2

I am building an online library, where professors will be submitting academic work (text and multimedia).

I want to find the right CC license. The work provided by the library can be shared and anybody can build upon it for commercial or non-commercial purposes, as long as they give credit to the professor. But the original work must remain un-edited. So, CC-BY-ND fits this description, but there is a part that worries me. If anybody can "remix or transform" the material, what is stopping them from changing the article and re-share it as their own, or claim that is the original?

Is there any way that CC-BY-ND protects me from this danger, or should I use another copyright licence?

Thanks

2

Attribution Required

You are free to ... Under the following terms: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

The Creative Commons license blatantly specifies right in the license that attribution is required for a CC-BY-ND.

There are some things that you can do to help communicate this, like linking to the license, making the license more prominent, copy-pasting the terms of the license, or even appealing to emotional sensibilities.

What's On The Internet...

However, no matter what you do, what is on the internet is prone to being copied, used, and modified in any manner of ways, including stripping attributions. This is the risk that all content-creators take. Whether or not it is worth the risk is up to you.

DMCA Take Down Requests

If you decide to release your content to the internet and you find that your content license is being infringed, you may be eligible for a DMCA Take Down Request on the hosting website. If the website company will not, you can then go to search companies like Google and go through their process to remove the listings (greatly reducing its visibility).

  • Personally, I feel that your biggest attribution-strippers will be individuals looking to sell your content as their own on e-learning platforms. Or even companies doing the same, but more with automated robot programs. – rlb.usa Jul 19 '17 at 22:30
  • If you are truly worried, one of the things that you can do is to set up an automated search that will notify you when any search results pop up. Say, proactively search for content that looks identical to your materials that isn't on your website. – rlb.usa Jul 19 '17 at 22:30
  • 1
    Stack Exchange is a good place to start reading up on as they have had several robots try to build content networks by pretending that the material here is their own. It is a neverending battle but the SE Legal/Copyright team is excellent at it. I believe Jeff Atwood has some blog posts about it. – rlb.usa Jul 19 '17 at 22:32
  • Ok, I get it now. Thanks for the detailed answer. But I have another question under the new facts. If a student uses the work as a base for her work (references some statistics from the app to support her research), does this counts as "build upon", so she is not allowed to destribute it ? Thanks again – slevin Jul 20 '17 at 10:09
  • CC-BY-ND might be more prohibitive than it sounds like. Consider this: 30 years later, someone modifies and recompiles your sourcecode because your PDF is no longer viewable on contemporary computers. Is this a derivative work? (In case of an academic library, this "someone" might well be you, and there are too many authors to contact for permission.) – darij grinberg Jul 20 '17 at 10:41
1

If anybody can "remix or transform" the material, […]

If you use the license CC BY-ND 4.0, others are not allowed to "remix, transform, or build upon" the work. That’s the whole point of the "ND" part.

(Of course everyone can totally ignore the license and do whatever they want as long as they don’t share the result.)

The work provided by the library can be shared and anybody can build upon it for commercial or non-commercial purposes, as long as they give credit to the professor. But the original work must remain un-edited.

It seems to me that these requirements can’t possibly be met. As soon as you build upon the original work, that original work obviously gets edited.

what is stopping them from changing the article and re-share it as their own […]?

The "BY" part. They have to attribute the original authors.

what is stopping them from changing the article and […] claim that is the original?

The "BY" part. They have to indicate if changes were made.


So it seems that two Creative Commons licenses would be suitable candidates for your requirements:

The "SA" part requires that the adaptations also have to be licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (i.e., they have to give others the same rights they got from you).

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. One more question. Say I use CC-BY-ND. A student uses the work as base for her work. In a paper/article/online article/school project she references the work to support her research. Does this counts as "build upon", so she is not allowed to distribute it? Thanks again. – slevin Jul 20 '17 at 17:26
  • 1
    @slevin: It depends on what you mean with "as a base". If the student starts with the original work and edits it (rephrases/adds/removes parts), it would be a derivative, thus not be allowed to be shared. -- If the student writes the work herself from scratch and quotes every part taken from the original work (and quotes only as far as it’s allowed by the relevant copyright laws), the license plays no role at all, it can be ignored. Copyright licenses only affect what you can do with the actual copy/materialization, not with ideas/topics/etc. stated within. – unor Jul 20 '17 at 18:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.