GPL projects that have a commercial side. For very easy examples see MySQL and Trolltech's Qt.

      Or see the stdc++ library in the GNU GCC toolchain. It is listed under GPL but with the exemption that any software linked to it doesn't imply that it must be GPL as well.

      The addition to the CC license is not even worthy of a mention as any copyright holder could do what this license
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        The point is the "prearrangement" I believe. So you don't have to go get permission to use the work commercially, you just have to make sure you send the checks.

      • Re:That's smart... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Niten ( 201835 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:43PM (#21757740)

        I think you're entirely missing the point here. Sure we've always been free to dual-license things, but many people just aren't good at writing copyright notices and the like. This essentially provides content providers and potential licensers with a consistent user interface within which to operate.

        Imagine that a publisher sees a really insightful code example in a blog entry on Erlang, which he thinks would make an excellent addition to an upcoming book. But the blog's author hasn't made clear whether this work can somehow be licensed for commercial use; or even if he has, the publisher might be having a hard time parsing the author's legalese. The publisher very well might just give up on it rather than go through the effort of contacting and negotiating with the author, and in the end both the publisher and the author lose out. On the other hand, if the author can just put a Creative Commons CC+ button on the page, the publisher can see it immediately and think: "I've seen this before and I know what it means. This work can be licensed, I can click here to find out what it will cost, etc."

        This protocol continues Creative Commons' legacy of making public licensing accessible to the common man. And I think it's an excellent idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zotz ( 3951 )
      "Finally a smart license... Open Source, but if you want binary or commercial, here are my terms... That lets the developer play nice with Open Source, but gives those that don't want to be nice to Open Source an avenue to buy, thus letting the developer playing nicer with Open Source..."

      That's not what this is. It could sort of become that, but it is not.

      First, CC licenses are not recommended for code. I think the still recommend the GPL for that.

      Second, I think this is only for their licenses with NC term
    • by skeeto ( 1138903 )

      Finally a smart license... Open Source

      No it's not. Not even close.

    • It is not Open Source. Neither is CC-No-Commercial.
  • If this is what i think it is, then it's exactly what i need, since i don't have the law-background needed to write a lisence myself.
  • Couldn't you (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kamineko ( 851857 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:51PM (#21757104)
    Couldn't you just license your work under CC-*, and then license out commercial licenses anyway, given that you're the copyright holder?
    • by notthe9 ( 800486 )
      Of course you could. I think this just makes it easier to do that.
    • by SamP2 ( 1097897 )

      Couldn't you just license your work under CC-*, and then license out commercial licenses anyway, given that you're the copyright holder?

      That license addresses exactly what you said :-/ (highlighted in bold). It's useful to be combined with CC-NC, and does nothing more than lay out the terms of what you have to do to obtain a commercial license. BTW, waiting for all the Stallmanians to start flaming about how the license (together with CC-NC) is not "free" and thus 3v1l!!!1111.

      • BTW, waiting for all the Stallmanians to start flaming about how the license (together with CC-NC) is not "free" and thus 3v1l!!!1111.

        From the article:

        With CC+, the license can also provide a link to secure rights beyond noncommercial rights -- most obviously commercial rights, but also services of use even when commercial use is permitted, such as warranty, ability to use without attribution, or even access to performance or physical media.

        I could foresee combining a copyleft (such as CC-BY-SA-* or GNU GPL) with some other license in this way.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Couldn't you just license your work under CC-*, and then license out commercial licenses anyway, given that you're the copyright holder?
      That's exactly what this is. You license a program under GNU GPL or any other work under CC-BY-*-NC or CC-BY-SA, and then you give alternate permission for other uses that do not conform. CC+ is just a uniform way to express such a dual license.
      • This could be VERY useful to my new project. But the thing's slashdotted.

        Anyone who was able to read the article able to say if there was anything in there about how they will handle limitations of the offering? If someone wants to raise or lower or otherwise alter the terms under which they will allow commercial use, are there provisions to supersede prior statements, or to limit how long the commercial offering remains legally binding?

