Freeing Up the Freedom in Free Culture: Compatibility Between Public Licenses


Freeing Up the Freedom in Free Culture: Compatibility Between Public Licenses
Jyh-An Lee, Yi-Hsuan Lin
Public License, Creative Commons, ShareAlike, GNU Free Documentation License, GFDL, Copyleft, Free Culture, License Compatibility
Promoting public licenses has been a crucial approach and strategy to free culture
movement supporters. These licenses not only enlarge the scope of intellectual
commons, but also reinforce the value and social norms underlying the movement.
Nonetheless, as more and more public licensees emerge in the free culture communities,
the freedom granted by these licenses is not elevated accordingly. On the
contrary, intellectual commons, communities, and creators are increasingly fragmented
because of the incompatibility between different public licenses.
Using two of the most important licenses—Creative Commons licenses and
GNU Free Documentation License—in free culture movement as examples, this
Article illustrates how license incompatibility has become an obstacle for peer production
and remixing creativity. This Article also analyzes the subtle differences
between the two aforementioned licenses. Such analysis may help explain dissimilar
preferences of a wide range of licensors and why various licenses simultaneously exist in the free culture communities. Furthermore, this Article provides a
strategic guide for communities to solve the incompatibility problem.
Abstract Article



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