Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Media

Proving Creative Commons Licensing of a Work? 105

Posted by Cliff
from the submarine-license-changes dept.
Q7U asks: "I recently posted a few Creative Commons licensed photographs from Flickr on one of my websites. I later noticed that one of the photographers had retroactively switched all of his photos from the Creative Commons license to an 'All Right Reserved' notice. When I saw this I went ahead and removed his photo (even though I understand that CC licenses are perpetual unless violated), but this begs the question: How does one prove one obtained a work under a Creative Commons license, should there ever be a dispute between a creator and the licensee? Is a simple screenshot of the webpage where it was offered proof enough? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Proving Creative Commons Licensing of a Work?

Comments Filter:
  • Good question. (Score:3, Informative)

    by MostAwesomeDude (980382) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @06:18PM (#17786128) Homepage
    In the past, I've tried to obtain the best physical proof possible, be it a timestamped email that affirms the license, or a piece of paper with a signature on it. Really, the best method is to get a positive affirmation on the work being CC, before the license is pulled.
  • Wayback (Score:3, Informative)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday January 27, 2007 @06:22PM (#17786146) Homepage
    Too bad it's from Flickr. The indexing done by the Wayback Machine (archive.org) makes it easy to see how most individual websites looked at various points in the past.
  • Other Considerations (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @06:26PM (#17786164)
    For me, as a writer, director, producer, and someone who sometimes does some amateur photography and other types of image creation, I think there's a bigger issue.

    I, personally, don't want to be using someone's work as part of mine if they don't want it involved. When Kubrick used music from György Ligeti, his favorite composer, he was later sued for misuse of the composer's work. (I hear the composer won, but I don't remember the details.)

    If someone has made photos licensed under CC, if I were going to use them, I'd be sure to obtain permission and verification first. I know there are some people who don't care about such things, but I feel it can detract from my work or my later editing of that work if there are issues involving arguments or fights over whether or not I had the right to use something in what I was doing.

    In other words, do you really want to put in all the effort to use something against the will of the creator/author instead of finding something else that will do?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27, 2007 @06:31PM (#17786214)

      If someone has made photos licensed under CC, if I were going to use them, I'd be sure to obtain permission and verification first.

      That's the whole point of CC. The licenses are permission. If you have to get permission anyway, then what the hell is the point of CC in the first place?

      • by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @08:09PM (#17786898)
        I'll embellish. If I were going to use photos published under CC in a work where they could not easily be replaced or which was going to be sold or used professionally, I would contact the author. Yes, they're under CC, but I'd like to be sure the author put them there himself, and someone wasn't "getting back" at him or something similar and I'd want to make sure he's not vacillating about it. If I use a photo as an establishing shot and later the CC license is revoked, and the video ends up doing well in the DVD market, it can be a mess dealing with the person about it. It's easier, in the long run, to double check and make sure what I'm using is intentionally under CC and that I can expect it to remain there. It also does a great job of the old "CYA" because if I contact them in writing, with a SASE enclosed, I get something back in writing, signed by them, that goes into my files and which I can use as proof if questions arise.

        Once you've bumped into a few glitches on things that are supposed to be obvious but aren't, you realize it is much easier to CYA now than to SYA (Save YA) later. An ounce of prevention and such...
        • Yes, they're under CC, but I'd like to be sure the author put them there himself, and someone wasn't "getting back" at him or something similar and I'd want to make sure he's not vacillating about it.

          If someone is faking the CC license, chances are they are impersonating the author. Fat lot of good checking with that guy will do you.

          The problem that you are trying to address is the copyright-induced belief that an artist should retain control over his creation once it has been published. The useful Creati
          • by FLEB (312391)
            I disagree on that last point. I think CC actually makes creator control easier. Before CC, there were far fewer simple, common licenses under which work could be "opened". The choices before CC were self-licensing, niche public licenses, public domain, or "ask me".
          • If someone is faking the CC license, chances are they are impersonating the author. Fat lot of good checking with that guy will do you.
            i'd imagine most people would be far more reluctant to sign a statement knowing they had no right to do so than to slap a similar notice on a website.

