Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Does Creative Commons Work With Pseudonymity?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-fair-that's-a-bunch-of-questions dept.

Privacy 37

kale77in writes "I was going to direct this question to the Australian Arts Law Centre, and probably still will, but I'm sure they're very busy and I'm sure that someone here must have bumped up against this issue already. I have not found it addressed in the CC FAQ. I have a website which is oriented around the study of Ancient Greek. Much material relevant to this study (texts, lexica, etc) was published in the 1800s; it is now out of copyright and readily available from archive.org and similar sources; but much of this material could use an upgrade and users will have up-to-date contributions of their own to make. I'm writing a system that allows user entry, correcting, searching, commentary, tagging, redistribution and so on, of such material." Read on for the questions this raises about licensing, attribution, and copyright.Kale77in continues: "Here's my issue: I would like everything to be under Creative Commons BY-SA — I can say 'same as Wikipedia' and this will encourage participation and confidence. The question is who should own the copyright of user-created data. I'd like the copyright to be held by the submitter. But I've no interest in enforcing anything more than pseudonymity for the users. Now I understand that copyrights can be held pseudonymously; but how does this allow attribution as required by CC-BY-SA? Is it enough for an author of a derivative work to reference the page on my site where the pseudonymous copyright holder grants the license? Does the end user need to be able to contact the copyright holder for additional rights? Is this a road through a minefield, so that I should just bite the bullet and, like Wikipedia, make a foundation to hold and license the copyright for collaborative works? But that costs money to administer; for a small non-profit venture is it best to just chill and take resort in persuading the users to make everything public domain? Or does a special User Agreement allow some way to gain the benefits of CC licensing (= endless reuse, and no hassle) without losing pseudonymity? But then, won't a complex upfront agreement hinder participation?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Why wouldn't it? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638432)

Last I checked, in the US at least, one could have a copyright in ones pen name, so I'm not really sure why there would be something special about using a CC license.

US Copyright Office on Pseudonymous (5, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638480)

Last I checked, in the US at least, one could have a copyright in ones pen name, so I'm not really sure why there would be something special about using a CC license.

For reference:

"An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nicknames and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Copyright does not protect pseudonyms or other names. ... But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter."
http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl101.html [copyright.gov]

Re:US Copyright Office on Pseudonymous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638666)

The central two problems that I see as it applies to this situation:
1) You must be able to prove that you're acting on behalf and with consent of the copyright holder in case you decide to sue for copyright infringement.
2) If someone decides to sue for copyright infringement of the uploaded material, proof of being the account holder will need to be provided and that necessarily breaks pseudonymity.
So all is honky-dory, until it actually matters.

Contacting the © owner for additional rights (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638452)

Does the end user need to be able to contact the copyright holder for additional rights?

You might be confusing Creative Commons's core licenses with CC+ [creativecommons.org] , a standardization of dual-licensing metadata.

Re:Contacting the © owner for additional righ (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639062)

CC-BY-SA eliminates the need to contact the copyright holder, because the rights have already been granted: the right to publish derivative works, with attribution, under essentially the same license. If someone wants rights beyond that, they going to be disappointed, because people who select CC-BY-SA as the license generally mean it: those rights, but no other rights.

Re:Contacting the © owner for additional righ (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640502)

CC-BY-SA eliminates the need to contact the copyright holder, because the rights have already been granted: the right to publish derivative works, with attribution, under essentially the same license.

Well, that's not completely true. If you publish something through CC-BY-SA, you grant those rights provided you had the neccesary rioghts to do so. If someone decided to put Harry Potter on the net under CC-BY-SA, you still would not get the rights to distribute it by downloading it there, unless J. K. Rowling (or the publisher, I'm not sure who actually owns the rights) approved it.

