[GOAL] CC-BY: derivatives and liability

Heather Morrison hgmorris at sfu.ca
Mon Aug 20 19:06:50 BST 2012

Another question relating to policies requiring CC-BY licenses: will policy-makers require waiver of liability in the case of derivatives?

As an example of why this might be necessary: consider the scenario of a research article in the area of pharmacology. Someone creates a derivative - but makes a mistake on the dose. People die. 

Before we create and implement policies requiring that all scholars make their works available for re-use, in my opinion it would be wise to give considerable thought to whether there are good reasons why scholars may not always want to (or be able to) allow derivatives of their works.

This just one example of a situation where allowing derivatives may not be clearly beneficial. Others include situations where an author is using someone else's work and the someone else does not allow derivatives. It is often the case with book publishing that excerpts are taken from various places with a variety of rights attached. In this case, a policy requiring CC-BY places limitations on what an author can use in their work.

Note that I am in favor of libre OA, just convinced that this cannot be achieved by universal adoption of one particular CC license.

Heather Morrison, MLIS
Doctoral Candidate, Simon Fraser University School of Communication
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

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