    • <nit type="minor">
      The story is that Ligeti was pissed, so Kubrick invited him to a private screening of the film, before its release. After seeing the context in which Kubrick used Atmosphères, Ligeti turned around 180 and gave the film his blessing.
      </nit>
      • Thanks for clarification.

        Can you verify or do you have any strong degree of confidence of the accuracy? I recall reading what I said, but forgot the source, since it was over 20 years ago.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @06:31PM (#17786210)
    If you decide you want to buy a piece of land, or think that a piece of land is public property and would like to perform some activity on it, what do you do? You got to the local town office and find out who owns the land, what restrictions there on that land, and who you must contact to ask permission to use or buy the land. This is a good system that has been in place in the US since its foundation.

    The copyright system is like private property's evil twin. It is still a form of "property", but the "system" designed to deal with questions of use and ownership is utterly non-existent. For instance, this post I am writing is protected by copyright. True, there is no indication in this post that shows it is under copyright, and the fact that I have my e-mail address hidden means that you can't ask permission to use it. This post will NOT be recorded in any government database so you can never look up who owns it and what the rules of using it are. Our current copyright system is a default "everything is copyrighted" and there is absolutely NO record of who owns what. You can't even find out when a copyright expires because there is no record of when it was first created.

    We desperately need a new copyright system.

    The new system should REQUIRE the registration of copyrighted content. There MUST be a public record of who owns what and for how long they have had it under copyright. Further, there is not a damn reason in the world why we need copyrights that span centuries as the current system does. Anything that is not registered as copyrighted should be considered public domain. Slap in a fee of a couple bucks to register copyrighted content, throw up an Internet site to register such copyrights, and we would have a workable system.

    The current system as about as far away from good as you can possibly get. To answer the articles original question, there is absolutely nothing you can do. There are no records of what is under copyright and no way of finding out if that copyright changes. The current system sucks balls and no politician gives a shit because voters don't realize such issues exist, much less care about such issues.

    Sucks to be someone who uses creative content. Sorry.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by keesh (202812)
      Requiring registration will only screw over the little guy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        As opposed to screwing over the guy when someone decides they made a terrible licensing mistake and want to erase the past as in this case?

        Sorry, copyrights and patents are for promoting the arts and the sciences. If you're doing neither, you deserve neither. This post does neither, and should not be copyrighted. If you can't afford the registration fee (which should be kept to a token fee of $5 or so for the purpose of showing that you care, not for the government's profit) then flip burgers between sli
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by EvanED (569694)
          If you can't afford the registration fee (which should be kept to a token fee of $5 or so for the purpose of showing that you care, not for the government's profit) then flip burgers between slitting your wrists and writing poetry about how empty you are.

          $5 for what? If I'm a photographer on a photo shoot and take 500 pictures (no clue if this is an accurate number, but I do know that they take *a lot*, especially now with digital), is that $5 for the whole bunch, or do I have to pay $2500 (or pick out my f
          • That seems obvious (to me..).

            1 image is 5$.
            1000 images is 5000$.

            Programs can put images together into one massive image.

            1 massivo-image-the-size-of-5000 5$.

            I betcha the copyright office wouldnt like that one ;-D

            "He violated my copyright at (5300px,0px to 5900px,600px)" (booo)
        • by rtb61 (674572)
          So not only should you have to register for copyright and prove your work was original, the work should be reviewed to ensure it in fact does actually promote the arts and the sciences, other wise into the public domain it goes.

          Sharing knowledge is of far greater value than sticking carrots in front of jackasses, as they support the pigopolists in the mistaken belief that they will be multimillionaires, rather than people who will just be demeaned and humiliated for the pleasure of the publishing executi

          • So not only should you have to register for copyright and prove your work was original, the work should be reviewed to ensure it in fact does actually promote the arts and the sciences, other wise into the public domain it goes.

            Meh. Originality merely means that it isn't copied from someone else and that it has a modicum of creativity. It's easier to disprove than to prove. Similarly, copyright is concerned with promoting science (it's patents that are concerned with promoting the useful arts), but since 's
            • by rtb61 (674572)
              Computers can check stuff pretty quickly. Just give a time limit for existing works to be registered, a few years, and then implement the system. Don't register and into the public domain/creative commons it goes.

              The fee can simply be derived from the cost of implementing the system, user pays, the copyrightists want it, then let them pay for it as well as for the full cost of enforcing it and leave us creative commons copyleftists out of it.

              • No, originality means it has a modicum of creativity and wasn't copied. But originality does not mean novelty, i.e. never having been created before.

                So if Alice writes a poem, and later on Bob writes an identical poem, both poems are independently copyrightable, so long as Bob didn't copy his poem from Alice. The fact that they're identical doesn't matter at all.

                So how does a computer check this?

                And that's text, which would be easy to put into a computer.

                Also, people who use CC or the GPL, or whatever, are
      • Yes, because the $5-$35 registration of a domain has become such a problem. If you really don't care about your creation just post it and let the world benifit. But if you want protection you should be required to ask from the start..
        • by StrongAxe (713301)
          Yes, because the $5-$35 registration of a domain has become such a problem.

          Yes, but what if it wasn't $5 per domain, it was $5 per distinct object instead? If you have a web site with 100 pages, and each page has 20 objects (HTML, animated GIFs, style sheets, etc.) that is now $10,000 to register the whole kit and kaboodle. Is it still casually affordable now?
          • I really don't think thats the argument, the argument is there was an affordable registration system would it benifit the humanity. Obviously if each element had to be registered it wouldn't be affordable. Now the does bring up an issue of reregistering changes. Personally I would say you should register the initial creation, and I don't see the point of recopyrighting a few small changes, just as I don't think disneys copyright should be extended if they make a few tiny edits to a movie. Your basic style
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jamesh (87723)
      So... what if I cut and paste what you just posted into the copyright site, pay $2, and register it as mine? Suddenly it doesn't seem so simple. You have to consider:

      . How do I prove that the material I am trying to copyright is mine to copyright? If I cut and pasted it off of a web site, especially one that wasn't indexed somewhere, how could they tell?

      . What happens when I sue you for posting my copyrighted material on slashdot? How do you prove that you originally wrote it in the first place, and that yo
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)
        What happens when I sue you for posting my copyrighted material on slashdot? How do you prove that you originally wrote it in the first place, and that you didn't copy it from me? (I put it on my web site and modified the datestamps to make it look like it predated yours by a few days).

        How is that any different from the current system?

        Your whole argument about establishing authorship applies just as much today as it would under a registration scheme. At least with a registration scheme, there is the date o
      • by ak_hepcat (468765)
        Um..

        I hate to break the news, but you're too late with this idea.

        I've already patented it.
      • by Shihar (153932)
        So... what if I cut and paste what you just posted into the copyright site, pay $2, and register it as mine? Suddenly it doesn't seem so simple. You have to consider:

        What happens when I sue you for posting my copyrighted material on slashdot? How do you prove that you originally wrote it in the first place, and that you didn't copy it from me? (I put it on my web site and modified the datestamps to make it look like it predated yours by a few days)

        This alone would make a system where $2 is nowhere near enou
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Spoken like someone who uses copyrighted material, but certainly not like someone who creates it.

      There are advantages to something automatically being considered copyrighted once it is created. Granted, those advantages are only for the creator, but without help like that, there is less motivation to create.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JesseMcDonald (536341) *

        without help like that, there is less motivation to create

        I'm sure that the lack of million-dollar commissions also results in "less motivation to create" -- the point being that, while the purpose of granting copyright monopolies is ostensibly to encourage the sciences and "useful" arts, one does eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, both in terms of the amount of art and science created, and in terms of the utility of that increased amount. There is no need for the government to supply unli

        • Yes, in some cases, copyrights are counter productive. Mickey Mouse, I think, would be out of copyright now if the law was not changed. Walt Disney, his heirs, and Disney, Inc. have made millions and, honestly, in some ways it is time to let such an icon move into public domain.

          On the other hand, as a small business person, even though I haven't had to use this fact yet (and hope I never do!), I am quite thankful that my work is copyrighted when I write it, and not when I submit it for copyright. When I
      • by Shihar (153932)

        Spoken like someone who uses copyrighted material, but certainly not like someone who creates it.

        There are advantages to something automatically being considered copyrighted once it is created. Granted, those advantages are only for the creator, but without help like that, there is less motivation to create.

        There is also an advantage to being able to create content with worry that you are stepping on someone's copyright claims. If I wanted to publish a best of Slashdot quote series, it would be utterly impossible to do so short of stealing Slashdot's server. All of the posts are automatically copyrighted and there is absolutely no way to get in contact with the authors of most of the posts. You could NEVER EVER legally make such a book in our current fucked up and broken system because at any time someone

    • Slap in a fee of a couple bucks to register copyrighted content

      Word count of average novel = ~100,000
      Word count of average haiku = ~12

      Average Hollywood budget = $xx,000,000
      Average novel budget = ~$15,000 (assuming 6 months equivalent to college-educated wage bracket) Average haiku budget = ~$5 (including paper tissues and fizzy drinks)

      Now, I may not like haikus in English -- they only sound right rythmically in Japanese, which I don't understand -- but some people do. The point here is that it i

      • by Shihar (153932)
        Simply adjust prices so that it is 'fair'. What if you can register a 100 photos at once, 10 works under 1000 words at once, so and so forth. If you can't cover a $5 (or $10 or $2 or whatever is decided is fair) charge for some piece of creative work, it probably has no business being copyrighted. That is the problem with our current fucked up system. This post should NOT be automatically copyrighted because there is not a slim chance in hell that I am going to try and profit from it. You should merril
        • If you want your post to be free, you are more than welcome to add a note as such in your sig.

          If I write a short story for a creative writing class, I may not see it as of commercial use, so I hand it in without registering. So should my teacher or any of my classmates be entitled to rip off my plot, just because he/she was the one who identified a market? It was still me that wrote it -- it's still my work.

          HAL.

          • by Shihar (153932)
            Yeah, they should be able to. It isn't like you thought enough to drop a couple of bucks to protect it. If someone with more motivation turns around and actually CREATES something for public consumption, society is bettered. If you write a story and no one ever bothers to make anything out of it and it is never heard from again, no one has gained anything.

            The point of copyright is not to ensure that artist get money. The point of copyright, and this is written in black and white in the constitution, is
            • If someone with more motivation turns around and actually CREATES something for public consumption

              But if you look at my example, the person registering it has CREATED nothing, just released someone else's creation.

              Now what if someone wants to create something for public consumption, but doesn't want paid for it -- eg an Apache developer? (Slashdot runs on Apache, doesn't it?) Why should he have to pay to ensure that it gets protected by the GPL and prevent unscrupulous software vendors rebranding it as

              • by Shihar (153932)
                Now what if someone wants to create something for public consumption, but doesn't want paid for it -- eg an Apache developer? (Slashdot runs on Apache, doesn't it?) Why should he have to pay to ensure that it gets protected by the GPL and prevent unscrupulous software vendors rebranding it as their own product for unfair profit?