Now imagine a text added under CC-BY-SA by the author, but under pseudonym without any way to find out the actual author. Now someone else comes, claims he was the author, and he never put it there under CC-BY-SA, nor authorized anyone to do so. If the real author (or submitter) was known, it would probably be trivial to show that he couldn't reasonably have gotten a copy from that other person, because the two were completely unrelated, and there was no publication of that stuff at the time he uploaded it (and even if there was a relation, that person might be able to provide evidence that he wrote it himself; and even if not, there are now two persons claiming authorship, with the uploader in slight advantage because he's the only one known top have access to the text at that time). However if the submitter isn't known, you have no way to refute that claim.

Easy Answer? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638466)

I'd just ask the person uploading the content to specify how they'd like to be attributed. Maybe make the default "Your Site Name Contributor" and let them change it as part of their profile.

Section 4 c i seems to be what you should be looking at.

(i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties")

Attribution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638486)

If you're worried about the need for attribution, you could simply have the contribution agreement state that submissions are licensed under CC-SA (without the by). Or if you want to keep attribution the CC-BY licenses specify the use of an accepted means of attribution. You could simply give one such example in the contributor agreement as an example of what would be acceptable. This could be as simple as attributing it to the site itself (if the contributor agrees this works) or if you wanted to cause problems every individual user name that ever edited the collaborative work.

Where is this website? (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638574)

I'd really like to know about this website. I'm a Latin major and I study Ancient Greek. I'd love to contribute to this.

Re:Where is this website? (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639742)

It could be Textkit [textkit.com] . I used White's First Greek book which I got from there and the forums to start me off on learning Greek before I went to university. It looks like the website has really been changed cosmetically since I last looked, however. Hopefully the substance is still there.

Re:Where is this website? (1)

kale77in (703316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640246)

Textkit is brilliant, although it's auto-processing uses Latin-character OCR on the Greek texts. Human transcription and correction is necessary to get something searchable.

Re:Where is this website? (1)

kale77in (703316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640242)

There's a several-year-old version of my site online at http://jesus.com.au [jesus.com.au] -- that's a New Testament Greek site as the name suggests. It has grammatical searching, so for example, to find infinitive verbs in the Johannines, you would use http://jesus.com.au/find/words/.v.inf/in/john,1jn-3jn [jesus.com.au] . See the homepage for a feature list; any feedback from a classics learning/teaching background would appreciated.

While I've been upgrading my interest in NT/Koine to full blown classical, I've been adding features over the past year to accommodate other data (initially LXX, ANF and Koine-friendly background like Epictetus), and now that I have the million+ Greek words of the Perseus dataset incorporated, it can work with almost anything, and that's where I'd like to take it. (Indeed, there's a paste-bin which does a currently-passable job of parsing arbitrary text.) I'm getting near ready to relaunching, but need to settle this licensing question first.

Re:Where is this website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36651856)

If you're interested in contributing to an ancient texts project, have you checked out http://treebank.alpheios.net/ ?

Wikipedia as an example (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638580)

like Wikipedia, make a foundation to hold and license the copyright for collaborative works

That's actually not how Wikipedia works. The Wikimedia Foundation holds none of the copyrights, these are still retained by the (pseudonymous in most cases, I might add!) user who posted the content.

The only extra precautions they take, AFAIK, are making sure that all revisions are always and permanently attributed (e.g., you cannot delete accounts, as that would leave a situation where it is unknown who to attribute). When attributing, it is enough to say "User SoAndSo on Wikipedia".

So I think you'll be fine.

Re:Wikipedia as an example (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638968)

IANAL, but I got better LSAT scores (without studying) than most of them did, and I have a few sharks in my family.

The parent AC response is entirely correct

actually you can delete accounts (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639276)

great point about the holding of copyright. id add that the reason wikipedia doesnt hold copyright, is because if it did, then it would be getting sued all the time for defamation and libel. if they dont hold copyright, they can use the 'shield law' in the US, which makes them basically a 'service provider' and thus immune to lawsuits over the content they hold. thats my theory anyways (and i dont know much, but i have a hunch).

instead, when someone wants to sue over a wikipedia article, they sue a john doe who wrote it (or the part they object to). IIRC some famous actor did this over the article written about him.

so if you have an article written by 50 people, then 50 different people own the copyright. you have to figure out who is responsible for which bits... which involves a lot of mucking around with article history to see who made what. (although theoretically there is a tool called wikiblame)

--

however there is the possibility of deleting a wikipedia account. i think it is called something like the 'right to disappear' from wikipedia. you will find accounts on there sometimes with these weird, generic names, i cant remember what it is exactly but its something like Dissappeared User 225 or something.

---

Re:actually you can delete accounts (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 3 years ago | (#36641376)

so if you have an article written by 50 people, then 50 different people own the copyright. you have to figure out who is responsible for which bits...

So when you attribute someone, do you need to list all 50 people and wikipedia? And what happens in a long chain of derived works; where, say, work A is a derived work of Wikipedia, work B is derived form work A, and work C derived from B. If I make work D derived from C, do I need to attribute all the people in A, B, and C?

de facto vs de jure (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642176)

IIRC, there are some wikis out there that do attribute every author on every page - they modify the mediawiki PHP code to spit out a list of editors for each page at the bottom of each page. its actually not that hard IIRC, a day's work or two for a hobbyist programmer.

As for derivative works, well, I am no lawyer, but as far as i can tell, someone could definitely make the argument you make. What counts as 'appropriate attribution' appears to be somewhat uncertain in legal terms. I could see someone who was a real stickler deciding that a 4-th derived work of their wikipedia work needs to be attributed to them directly. It reminds me of how copyright works in some open source computer code - the copyright of the original work, which may have been made ten years ago, is retained, and subsequent authors add their names on the top.

I believe reality is different. lets take me for example, and two cases of my wikipedia writing showing up elsewhere.

Frst, lets take the garbage-books on Amazon.com that are print-on-demand "books" that are simply copy-and-pasted collections of various loosely-connected wikipedia pages. i have seen some of my wikipedia articles end up in those things. i know that the "books" attribute wikipedia. But i am not sure if they attribute me. However, i simply don't care. I want to have nothing to do with these people - they don't even edit the works for coherence or quality, they just slap them together at random apparently using a computer algorithm. I have no energy to go chasing them down and demand they attribute my work. Considering that anyone unfortunate enough to buy one of these "books" will probably just throw it in the garbage in anger, im not sure that i want my pseudoname attached to it anyways.

Second, lets take the situation where people quote my wikipedia articles in discussion boards or blogs. This even happens on slashdot from time to time. They attribute the sources as 'wikipedia'. do i have a problem with this? do i want them to use my pseudoname? Am I outraged? No. First of all, its almost impossible to track down who wrote what in a wikipedia quote, the 'wikiblame' tool doesnt really work very well sometimes, and the 'view history' tool is a pain in the butt to use for that purpose. Second of all, i kind of implicitly decided that my wikipedia writing is somewhat anonymous. If people really care about who wrote it, they can find out. Otherwise, 99% of people will just be reading the content instead of worrying about who made it. Which is kind of an interesting feeling.

I don't know if any of this is useful to you, i am an isolated case and not a wikipedia admin or anything.

Re:Wikipedia as an example (1)

kale77in (703316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640298)

If this is correct, then it's almost ideal. Not legally watertight, but, certainly sufficient to proceed with.

I realise that I was assuming that copyright resided with the Wikipedia Foundation because the only alternative seemed untenable -- that the required attributions for every stage of revision could become exceedingly complex. But there actually is no single copyright statement on a Wikipedia page now that I look for one.

It seems, following this up, that the Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use [wikimediafoundation.org] fills the gap I was worried about: any contributor agrees to be attributed simply by a link to the end product... (which will itself link to the version history and contributors).

Therefore, for any text you hold the copyright to, by submitting it, you agree to license it under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ...

