style licensing

Apropos this discussion:

http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/7048/the-license-of-csl-style-files-in-repository/

… I think we should tighen up this part of CSlL. Right now, the
"rights" element content is just a string. Perhaps we should include a
URI, with some (CC) defaults?

Bruce

Apropos this discussion:

http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/7048/the-license-of-csl-style-files-in-repository/

… I think we should tighen up this part of CSlL. Right now, the
"rights" element content is just a string. Perhaps we should include a
URI, with some (CC) defaults?

It seems to me we really need for CSL styles to have shareable and
remixable terms. Requiring attribution is an unneeded PITA and
actually against what I think many of us believe rather strongly: that
the content of a citation style is not subject to copyright claims.

The non-commercial restriction also serves no practical use here.

So for sake of argument, why not just say that all CSL styles are
licensed under …

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BSD/

… unless otherwise noted?

So maybe we just add a required:

rights-uri = element cs:right-uri { licences }

licenses =
## the default license allows this style to be freely used,
modified and distributed
"http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BSD/"
> [some way to have flexibility]

Bruce

Apropos this discussion:

http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/7048/the-license-of-csl-style-files-in-repository/

… I think we should tighen up this part of CSlL. Right now, the
"rights" element content is just a string. Perhaps we should include a
URI, with some (CC) defaults?

It seems to me we really need for CSL styles to have shareable and
remixable terms. Requiring attribution is an unneeded PITA and
actually against what I think many of us believe rather strongly: that
the content of a citation style is not subject to copyright claims.

The non-commercial restriction also serves no practical use here.

So for sake of argument, why not just say that all CSL styles are
licensed under …

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BSD/

… unless otherwise noted?

So maybe we just add a required:

rights-uri = element cs:right-uri { licences }

licenses =

the default license allows this style to be freely used,

modified and distributed
"http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BSD/"

[some way to have flexibility]

Sounds fine to me, so long as validation does not turn on the
licensing terms chosen by the style author (i.e. used of the BSD
license is encouraged, actual license terms are up to the author).

Might be worth reviewing the licensing terms on the schema as well.

Sounds fine to me, so long as validation does not turn on the
licensing terms chosen by the style author (i.e. used of the BSD
license is encouraged, actual license terms are up to the author).

That’s basically what I’m proposing.

But I want to force people to consciously choose more restrictive
licenses, and to know the implications, since most people don’t. For
example, the attribution requirements of the CC licenses are fine for
creative works, but would impose an onerous burden in this case. We
really, really need to be able to freely remix styles without worrying
about who to credit.

Might be worth reviewing the licensing terms on the schema as well.

We currently have a permissive, BSD-like, license that I believe I
borrowed from DocBook:

“Permission to freely use, copy and distribute.”

Bruce

Hello,

BSD seems a sensible default choice for licensing CSL files but do
people creating styles in an editor need to be told about this
explicitly? Right now all (or most) of the styles are created by
hand, probably by people who understand what Creative Commons this
might not be the case in future.

Regards,
Robert.2009/5/23 Bruce D’Arcus <@Bruce_D_Arcus1>:

As I was thinking about this, I was imaging an option in the web
interface I’ve been hoping to see*. But I’d be fine if there weren’t
such an option, and the default was just BSD.

But I think we’re presented some big questions here:

  1. do we need to ensure that the styles have clear licenses, or just
    continue on as we have?

  2. if the former, do we need to consider constraining the options to
    ensure that we don’t end up with a pool of polluted styles?

In any case, worth considering. The CSL metadata model is borrowed
from Atom, which is a general model. CSL, OTOH, is a very specific
case.

Might be good to ask a lawyer …

Bruce

BSD seems a sensible default choice for licensing CSL files but do
people creating styles in an editor need to be told about this
explicitly?

As I was thinking about this, I was imaging an option in the web
interface I’ve been hoping to see*. But I’d be fine if there weren’t
such an option, and the default was just BSD.

But I think we’re presented some big questions here:

  1. do we need to ensure that the styles have clear licenses, or just
    continue on as we have?

  2. if the former, do we need to consider constraining the options to
    ensure that we don’t end up with a pool of polluted styles?

In any case, worth considering. The CSL metadata model is borrowed
from Atom, which is a general model. CSL, OTOH, is a very specific
case.

Might be good to ask a lawyer …

Might be a good idea. Count me out – I’m not in active practice and
never was an IP lawyer.

Offhand, though, it’s probably best to think carefully before imposing
a license, whether through validation or through blind application of
a single license through an editing interface. The copyright in a
work belongs to the author in the first instance, the license is a
contract that they offer to others for the use of their work. If the
author is either unaware of the license, or is denied the choice by
the core specification, it becomes hard to see how the “license” offer
is an expression of her will. Excluding certain licenses from an
archive of styles is no problem (and you might use a CC URL to
simplify that sifting process). But you probably don’t want the style
hard-encoded into csl.rnc or a style editor.

Points to raise when you consult a real lawyer, anyway. :slight_smile:

Personally, I think a ShareAlike-style license (either Creative
Commons or GPL) might fit the styles best. It would be a shame to have
forks of styles that were no longer freely re-distributable.

Simon