                Uh, if Apache can't scrounge up 5 dollars to copyright their code, they have much bigger worries then someone stealing it and selling it for profit. Apache wouldn't have to change a
                • Every minor change is a derivative work, and if a malicious third party downloads a +0.0.0.0.0.0.0.1b change from sourceforge for any given project and registers it, the project's in deep doo-doo, so the project has to reregister every single time a source change becomes available.

                  Even if every FLOSS project could afford $5 for every single incremental change, can you image how soon the copyright registry would collapse if Sourceforge automatically submitted every upload for registration? "Sourceforging" w

    • by mike2R (721965)
      I pretty much agree with you, although I think saying unregistered works go permanently into the public domain is overly harsh - better to follow Lessig's idea that you can register your own work late and stop future uses of your work.

      However I think you trivialise the opposition to this type of change when you say:

      The current system sucks balls and no politician gives a shit because voters don't realize such issues exist, much less care about such issues.

      If you go to a forum used by small content p

    • So where and wtih who should a /. post be registered?

      With an international agency? Who wil pay for it? Where will it be located? How are registrations to be sent?

      With national agencies? Which one then? The US one because /. is in the US? The one where the poster is resident? How will people know?

      How will you verify that the registrant is the real owner? What happens if someone spots unregistered content and starts registering it?

      A simpler solution would be to require a copyright notice and a statement stat
    • The new system should REQUIRE the registration of copyrighted content. There MUST be a public record of who owns what and for how long they have had it under copyright. Further, there is not a damn reason in the world why we need copyrights that span centuries as the current system does. Anything that is not registered as copyrighted should be considered public domain. Slap in a fee of a couple bucks to register copyrighted content, throw up an Internet site to register such copyrights, and we would have a

      • by Shihar (153932)
        Umm, nope. Implicit copyright is what's keeping me from taking everything you just wrote, sticking my name on it, and reposting it. That said, the duration of implicit copyrights is far too long. I never saw the problem with an implicit 14 year copyright, then the option to explicitly extend that protection repeatedly for another seven years for a small fee.

        Uh, no, implicate copyright does not keep you from claiming my post as your own. You can still copy my post in the current system and claim it as your
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27, 2007 @06:38PM (#17786270)
    In the case of music licensing, you go to BMI or ASCAP. If you want to republish a book, you go to the publisher or the author and get a contract in writing. The writer's guild [wga.org] provides a standard contract for producers who want to hire a writer (work for hire) or buy their product (outright transfer of license).

    Perhaps there needs to be a 3rd-party registrar where people can submit their material under particular licenses? It would be a great service for anyone looking for CCed material regardless, and could help to assure people licensing the material that they have someone to go to if there's a dispute.

    Admittedly, this is patterned after the WGA's registry [wga.org], only this version would be transparent-- that is, a registered material would be visible after it's uploaded.

    Of course, validating that the submitter is in fact the original copyright owner is another issue, but that's not what the original topic was asking. (An interesting question though-- how do you know that someone who says "this song is distributed under the CC license" really owns the right to do this? Then again, the same issues all apply to the GPL. Is there a CC sourceforge?)
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How do you know that someone who says "this song is distributed under my commercial license" really owns the right to do this? The only difference to creative commons, the GPL or similar is that there is a money trail which can be used to track the distributor. Nevertheless, infractions do occur.
  • IAMNAL, but this seems like one of those things that will only be settled in court. Since that has not--at least AFAIK--happened yet, it's hard to know what would count as evidence that someone released something under a CC license and then changed the license. Although given that the RIAA has got away with using screenshots as evidence there may be some precedent there.
    • by Samari711 (521187)
      Not all screenshot are admissible in court. There's specific products that take screenshots that are admissible though, I believe PJ over at groklaw has talked about/used one before.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27, 2007 @07:11PM (#17786490)
    The situation on wikimedia commons is split into two. First we have a separate signup project called "flickrlickr" which is a separate program run by Eric Moller. He has run the bot on wikimedia acceptable licences (only one of the two at the moment) and then reviewers, such as myself, wade through the 1000 and 1 pictures of cats and dogs to find really HQ pictures, highlights:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:FlickrLickr /Highlights [wikimedia.org]

    which we then flag and they are uploaded to the commons. Eric knows his program has scanned all the correctly licensed photos - and it has came down to the situation that if a Flickr author asks wikimedia to remove them we may - but we don't have to - we have the program logs and we can prove that they were uploaded at one point under a cc licence, no matter what the Flickr page now says.