As an author, you agree to be attributed in any of the following fashions: a) through a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the article or articles you contributed to, b) through a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) through a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.)

+1 Anonymous. If this was StackOverflow, I'd select your answer. :)

The answer (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638588)

Now I understand that copyrights can be held pseudonymously; but how does this allow attribution as required by CC-BY-SA?

If a user posts something under a pseudonym, then attribution need only reference that pseudonym.

Is it enough for an author of a derivative work to reference the page on my site where the pseudonymous copyright holder grants the license?

Technically all a derivative work would need is enough information to clearly attribute the work. Even just the title of the work, name of your site, and the pseudonym the work was published under would qualify. (E.g. based on "the song" by sombody57 of example.com). It is debatable if a mere link to the source is sufficient, but the Wikimedia Foundation feels it is, so you would be in good company.

Does the end user need to be able to contact the copyright holder for additional rights?

No. There is no such requirement under copyright law. (You own copyright to work you publish completely anonymously (but good luck proving it is your work)).
The CC-license

Is this a road through a minefield, so that I should just bite the bullet and, like Wikipedia, make a foundation to hold and license the copyright for collaborative works?

But the Wikimedia foundation does not hold copyright to the work. The copyright is held by the pseudonymous contributors.

Wikipedia stuff is licensed under the CC-BY-SA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638812)

Wikipedia stuff is licensed under the CC-BY-SA. That should tell you.

Imagine no copyright... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638938)

The question is who should own the copyright of user-created data. I'd like the copyright to be held by the submitter.

How about "nobody"? Why does anyone have to own the copyright?

Seriously, is there any danger in making the content Public Domain? It might even increase the value of the site because although other people could copy the whole thing and post it, you could be the one to guarantee that nothing's been changed except by contributors involved. So the value you claim is not just the content, but the integrity of the content.

I've used the various Creative Commons licenses on a lot of my work in the past several years, but more and more I'm looking at straight Public Domain. I've got an appointment in a couple of weeks with Lawyers for the Creative Arts (a great non-profit that provides legal services to artists of all types - hence the name) and I'm going to see if I can get the lowdown on all aspects of Public Domain.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639030)

There are all sorts of arguments against dumping it in the Public Domain, many of which can be found in RMS's reasoning behind the GPL. For example, it doesn't ensure that derivative works (e.g. an audio or translated version of the text) would remain free-as-in-speech. I'm all for the development of the Public Domain over time (copyright terms are too damn long), but in the short term, copyright with free licensing (e.g. CC-BY-SA) serves the public good better.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639274)

it doesn't ensure that derivative works (e.g. an audio or translated version of the text) would remain free-as-in-speech

So what? The original is still available. Not to mention, this is exactly what the GPL allows. An audiobook version or a translated version is less, "Imma steal me some Linux kernel!" and more, "Here's the source. It's free. Oh, you're paying us? Well then, here's your source made into binary packages."

The only real argument here is, "Oh noes! Somebody's making money, and it isn't me!"

That's a perfectly fine argument - the last time we tried a system without copyright, it was called the Middle Ages. Only fools want to make patronage the norm again. But that is the argument - money. No 'freedom' is lost by dumping things to the proper, true public domain.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639500)

That's a philosophical debate, not a legal one. The legal answer is clear: it's impossible to put a new work into the public domain. In most countries this is true according to the letter of the law, at least. In the US this is a practical, real-life fact, because non-work-for-hire authors maintain a reversionary interest in their work. In other words, even if an author stated explicitly at the outset that their work was "public domain", some thirty years later they can always come back and say, "I change my mind", and this is despite any license, contract, or disclaimer to the contrary. This also applies to the GPL, etc. The only limitation is that they have to actually notify the specific people from whom they wish to take back the copyright.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639732)

You are a moron.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640402)

I can't tell about the situation in the USA, but at least he's completely right about the impossibility of putting something into public domain in some countries (I don't know if it's most countries, as stated, though). That's why CC-0 exists: CC-0 grants explicitly all rights that can be granted everywhere else (and explicitly puts it in public domain whereever this is possible).