        Typically, you'd want a price quote to be a legally binding offering
        • If someone who can reach the site wants to Karma Whore and paste the whole article in here somewhere, that would probably actually be legal in this case. Hint hint.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )
      Obviously. I think you've missed the point of the CC licenses, and so has RMS when he says that combined they represent nothing. They represent standard licensing terms, instead of everyone and their mother writing their own "MySpecialLicense 1.0" you select some key features and get a standard boilerplate text. Potential recipients don't need to read the whole license every time to figure out if they are compatible, it's enough to analyze the license once. It lowers transaction costs all around and while i
  • five, four, three, two, one.
  • by Chairboy ( 88841 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:57PM (#21757180) Homepage
    It's like the original Creative Commons license, except with pointers.
  • I'm all for the CC people. Good work, I say. I like that they are targeting people who are not totally into viral free-as-in-speech licensing. (Me, I'll go with GPLv3 or PD if I ever get around to coding something on my own time. Definitely would go with CC or CC+ or possibly PD if I ever get around to finishing some music ;) It's weird that they are calling it a protocol, though. Maybe I am missing something, but it's just a license, right? I noticed they provide some XML markup to define the terms
  • Great, but... If I were to tell this to someone, is there a real world money example(s) to illustrate this procedure?

    Say, the item I use is 1/12th the amount of major imagery in a product.
    Where's the breakover for fees if:

    1)A not intended for profit item that somehow accidentally earns a few hundred bucks
    2)Part of a presentation in a business that I would normally pay between $5 and $200 (at iStockPhoto for example) but otherwise never sees the light of day
    3)Part of a menu at a restaurant
    4)Part of a large
    • by ( 1024767 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:59PM (#21757920)
      Actually, here's a real-world example (and I was praying for something like this...)

      I'm making a documentary that I may as well plug now, (In fact, I'm making this post from LAX, having just returned from on-location filming.)

      Now, in any documentary, you typically get about 20-25:1 shooting ratio. What that means is that for every hour of actual documentary, you've filmed about 20-25 hours of raw footage. In my case, much of that is interviews - educational, important interviews.

      That would normally end up on the cutting-room floor - but there's so much educational, important information there. Once I get the stuff digitized, I'm taking a copy of all the raw footage and giving it to the New Zealand Film Archive, and uploading it online on Google Video. And I want people to use this raw footage in their own documentary projects - especially if they're students.

      But there are still "commercial" uses - indie documentarians like me - who could also use the footage. I don't want them to take it without negotiating a fair price, but I do want to let them know that it's within the realm of possibility to licence the footage without breaking the bank.

      Now, I could release it under a CC licence and sell it to commercial interests, but a CC+ licence makes it explicit that I'm looking to make money - but if you just want to muck around with it for a student project, you'll get no hassle.
  • the CC license.

    I'm a small time programmer and I've been trying to find a license that allows me to release the source code for anyone to modify/use but not have the ability to take my source code and repackage it in another form and make money off it. I don't have a problem with people using the code itself to make money, my only issue is with repackaging it to sell.

    I started looking at the CC license and I was pleased with it until I seen you can't offer exclusive license deals. Now I'm an idiot when it
    • by BrentH ( 1154987 )
      Ha, from that comment I could swear you're the/an auther of Paint.Net ;)
    • First, there is no such thing as 'the CC license,' there is the Creative Commons organisation and the offer a family of widely different licenses. The restrictions you want mean that your code will not qualify under the Free Software Foundation's four freedoms or the OSI definition so you can immediately discount any Free Software or Open Source license. The closest license I know of is the CC non-commercial share-alike license, but I don't know if it makes a distinction between using the software commerc

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I think you were pretty hard on the grandparent. He sounds honestly confused, and wants to make his work available, but is worried someone will just grab it, change the name, sell it to a market, and screw him.

        It seems like a perfectly valid worry, to me at least. And depending on why he cares, there are some options.

        But, it is not a precise enough concern to deal with yet.

        • by nrgy ( 835451 )
          Thank you.

          What I do is code plugins for a third party application. This application has a very small market so developers don't have many resources to turn to (When I started the SDK only came with 3 plugin examples).

