View Full Version : Linguists debate usage of Creative Commons license signing and find conflict?

January 9th, 2010, 10:10 PM
First of all, this shouldn't be taken as a direct attack on the system. But there appears to be a slight problem with its usage in some areas. One visible result is that publishers seek to protect themselves with signed statements from contributors, but then having the contributors subsequently sign Creative Commons licenses can nullify the original statement, leaving the publisher wide open to attack if the contributed work breaks the law in some manner


When a linguistics journal was created working hand in hand with Creative Commons license signing, the authors were asked to sign a statement when submitting their papers which is pretty much standard in most places covering ownership, creation, plagarism, legal points covering inflamatory/harrassment details. Then asked to sign to the Creative Commons license there was the conflict pointed out:

But that Creative Commons license therefore appears to state something false, namely that "There are no understandings, agreements or representations with respect to the Work not specified here". This sentence appears to be false on its face, since when the paper was submitted, the author(s) signed "understandings, agreements, or representations" about originality and on on, which are absolutely "not specified here" in the license agreement that a reader becomes a party to. And I gather that a legal advisor to the LSA has expressed the concern that as a result, the authors' claims of originality etc. might be nullified, thus undermining the attempt thereby to provide protection for the publisher.

So, publishers of content could have their legal protection removed? They appear to be publishing material that the contributors first signed an agreement to stating it was their own responsibility and not the publishers, then denied that responsibility by signing the Creative Commons license!

Read through the article, put your lawyer hats on and think carefully about this apparent reversal that the signing of two statements make in this situation.