Re:Imagine no copyright... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640550)

1. The guy I am replying to, is repeating some of the most idiotic myths. Once something is distributed under whatever conditions, no one, anywhere, can take it back.

2. Anywhere in the world anyone can distribute his work (given that the work is legal to distribute there in the first place) without demanding any control over it. What one may not be able to do, is to insist on not being the author, or giving someone else the right to claim authorship -- this has absolutely nothing to do with copyright or public domain.

3. You are stupid, too.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36643012)

17 U.S.C. 203. Termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author

(a) Conditions for Termination.— In the case of any work other than a work made for hire, the exclusive or nonexclusive grant of a transfer or license of copyright or of any right under a copyright, executed by the author on or after January 1, 1978, otherwise than by will, is subject to termination under the following conditions: [...] (5) Termination of the grant may be effected notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, including an agreement to make a will or to make any future grant.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36644324)

This is absolutely irrelevant. Even though copyright is automatically applicable to all creative works, it is not one of unalienable rights -- anyone who has it or could have it, can disclaim it. There are plenty of reasons why this may be a bad idea, however all of them are related to ability of others to produce derived works while refusing to co-operate with the original author or society as a whole.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36647304)

The problem is, you *can't* disclaim it. The purpose of the termination right is to allow authors to change their minds no matter what they did earlier.

And if you die you may have evil heirs who want to cash in on your cool project. So now not only can't you disclaim it during your life, you also need to setup a trust to hold the copyright after you die. That costs money.

This isn't some anti-open source troll. It's just pure facts. All of this applies to any other kind of license as well.

Re:Imagine no copyright... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36650116)

The problem is, you *can't* disclaim it.

How so? You can state in easily accessible and attributable manner (such as in the notes in the published form of the work itself) that you, the author, disclaim any rights toward distribution of your work, and grant it to the mankind as a whole. As long as this is clearly expressed, no one, not even yourself, can argue otherwise. There is no law that declares it illegal to give things away, except for certain rights -- property and copyright are not among those.

The purpose of the termination right is to allow authors to change their minds no matter what they did earlier.

No, the purpose is to take copyright away from the owner regardless of the copyright owner's (or author's, or anyone else's) wishes, because copyright duration is intended to be limited. There is no "changing your mind" in law -- once you have given something to another or others, there is no taking back.

And if you die you may have evil heirs who want to cash in on your cool project. So now not only can't you disclaim it during your life, you also need to setup a trust to hold the copyright after you die. That costs money.

This is pure bullshit. If you don't like your heirs, you can always exclude them from your will, or even order your property destroyed, however it has absolutely nothing to do with something that is no longer yours, such as public domain (or equivalent) work.

This isn't some anti-open source troll.

Oh yes it is. You are intentionally muddying the water around clear (and usually irrelevant) subject to produce FUD around licenses. It's also remarkable that you are trying to find examples in US copyright law even though US already has plenty of works released into public domain by their authors, and therefore your examples are irrelevant.

Given that US law is the most property-obsessed in the world, it is not even useful as a point for comparison, so unless you will produce an example of a country where blanket disclaimer of copyright is illegal, and approval of each act of distribution is forced upon authors, you should stop pretending to have any kind of valid point whatsoever.

It's just pure facts. All of this applies to any other kind of license as well.

"License" is nothing but a statement made by a person expressing his conditions in a transaction. It has no special legal meaning on its own. There is nothing in a law, anywhere in the world, that declares text named "license" to be somehow more important or authoritative than any other statement attached to a contract. It is completely unrelated to another (though related) meaning of the word "license" -- a permit issued by a government or government-approved institution to perform some restricted activity that is otherwise forbidden by law except for holders of government-approved licenses.

