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I'm struggling with this part of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license:

No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Example:

A storyteller (Mr. S) is recording his own narratives / stories. He adds sound effects (like footsteps, wind, rain) to the recorded audio files. These sound effects are licensed under the CC BY license. The original sound effects are modified by Mr. S to fit to his recording.

Mr. S has a website where registered, paying users can listen online to his stories. So he is selling the access to the audio stream of his stories - he gives all the required attribution of the CC BY license to the creators of the sound effects.

But, his own legal terms do not grant any rights to the listeners (the paying users) to share or sell his audio files, nor adopt or remix them or use in any other way exept to listen to them.

Is that allowed by the CC BY license?

I think it is, but what does the quoted part of the license mean?

All I found in the FAQ's about that part is about sharing a CC licensed work. But in Mr. S's case he is not sharing, but selling his own work (which uses modified parts of CC BY licensed work).

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A Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0 in your case) only becomes relevant when you share the work. In your case, you do share the work: with registered users that paid for it.

The No additional restrictions term applies to recipients of the work: only the users that already received the work are relevant here.

You may restrict who becomes a recipient of the work, but you may not restrict a recipient from doing what the license would permit.


See also the FAQ Application of effective technological measures by users of CC-licensed works prohibited.

  • So, using work licensed under CC BY 4.0 to be a part of another new work does not allow to restrict a recipient of the new work to do all the things the CC BY license permits? What is the difference to the CC BY SA license than? – WebCore IT Jun 20 '16 at 10:39
  • @WebCoreIT: No, this only affects the material that is licensed under CC BY, not the other (your own) parts of the new work (in contrast to -SA). So you have to make sure that your recipients may do with the CC-BY-licensed material what the license allows them to do … which is not much to begin with in case of CC BY ;) – unor Jun 20 '16 at 11:07
  • Thank you! :) Ok, let's apply this to the example of Mr.S: He is allowed to create his own legal terms which do not allow the recipients of his audio files to do anything except listening, as long as he provides the modified versions of the CC BY material? So he not only attributes but also offers a download link to the modified material on his website? – WebCore IT Jun 20 '16 at 12:25
  • @WebCoreIT: I think Mr. S doesn’t have to provide the CC BY material he used (whether modified or unmodified), he only has to attribute it (and mention that he modified it). In my understanding, his legal terms can say that the recipients are only allowed to listen to the audio (but of course he can’t speak for the CC-BY-material used in his audio). (I assume Mr. S does not intend to use DRM, right? I asked a related question about this on Open Source SE.) – unor Jun 20 '16 at 13:01
  • Sorry, but I still don't get in which case the "No additional restrictions" part is relevant and in which not. :) In my understanding it is only significant if someone "redistributes" CC BY material. – WebCore IT Jun 20 '16 at 18:12
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No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

 

But, his own legal terms do not grant any rights to the listeners (the paying users) to share or sell his audio files, nor adopt or remix them or use in any other way exept to listen to them.

The CC-BY terms apply to the sound effects. Mr. S cannot apply any measures, be they legal (license restrictions) or technical (digital-rights management) that would prevent his listeners from extracting those sound effects and using them under the CC-BY license. The other parts of the audio files are still protected under his chosen license terms.

  • So anyone has the right to extract the CC BY licensed sound effects from Mr. S's audio file? Technically thats very complicated, to extract only the sound effects and seperate it from oder audio parts playing at the same time in a merged audio file. But now I understand it "No additional restrictions" better. Thanks. – WebCore IT Jun 21 '16 at 9:36
  • I just learned that the movie Children of Men used a CC BY sound effect: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freesound#History Follow up question: Is everyone who bought the movie allowed to rip this specific sound effect from the movie and use it for his own work? – WebCore IT Jun 21 '16 at 9:42

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