The Results are In…

Well, here are the results of our little licensing quiz…Hopefully someone will correct me on the things I’ve got wrong…

What license should I apply to my dog-training video if I’m cool with releasing openly (and feel everyone should be) but I’d rather my client’s puppies not show up in someone’s animal cruelty presentation?

Creative Commons

My intent was for this to be BY-ND-SA. BY is almost inherent in anything not “all rights reserved.” The statement about feeling others should be open as well implies a Share-Alike clause and No-Derivatives would protect those puppies from ending up in an unseemly remix. This hypothetical trainer doesn’t mention any objections to someone else making money off the video

As a director (not playwrite) can I stage a CC-BY-ND play in a different time period or geographic location (eg. 1960s New York instead of ancient Japan)?

YES! : 1

NO : 4

A bit of a trick question… staging a play is not a publishing activity. As long as I am not publishing this as an adaptation of the original author’s work, I am completely within the rights granted directors, performers, users etc. usually lumped under “creative license.”

Am I allowed to create an instructional slideshow on Baroque architecture by combining CC-BY-NC photos from Flikr with CC-BY-SA music from Magnatune and my own narration?

YES! : 4
NO : 1

Neither of these licenses limit derivative works, and an instructional slideshow (that might not have been very clear–I meant for classroom use) is well within the non-commercial clause of the photos, so I should be fine. Incidentally, depending on the extent of the resources used in my presentation, this kind of use would be acceptable even if the works were under traditional copyright.

Which license(s) would I be able to apply to the resulting product?

CC-BY-SA (2)
None, at least not legally…

If I understand properly, in order to re-mix these resources, their licenses must be not only compatible (which would make CC-BY-NC-SA a viable option) but exactly the same. Practically, we could probably license this BY-NC-SA, but according to the letter of the law, the licenses of the photos and the music are not remix-able.

Classify each of the following licenses based on the type of use permitted:


ARR                  :  R – R – R – R
BY                      :  RRRR
BY-SA               :  RRRR
BY-ND-SA        :  RR – R – R
BY-NC               :  RRRR
BY-NC-SA        :  RRRR
BY-NC-ND       :  RR – R – R
BY-NC-ND-SA : RR – R – R

Everyone got this one exactly right. I guess that illustrates well the fact that on their own each license and its bounds are pretty clear…it’s the compatibility issues that introduce the confusion and complexity.

Disclaimer: This was a game. Only a handfull of responses are represented. In no way should any of the following results or analysis be given scientific, statistical, or practical credence of any kind 🙂

  1. SaraJoy,

    You’re giving me more support for the argument that whenever two works are remixed, there are three licenses in the equation: The two original source licenses, and the resulting product’s license. It’s not that you can’t remix CC-BY-SA with CC-BY-NC, you just can’t release the result.

    I don’t remember my answers, but looking over the survey now…

    Question 3 doesn’t say whether you expect to redistribute the slideshow, but because the context is “licenses,” which only apply to distributed works, redistribution is implied. You are correct that in-class use of a single photograph usually fits into Fair Use, in which case the discussion about remixing various source licenses is moot. But, and correct me if I’m wrong, remixing for personal use without redistribution is only prohibited for certain digital media (and rare works of art). I can buy some John Schmidt sheet music and change the key here, or add something there. I can even play the resulting piece in private. But I can’t sell or give away (distribute) that remix without permission.

    Or can the US Marshalls beat down my door for unauthorized creation of a derivative work when I sing “Hotel California” off key?

  2. Jeremy’s right about three licenses, which is why question 4 is a false question. You don’t get to choose which license to apply – BY-SA already requires that any derivatives based on it or remixes including it be licensed By-SA. If you don’t license the remix By-SA, you lose permission to use the By-SA resource in the remix.

    That is, you can’t remix it at all if you’re depending on the CC license as your permission. If you have a fair use or other claim to use it, of course that overrides any CC permissions.

  3. That’s exactly why Question 4 is an important question. Because the “correct” answer is “None…at least not legally”–The idea was to highlight the challenges of re-mixing, even in a situation where it seems like it would be a viable option.

  4. Shouldn’t the answer be, “Question 3 was a trick question – you can’t legally produce this remix?”

  5. Yes? 🙂 The question is definitely tricky–but wasn’t meant to be a trick question.
    To Jeremy’s point–you can make the remix…(I should have clarified that it was for classroom use)…you just can’t release it under a creative commons license.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *