Participant commits to group

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The following was contributed by anonymous trolls in 2004. Feel free to keep editing it.

In any web service or other creative or interactive effort, a participant commits to group review and use of something that is provided by that participant. Once that group is "done" with that material, the group commits to public use of some kind, even if it is a quite restricted notion of a "public".

The factors that determine what a participant commits to a group are many and difficult to codify. A Creative Commons Public License assumes that they may be seeking ultimate control of the material (NoDerivs) in which case the group can only make simple compilations for itself or the public. Or, they may be seeking just attribution, or to impose lateral or "Share Alike" terms of use on all other users - holding them to the very same obligations as themselves. In which case, those obligations actually define the group, and all participants must commit equally to the public under exactly the same license.

There are other aspects of what a participant commits to a group beyond Common Content:

For instance there may be a nondisclosure agreement respecting the way the work was made, or a non-compete agreement, or a general understanding to act in accordance with the interests of all the group's members. A guild license for instance would probably require all of these things and allow for recourse in case of any non-compliance by the participant. There are also of course corporate licenses or outright releases of all rights including moral rights.