Creative Commons has issued some clarifications to the UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s inquiry into open access, which can be found here: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/BIS_committee_UK_OA_Policy
These clarifications raise more questions than answers for me. For example, it appears that the strong moral rights that are part of CC licensing may negate the “free unrestricted use” that many think CC licensing implies. Also, it appears to me that CC licensing involves stronger moral rights than under automatic copyright. If this is the case, is it possible that using CC licensing actually takes away rights that scholars currently have under fair dealing?
From the Creative Commons clarifications:
CC licenses contain a number of additional mechanisms designed to protect an author’s reputation. These include a “no endorsement, no sponsorship” clause, which is a standard feature of all CC licences. This clause prohibits users of a work from implicitly or explicitly asserting or implying any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the author of that work without express, prior written consent.
How is it possible to create a derivative, with attribution, without implying any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the author of that work? If the first author objects, the second author has an obligation to the integrity of the first author. In other words, it is not clear that one should assume that it is safe to use CC licensed material without express, prior written consent – in which case, what is the point of the CC license?
Glyn Moody blogs about another problem with using CC licenses – the ease with which the original creator can change or remove the license. It is true that the author cannot take away the CC license on a copy you already have – but how can you prove that the work was issued under a particular license? Details can be found on techdirt.
This reinforces my argument that it is premature to decide on a license for open access, a point that I make in my submission to the UK’s Business, Innovation & Skills Committee’s inquiry into open access.