          The reason behind releasing some source code is that I've gone through all the pains of figuring out how the application works, I've learned all the ins and outs. By releasing some source code I would like to help others that are just getting started. A sort of reference when you first get s
          • by cheros ( 223479 )
            IANAL, but first off, your code is YOURS. You have the right to say who/where/what happens, so if YOU choose to release the under a license that compels the user to buy a pizza every other day and someone uses it on that condition (and fulfils it) you're fine.

            Your problem comes when someone doesn't follow the rules, and I think you may be a bit too worried because you apear to be in a niche market.

            Your motives are to 'spread your knowledge' (it's darn good advertising as well), but to stop someone from rep
          • I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer!

            As far as selling the code, there are two primary concerns. One is legal and a question of rights. The other is a practical matter. Pretty much any method of releasing your source to someone to study will necessitate giving copies of the code away for free. So there is a practical concern that people would aquire your code in that manner and thus the market would be eliminated. Even if you are not concerned about this possibili

    • I don't have a problem with people using the code itself to make money, my only issue is with repackaging it to sell.

      That sentence is kind of fuzzy. Are you concerned about the repackaging because you want to sell the binary? Get the credit? Know how many people are using your software?

      The above questions assume that your problem is with someone literally compiling your code under a different name (after changing the GUI, etc. to match.) Do you care if someone adds a feature? Incorporates it into a c

  • by Anonymous Coward
    CCCP++ License sells you!
  • I am eagerly awaiting the CC++ license. /me ducks.
  • by Njovich ( 553857 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @07:32PM (#21758384)
    So, what are the limits of the word 'commercial'? The way I read this license, you basically can not use this for anything. Websites with advertisements have an indirect trade or profit goal, you can't use the content on something like Youtube (which is part of a for-profit company), you can't use the artwork in a GPL'ed piece of code (it allows commercial use). Even a private artwork can be seen as a work to improve someones portfolio. The potential for good would be a lot bigger if the CC licenses didn't have this limit.

    Of course, everyone should pick the license they want, but I think people underestimate just how limiting the NC licenses are for people that try to stick to the law.
  • by ortholattice ( 175065 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @07:49PM (#21758624)
    One problem I have with this and other "non-commercial" CC licenses is that "non-commercial" doesn't seem, to me, to be clearly defined. Certainly there can be blatant commercial uses that are easy to identify, but there are many situations where it is not so clear. Suppose, for example, the material is posted a personal home page, which is provided free by the ISP in exchange for advertisements. Does that constitute "commercial use"? Clearly, the ISP is profiting from the material if it is drawing people to that page and thus the ads. Who owes who what money?

    Is a Red Cross advertisement commercial or noncommercial? If the Red Cross paid a magazine for an ad containing a CC+ licensed image, then the magazine is earning some money from it, even though the Red Cross itself is non-commercial. (Or is it?)

    It is even hard to come up with examples where the use is disconnected from the slightest taint of a direct or indirect commercial connection.

    Of course, CC+ is also incompatible with GPL-licensed software. For example, a CC licensed "non-commercial use" icon in a software package would prevent a commercial entity from using it, defeating the purpose of the GPL.

    • The definition of "non-commercial" has been discussed a great deal on the cc-community mailing list. Among their conclusions is that charities using a CC-NC work for fundraising counts as commercial use.

      So in your Red Cross example, it wouldn't be necessary to run the ad in a profit-making publication to count as commercial use.

  • When I saw the summary I thought this was a central marketplace for CC work, with some sort of standard fee structure and licensing terms. So people making CC work could easily set commercial use prices, people buying CC work could pay instantly over the Internet through CC and be assured of standard reasonable terms without negotiation, and CC could even make a little profit. Seems to me this could be a valuable service, if CC is not allergic to profit in any form. I know there's plenty of CC-noncommerc
  • Excellent news! The best Christmas present for small amateur developers. Commercial copyright is a minefield in a swamp, and CC has created a bridge. Long overdue! I love creative commons.
  • Would this work for written content, where if someone wants to use a portion of a book, they would pay a predetermined fee to do that? The only examples I see for CC+ are code.

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