    For pictures uploaded to wikimedia commons by individual users the situation is a little more blurred. There is now a situation in place where a bot checks most of the pictures and cetifies they are under the correct licence - but that is pretty recent and so there are quite a few older ones which have had licence changes and they just have to be removed as we have no way of proving they once were CC.

    In short, at wikimedia commons there has been a major drive to cover our backs to be able to prove that something was uploaded under CC. If an author later changes licences and asks the commons to remove then in most cases we will oblige, but we are now in a position to refuse if we need to (such as a very useful picture etc). I think some folks on the commons got in touch with the folks at Flickr and have tried to persuade them to show a history of licences and there would be no further problems - but so far they haven't obliged.
    • I think some folks on the commons got in touch with the folks at Flickr and have tried to persuade them to show a history of licences and there would be no further problems - but so far they haven't obliged.

      If they even track license change history, that would be very useful. In the other hand, if they don't currently track and retain history on things like that, it could well represent a non-trivial amount of work for them to start.
      • by EnglishTim (9662)
        I can see that Flickr might be unwilling to do such a thing. As one of the other posters mentioned, it's quite easy to accidentally flag your work with the wrong license, and people do change their minds on such things. If a history was provided, any photos that had ever been CC licensed would end up being fair game, as anybody could just look through the history and claim that they had downloaded it when it was CC licensed.
  • Some types of media support metadata, and Creative Commons has the means for putting license metadata in such media. See the Creative Commons Tools [creativecommons.org] and Developer [creativecommons.org] Wiki pages for details.

    That doesn't cover situations where the media lacks metadata, either because the format doesn't support metadata or the metadata is missing. It also doesn't protect you against claims that you injected the CC metadata against the wishes of a non-CC-using copyright owner. I don't see where the CC metadata includes any sort o

  • If the original author (or, in this case photographer) posted it, then a screen shot that shows the picture and the license (or the CC mark) should probably be enough to protect you. But, remember that only the original author can offer it under a different license -- if somebody else posted it without the author's permission, then the "license" is irrelevant.

    Check with an attorney in your state if you want a full analysis.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SharpFang (651121)
      the problem is that screenshots are nearly worthless as a proof - you can modify them digitally leaving no trace of the modification, and without some trust system it's impossible to sign the screenshot proving it wasn't doctored.
      • by cfulmer (3166)
        Most documentary evidence can be forged. The question of whether it has or not is generally for the jury. And, I have my doubts that a judge is going to let the plaintiff go into a bunch of evidence about how screenshots can be altered without having any sort of independent basis for showing that they were.

  • Flickr (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ray Radlein (711289) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @07:39PM (#17786692) Homepage
    That can actually be a bit of a problem with Flickr; if you regularly upload both CC and © photos to your account, it can be very easy to accidentally upload pictures under the wrong license. On several occasions I have uploaded a photo meaning for it to be ©, only to discover that I had forgotten to turn off CC, leaving me to scramble over to the properties page and adjust the license. I was always absurdly afraid that someone would grab my picture in those few moments before I made the change and go to town on it.


    Finally, I changed my default upload permissions to ©, on the theory that I could always CC-license the pictures after I was finished uploading them.

    • by Boogaroo (604901)
      Similar thing happened to my pro photographer friend. I had noticed his entire photoset was under Creative Commons. I mentioned it to him and he was NOT happy. His stuff was up for weeks before it was noticed. It was never intended to be under Creative Commons.

