Re: Some problems discovered with CC BY-SA license identifiers

David A. Wheeler

Bradley M. Kuhn:
I therefore suggest two changes to the SPDX License List:

* Change existing Full Names to:
"Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International"
for the 4.0 version and,
"Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike <VERSION> Unported"
for the older ones.

It seems that would be an uncontroversial change -- it just involves
adding "International" and "Unported" into the Full Name field. Does
anyone have an argument why that *shouldn't* be done?
I agree.

* It *would* surely be controversial to add *every* version of *every*
jurisdiction-specific CC license in the SPDX license list. Instead of
suggesting that, for the moment I suggest that "-Unported" should be
added to identifier for the pre-4.0 ones (i.e., "CC-BY-SA-3.0" becomes
"CC-BY-SA-3.0-Unported") so that no is confused by this situation.
I disagree, for several reasons.
* Version numbers are normally at the end.
* In practice, I think in almost all cases what is intended is the *unported*/*international* version, since these materials normally go out around the world. SPDX license names are long enough; the "short" version should be the "normal" version.
* This creates yet-another transition problem, and in this case I think an unnecessary one. Many people already use CC-BY-SA-3.0 to mean the unported one, so let's just clarify that.

I actually do *NOT* think it'd be very controversial to add all the jurisdiction-specific CC licenses that are actually used:
* There's an easy stopping requirement: You have to show that something was actually *distributed* under that license. Almost all of the possible license + countries combinations have never been used.
* There are SPDX license identifiers for licenses used by relatively few programs.
* You could create a convention, e.g., <CC NAME>-PORTED-< ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code>-<VERSION_NUMBER>. The SPDX license identifier list could even standardize that as a convention, instead of listing them all out. A few lines of text... and you're done. E.g., the US ported version would be "CC-BY-SA-PORTED-US-3.0". I add the "-PORTED-" because "SA" means "Saudi Arabia"; without some special keyword it wouldn't be obvious what "CC-BY-SA" meant. I suggest the 2-character code, that's what most people use. We could use the "2-character codes as assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority". The alpha-2 code for the UK is "GB", but "UK" is used in domain names & it might be clearer to use that.

--- David A. Wheeler

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