Discussion on Document Licences for Polices

According to PoP and CCA, documents are licensed under free and open conditions. This is only fair, as you created them!

This page preserves some open discussion on which and how. The result was recorded at EggPol

Alternative 1. The FreeDocumentLicence from FSF.


Alternative 2. Creative Commons Attribute-Share-alike.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Australia License, also known as CC-by-sa-3.0-AU for short or more simply CC-by-sa.



2.A Older 2.5 licence

The older Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License is also possible. At first reading of the 3.0 licence, the latter is better in all respects.

2.B Law and Jurisdiction

In order to bring it a bit closer to home and reduce our risks and costs, we could draft a variation with some or all these points:

In 2.5

In 3.0

new text

Add 8.g

Add 14.

You agree that all disputes arising out of in connection with this document or any other aspect of CAcert's services shall be referred to and finally resolved by Arbitration under the Dispute Resolution Policy of CAcert (DRP => COD7).

Modify 8.e

Modify 12.

"entire agreement" is deemed to incorporate the above addition of 8.g


Change 13.

change Australian Capital Territory to New South Wales.

(Above written with CC in mind, but principle is same for FDL or other licences.)

Or, we could simply state in the copyright and licencing notices words to effect:

Or, we could decide it is not worth the effort to try and regulate the disputes forum. In other words, take the risk, which might be a fair enough trade for getting a clean CC licence, no amendments.

Alternative 3. Many Licences

It is possible to issue our CAcert documents under as many licences as we please. E.g., they could be issued under both FDL and CC-by-sa.

If so, it would be nice if both were deemed compatible, so that people who chose one could also cut&paste from documents that are chosen in the other. Especially, if Mod 1. above were in place, it could be so stated. Whether this makes sense would depend on the text of the licences... Further research required.


To the extent legally possible, CAcert Inc claims the full ownership and control rights to all its documentation. This is because the audit criteria for control really do want to see control. In the event that you think you cannot pass your full control rights across to CAcert, then don't do it. Someone else will write it.

For some countries (France, etc) it is often pointed out that all rights cannot be transferred. See above. All control is required, because the CA must be able to operate without interference. So to the extent that any important rights cannot be passed by you to CAcert, your writings cannot be used for CAcert. Where so identified, they will have to be replaced by others.

Jurisdiction, etc

One of the variations suggested is that we set the jurisdiction to our DRP. Using our Arbitration delivers significant cost savings to CAcert, both to the community (as drafters and obligees) and the board (as owner and enforcer). If we were to enter into some other forum we'd almost certainly be hit with any legal bills.

The CC licences do not set a jurisdiction (a forum or place for hearing disputes). According to our CCA, if the dispute was between members, then likely it is our Arbitration.

For a dispute with a non-member, it would be less clear. It will likely be much cheaper for us to stipulate jurisdiction as our Arbitration. For both sides. But possibly less powerful, as courts tend to take a jaundiced view to overbearing jurisdiction clauses.

Any limitations on damages might need to be looked at as well. In both above licence variations, they are not set for the either party. Therefore, they are potentially unlimited. This is probably a reasonable risk to run as, after all, a document shouldn't cause liabilities, and it is hard to see how a policy document could cause any liabilities.

PolicyDrafts/DocumentLicence (last edited 2013-02-25 23:10:01 by UlrichSchroeter)