[PGCanada] Licensing for PG-Canada content

Darryl Moore darryl at moores.ca
Fri Jan 28 04:29:42 PST 2005

I think that maybe we could/should have an option on the web site to 
provide the books is a raw ASCII form. In that form I think we could 
even have a non-licence which clearly states that the text is in the 
public domain and is provided with absolutely no restrictions.

My thoughts around licencing of other forms are two fold:

1) I am assuming there is a reasonable amount of work which goes into 
marking up the texts as James is planning. (This unfortunately may be 
where my ignorance shows as I have not yet done any of this sort of 
stuff.) Copyright law unfortunately does not provide any guidelines for 
how much work constitutes a new derived work. By placing a licence here, 
even if it is somehow determined that what we are providing are new 
derived works, we will have ensured that they are treated like public 

2) We need to ensure that a future malcontented DP volunteer does not 
make everybodies' lives difficult by claiming his own more restrictive 
rights on the works for the same reasons stated in (1). By ensuring that 
the works submitters are consenting to the same licence they will not be 
able to force us to remove works from the archives at a later date.

Basically any licence would be to cover our asses. We could even state 
that in other words, in the licence itself. Put in a preamble which says 
that we don't think you should need this but...

The only reason for the attribution is to acknowledge the work that DP 
volunteers have done and to spread the word about the public domain and 
Project Gutenberg. If we disavow the licence then perhaps we could just 
make this a polite request.

Andrew Sly wrote:
> On Thu, 27 Jan 2005, Darryl Moore wrote:
>>I'll open this discussion by suggesting a cc|ca licence option (1)
>>I.E. anyone can do anything they want so long as they attribute PGC as
>>the source.
> I know that some people have expressed their concern over the PG
> license. However, I don't believe it should be discarded out of
> hand.
> A key point is that it does _not_ claim any copyright on the
> text itself and only restricts what can be done with the text
> as long as it is done along with the Project Gutenberg trademark.
> This helps to end the self-perpetuating new claims of copyright
> on old material that is so prevalent.
> I have a problem with releasing PG Canada e-books under an
> Attribution license that says we can:
>    let others copy, distribute, display, and perform
>    [our] copyrighted work - and derivative works based upon it -
>    but only if they give [us] credit.
> If we own the copyright to an item, we are entitled
> to say that; but as long it truly is public domain material,
> we don't have a right to impose such restrictions on it.
> We could _request_ to be acknowledged as a source, but I don't
> see that we could require it.

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