Category: copyright

Copyright

I recently ran across two seemingly incompatible copyright notices on a website:

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

Hmmm… Isn’t the point of the CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license that it gives us permission to duplicate the work, as long is it is non-commercial, not modified, and attribution is given? The copyright notice says express written permission is needed. Which is it? I think The Write Agenda may need to re-think this a little bit, as they can’t have it both ways, or is the CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license considered “express and written permission?

Jefferson on Intellectual Property

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

– Thomas Jefferson