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Platform terms and CC licenses


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a revisit to the long-term concern

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Platform terms and CC licenses

  1. 1. Platform terms and CC licenses Tomoaki Watanabe Creative Commons Japan/ Keio U. For Creative Commons Global Summit, Seoul, Korea, Oct 14-17, 2015 This work was partly supported by JSPS KAKEN Grant 2 5 3 8 0 1 3 2.
  2. 2. What do stakeholders want? (just guessing) - Licensor releasing work under a CC license Okay with the work disseminated via social media - Licensee posting contents to the web Wants to share works on platforms - Platform aggregating user-posted content Worry-free, risk-free right to use contents
  3. 3. Major conceivable options 1. Platforms do something Change ToS 2. CC does something Define “platforms” and allow sharing on them via sublicensing scheme 3. Licensors do something Dual licensing: CC license + platform-license
  4. 4. More options 4. Nobody changes anything (except for interpretations of terms) a. uploading alone is not violation with many terms b. only when a content is used by platforms, …  its licensee (=uploader) is in trouble  the platform operator is in trouble at the same time  platforms might be careful to begin with for ensuring the copyright /licensing status
  5. 5. Cost of doing nothing Reduced use - Strict licensees avoid posting CC’d materials to platforms.  Not that many understand technicalities of the licenses Violation via posting - Strictly speaking: no posting of CC’d materials by licensees to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.  Actually, postings occur, and authors find them fine. Violation via use by platforms - If platforms use them, it might not be okay  Actually, platforms do not really exploit them much at all.
  6. 6. Sublicensing – what it is “Sublicensing” … licensing by a licensee. a poet >> a twitter user tweeting poetry >> Twitter as a platform Can the twitter user give license on poetry to Twitter? Usually no. If sublicensing is allowed, perhaps yes.
  7. 7. Sublicensing – costs and risks costs and risks - License more difficult to read& understand - Sublicense working as “loophole” (platforms can disregard the license conditions) - Blanket permission to sublicense possibly invalid? What if CC licenses… 1) limit the scope of sublicensing? -> solve conflict with only some ToS  Users do not quite understand which platforms are compatible, which are conflicting  compile and maintain a List of Certified Sites’ ToS?  high maintenance cost 2) allow some sublicensing + absolve licensee of any posting to platforms?  Most of the violation resolved  platforms still not getting sufficient license, and not informed of it  Posters still liable for misrepresentation/ granting license without proper authorization
  8. 8. Reflections/ Macro view - Even major social media players are not ready to handle sharing and remix - CC’s fundamental architecture is based on the direct licensing between the licensor and downstream users: inflexible for responding to unconceived situations Is this a good thing to keep? Is it worth paying the cost of changing it?
  9. 9. Annex: a compromise option No sublicensing. Grant permission covering the licensee’s act of posting. Grant limited sublicensing capabilities to the licensee. - “You may post the Licensed Material to any Online Platforms, and agree the terms of Online Platforms related to the Licensed Rights in Licensed Materials that You need to agree for the said posting.” - “Licensor will not seek any damages from You regarding your act of the said posting of LM” - “For avoidance of doubt, Licensor will not grant Online Platforms any additional license related to LM, and therefore Online Platforms are still expected to follow the terms of this License.”  Licensee can post LM to platforms. Platforms are still expected to follow CC license terms.
  10. 10. License License: Creative Commons BY 4.0. <> Additional information to help your use of this work: “copyright notice,” “a notice that refers to the disclaimer of warranties,” and “a URI or hyperlink to the Licensed Material” do not exist for this work. Creator is Tomoaki Watanabe Given the above, the attribution may look like this: “By Tomoaki Watanabe License: Creative Commons BY 4.0. <>” Or this, in case of Adapted Material: “This work is based partly on a slide set by Tomoaki Watanabe. The work had the following license notice. License: Creative Commons BY 4.0. <>”