If author in any form declares that he no longer wishes to have conditions of distribution being controlled by him, and the work is a gift to the mankind as a whole, it is not any different from declaring a work to be in public domain, or "licensing" it under those conditions yo everyone.

The only reason standard license texts exist, is that they contain known, clearly defined terms that can be easily applied to real-life situations, and works licensed under the same or compatible conditions are easier to deal with.

Wikipedia and copyright (2)

svick (1158077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639188)

like Wikipedia, make a foundation to hold and license the copyright

The Wikimedia Foundation, who operates Wikipedia, does not own copyright to the collaborative works that are its articles. It also does not "license" it. The only thing it does is to claim that whenever you edit a page on Wikipedia, that edit is under CC-BY-SA, and if you don't agree with that, don't edit.

An interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639960)

IANAL but frankly I don't know of any national or international law that deals with this comprehensively and gracefully. "Regular" authors using a pen name usually have their real names known by at least their publishers (posing a risk of leaking, and one leak is all it takes) or they cannot be paid. This is a result of the underlying assumptions in most of the rest of the law and I feel quite strongly this is becoming more outdated by the day. So, next to finding practical answers there is a fundamental problem and an interesting discussion on how to solve it.

How do you enable creating alternate identities from scratch without letting in wholesale abuse making the system unusable? A practical answer is some sort of reputation score, though it'd probably have to be multi-dimensional and that then poses the problem of interpreting the various axes. Creating an itself identity is easy; just make up a name, and confirming ownership is also easy; crypto signatures (like in pgp) do pretty well. The existing endorsement structure doesn't allow for negative scores and its positive scoring doesn't work too well either. The web of trust has proven a little too cumbersome in the current implementation to actually use. Too often endorsements don't mean what the endorsers think they mean, and even then others might easily misunderstand them. With PKI's hierarchical signatures things get even worse though a bunch of companies that essentially are no more trustable than "Honest Achmed's Used Cars And Certificates".

I don't have a ready answer though plenty of ideas to try, but there really aren't many places ready for such a thing. Who's going to let 'nymable eIDs into their law system for some field testing?

Enforceability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36640340)

There is absolutely no problem with this as long as everyone plays nicely. As people have already pointed out, the CC license requires attribution in the manner specified by the licensor and that could be to a pen name, web site or whatever. The problems begin when a copyright holder wants to sue someone for using content in breach of the terms of the license. I expect it will be difficult to prove you own the copyright and still remain anonymous. It may well be possible in some cases and some jurisdictions may have special procedures for this, but this is where I see a potential problem.

Re:Enforceability (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640438)

Maybe a middle ground would be that authors put their real name and possible other identifying data in the system, but the system doesn't display it to the public if they didn't explicitly request it (an opt-in option in the preferences would do). Then if any copyright dispute happens, they can use the stored name to proof their authorship (of course in that case, they cannot avoid revealing it; however I think you can't have a copyright dispute without revealing your identity anyway).

First, not everything can be copyrighted (1)

richardtallent (309050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36641306)

Your use cases for expected user-generated content include "user entry, correcting, searching, commentary, tagging, redistribution and so on, of such material."

Scanning of PD works, OCR, and making corrections to that data is just data, and you can't copyright facts or short phrases, titles, etc.

"Commentary" can enjoy copyright protection, so the CC licenses can be applied and each user would retain copyright of his commentary either under his real name or pen name.

But if the commentary is *editable* by other users, like Wikipedia, then the best course of action would probably be to treat the commentary as a "collective work." Collective works can still be licensed under CC without naming all of the individuals, but you'd have to assign an author of some sort--maybe the original author, regardless how much is edited later.

While individual tags are just facts, the entire *database* of tags may meet the "originality" test for copyright protection. But in the case of a database, there must be a single copyright holder (like with the collective work), and you can only file for 3 months of database changes at a time.

IANAL/TINLA

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?