      If the website has that set as default and the creator didn't check, can you argue that the creator didn't place it under the license? Is the creator SOL because of those few moments where someone might have snagged it? I don't think that one could pr
      • by cweber (34166)
        Well, if you're a pro and decide to upload your work to a public website it's incumbent on you to check how your stuff will be made available to the public. Basic business savvy, due diligence and such...
        If you make a mistake here, your pro designation isn't really worth much, is it?
        • by Boogaroo (604901)
          I agree with you to a point... Overlooking a tiny little symbol is easy to do. How many times has a peice of software come grinding to a halt due to one little checkbox someone didn't notice?
  • by akb (39826) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @11:55PM (#17787850)
    Aside from the issue of someone changing their mind, there's no way anyone should trust an anonymous assertion of a Creative Commons license. All the time on places like archive.org people contribute work that is not their own and assign it whatever license they happen to like. This happens both with copyrighted works being assigned licenses less restrictive than their author would want and with public domain works being placed under more restrictive licenses.

    What is needed is a system to attach metadata containing CC licenses signed by the original author using public key crypto. That way you can irrefutably prove that a particular person licensed a particular file under a particular license. This does not solve the issue of trusting whether that person has the right to so license that work but one could imagine a reputation system (Bob has asserted that 10 Britney Spears songs are CC so no one trusts him anymore) or perhaps legal consequences for making a fraudulent representation.
    • Agreed, that's exactly the right way to handle this.

      The trickier part would be tracking derivations. So, if you resize a photo that's been CC licensed, the signature no longer matches. I could probably convinced that the person doing the resizing should keep a copy of the original, but that could leave people with a legit license but no proof.

      It would be neat to have something analogous to the Copyright Office - the Creative Commons Office. This could be a non-profit responsible for tracking copyright o
      • by mlinksva (1755)
        See Registered Commons [registeredcommons.org] (not affiliated with Creative Commons).
        • by akb (39826)
          The site goes into a 302 redirect loop.

          I would have thought a CC registry would be a good project for Bitzi.
          • by mlinksva (1755)
            So RC does, was working a few days ago. Yes Bitzi would make a fine registry, but I'm not in a position to push that due to conflict of interest (and becasue there are a zillion things more critical for Bitzi to do).
        • Is it still alive? They've been down all day. From what I can see in the Google cache it looks about right.
  • I believe you have a case when you can prove that the work was produced by virtue of what's in the picture. If it's a picture of your friends, and this guy lives 2000 miles away and has never seen you nor your friends, I think you have a chance.
  • An interesting problem. I used to work in a major commercial photo licensing company. You would have a signed receipt with price based on usage, i.e. media, circulation, etc. Even so you would have trouble once in a while concerning conflicts (e.g. use by two companies in the same industry, unpaid use of photo in a corporate or internal presentation, or other claims). The photographer also might want to license photos directly, or a client wants to buy exclusive use, and confirmation has to be made. So imag
  • What we need are digital timestamps that incorporate a hash of the digital content item
    and a statement of the license terms. These need to use digital signature technology
    so that they cannot be repudiated.

    The idea would be that if you want to license your content under a create commons license,
    then you submit the file of that content to a license certifying server.

    A well-known repository of such content (or a search engine setting in google) could
    then find all the content that had been so certified.

    And you
  • WebCite [wikipedia.org] allows you to grab a page to cite - like Internet Archive but with you in control. You can use this until the site's taken out by the copyrightists.
  • I'm thinking... acrobat?

    you could print to PDF, and use acrobats signature tool to indicate date and time with a checksum

    if you modified the page, it would invalidate the 'signature' stamp.. if nothing else it would be proof that that verison
    existed at that date and time.. wouldn't it?

  • [...] but this begs the question: How does one prove one obtained a work under a Creative Commons [...]license
    Some definitions:
    Beg the question [reference.com].
    Editor [reference.com].

All the simple programs have been written.

Working...