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This page presented an issue for consideration in the CC license suite 4.0 versioning process. The discussions have now concluded with the publication of the 4.0 licenses, and the information on this page is now kept as an archive of previous discussions. The primary forum for issues relating to the 4.0 versioning process was the CC license discuss email list. You may subscribe to contribute to any continuing post-launch discussions, such as those surrounding compatibility and license translation. The wiki has been populated with links to relevant email threads from the mailing list where applicable, and other topics for discussion were raised in the 4.0/Sandbox. See the 4.0 page for more about the process.

There are roughly three issues that have been discussed for years that could potentially be addressed. Ideally, addressing one or more of these could increase clarity of relevant CC licenses, and increase range of and differentiation within CC license suite.

ShareAlike scope

Effectively, this has been treated as identical to potentially tweaking the definition of adaptations vs collections.

  • Version 2.0 added "For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical composition or sound recording, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image ("synching") will be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of this License." (Please discuss this particular clarifying language on the License subject matter page.)
  • Many have wanted something similar added clarifying when use of an image creates an adaptation/derivative. This was visited especially during discussions with the Wikimedia community, leading to no immediate change, but an assurance that the scope of BY-SA's copyleft would only be increased, if changed at all in the 3rd point of CC Attribution-ShareAlike Intent

Relatedly, it has also been pointed out that CC license definitions of work/adaptation/collection are somewhat hard to read.

Proposals relating to SA scope in 4.0

For ease of reference on discussion lists, please do not alter proposal numbers.

SA Proposal No. 1: Make no changes.

  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Other comments:

SA Proposal No. 2: Make work/adaptation/collection definitions easier to read, but strive to not make any effective change.

  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Other comments:

SA Proposal No. 3: Expand scope of adaptation (thus SA) specifically for some class of use of images, analogous to synching added in 2.0.

  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Other comments:

SA Proposal No. 4: A more aggressive expansion of SA, including some collections, except those that are mere aggregations (see GPL).

  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Other comments:

Please add other SA proposals here, and number them sequentially.

Source-requiring SA

(Note that scope and whether source required are independent of each other.)

Some would like a copyleft for creative works that requires not just sharing adaptations under the same license, but making preferred form for modification available, as the GPL does for software. FDL includes a weaker requirement of providing copies in "transparent" formats. Especially the former may be too far for BY-SA to go (but costs/benefits could be listed to see). Could possibly be addressed via compatibility, see next.

Compatibility with other copyleft licenses

Directly related to the interoperability goal of 4.0. The following licenses have been discussed at various points, regarding compatibility with BY-SA:

Some things to consider in 4.0 process:

  • What could be done to bring BY-SA into better alignment technically with these other licenses where they are in the same spirit?
  • Should explicit compatibility with any of these be aimed for? In theory this could be a post-4.0 discussion assuming compatible licenses hook remains, but in practice, if compatibility is to be possible, 4.0 changes should be considered in that light
  • Discuss with stewards of each of above licenses, with regard to BY-SA 4.0, future versions of their licenses, alignment, and explicit compatibility statements
  • Similar to above, discuss with other stewards possibility of agreeing on/promoting common license text

Considerations regarding compatibility of other licenses

Please add other important considerations to this discussion here.

Related debate

We encourage you to sign up for the license discussion mailing list, where we will be debating this and other 4.0 proposals. HQ will provide links to related email threads from the license discussion mailing list here.

Relevant references

Please add citations that ought inform this 4.0 issue below.