ShareAlike compatibility analysis: FAL
The Free Art License (FAL) was published by Copyleft Attitude in 2007. It is a copyright license with a ShareAlike mechanism and an attribution mechanism, and it does not violate the definition of Free Cultural Licenses. Thus, it satisfies the minimum criteria for ShareAlike compatibility set forth in our ShareAlike compatibility criteria. Overall, the FAL and BY-SA 4.0 are similar licenses, and the effect of each license as applied to a creative work is largely the same. Inevitably, there are differences between the two licenses, which are explained in more detail below.
Summary of comparison: FAL 1.3 and BY-SA 4.0
- The tone and scope of the licenses differ. The FAL is written more broadly and in general terms, and is designed for use with creative works protected by copyright. BY-SA is written in more specific terms, and is designed for use with creative works as well as material restricted by other rights closely related to copyright, such as databases protected by a sui generis right. Although the FAL licenses only copyright, it does have a provision preventing licensors from using related rights to prevent exercise of the rights granted under the license. BY-SA, on the other hand, contains an open ended definition of Copyright and Similar Rights that are licensed, but expressly excludes certain types of rights from the reach of the license. As to those rights that are licensed, BY-SA requires compliance with its conditions (attribution, ShareAlike) even when those rights, and not copyright, are implicated. As to those that are expressly excluded, the licensor waives and/or cannot assert those rights to interfere with the licensed rights.
- The specific attribution and marking requirements in the two licenses vary slightly. BY-SA has more total necessary elements for proper attribution, though it allows for flexibility depending on the context in which the work is used. Despite having fewer total attribution and marking requirements, the FAL does have some requirements that are not included in BY-SA, such as indicating where the licensed content can be found or how the licensed content was modified.
- The FAL does not expressly address the application of digital rights management (DRM) or other effective technological measures to the licensed content by licensees, while BY-SA explicitly prohibits it.
- Both licenses terminate automatically upon breach, but BY-SA is reinstated automatically if the breach is cured within 30 days of discovery. The FAL does not have an automatic reinstatement mechanism.
- The FAL provides licensees the option to decide which version of the FAL to comply with, regardless of whether the work has been adapted. BY-SA allows licensees to comply with the conditions of the license applied to the adaptation, which could be future (but not previous) versions of BY-SA.
|License scope||Copyright, neighboring rights and sui generis database rights (SGDRs) (Sec 1d)||Copyright only, but related rights may not challenge rights granted by license (Secs 2, 3)|
|Attribution trigger||If applicable copyright in work, when work or adaptation of work is shared. (Sec 3a)
||When work (modified or not) is distributed (Sec 2.2)|
|Attribution removal clause||Yes (Sec 3a3)||No|
|Special marking requirement if work is modified||Yes (indicate if you modified and retain indication of previous modifications) (Sec 3a1B)||Yes (indicate if you modified and what type of modifications were made) (Sec 2.3)|
|ShareAlike trigger||When adaptation is shared (Sec 3b)||When you distribute an adaptation (Sec 2.3)|
|ShareAlike scope||Must ShareAlike contributions to adaptations, and must ShareAlike database if it incorporates substantial portion of database contents (Secs 3b, 4b)||Must ShareAlike contributions to adaptations, and must ShareAlike larger work if incorporate original in a way that makes it no longer accessible apart from larger work (Secs 2.3, 4)|
|Effective technological measures||May not be applied by licensees if they restrict access to the work or adaptations (Sec 2a5C); Express permission to circumvent if applied by licensor (Sec 2a4)||Not mentioned|
|Moral rights||Waived only to the extent necessary to allow the license to function. (Sec 2b1)||Author’s rights may not challenge the rights granted by license. (Sec 3)|
|Termination||Automatic upon breach (Sec 6a)||Automatic upon breach (Sec 8)|
|Reinstatement after termination||Requires express permission unless cured within 30 days of discovery of violation (Sec 6b)||None|
|Reps & warranties||Expressly disclaimed (Sec 5)||Not mentioned|
|Choice of law||None||None|
|Option to comply with other license versions||Yes, but limited. Licensees may choose to comply with later versions of BY-SA applied to an adaptation of the work. (Secs 2a5B, 3b1)||Yes, licensees may decide which version of the FAL to accept – either that which was applied to the copy distributed to them or a later version. (Sec 9)|
- Note that CC reviewed the English language version of the FAL 1.3 to conduct this analysis.
- The rights expressly excluded from the license are moral rights, publicity, privacy and personality rights, and patent and trademark rights. The waiver and nonassert mentioned in the text apply to all of these rights except patent and trademark rights.