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Title pretty much sums it up. Are the rights given to adaptations granted if someone renders Markdown?

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The license definition of adapation under the CC-BY-SA license 3.0 includes the process of transforming a Work, which is essentially what happens when you render Markdown to HTML.

The definitions from the license text say:

1. Definitions

a. "Adaptation" means a work based upon the Work, or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, adaptation, derivative work, arrangement of music or other alterations of a literary or artistic work, or phonogram or performance and includes cinematographic adaptations or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted including in any form recognizably derived from the original, except that a work that constitutes a Collection will not be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License. For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical work, performance or phonogram, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image ("synching") will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License.

...

3. License Grant

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:

a. to Reproduce the Work, to incorporate the Work into one or more Collections, and to Reproduce the Work as incorporated in the Collections;

b. to create and Reproduce Adaptations provided that any such Adaptation, including any translation in any medium, takes reasonable steps to clearly label, demarcate or otherwise identify that changes were made to the original Work. For example, a translation could be marked "The original work was translated from English to Spanish," or a modification could indicate "The original work has been modified.";

(emphasis mine)

Arguably changing something from

#Lorem ipsum
dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit,  
sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna
aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation
ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.   
*Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit*  
esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint
occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia
deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

To a differently formatted, but textually identical text such as:

Lorem ipsum

dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit,
sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit
esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Does not seem much of "a work based upon a Work" or a derivation, but rather the same original Work. (But that might be slightly more subtle in cases where the formatting is a distinct unique attribute of the original Work.)

Fortunately the license also allows you to reproduce the original Work.

  • I know it's allowed, I just wasn't sure if doing so creates an "adaptation" or if it's still considered "original". – user27997 Oct 9 at 18:38
  • I disagree with your interpretation. The term "adaptation" seems to try to generalize the US concept of a derivative work in a jurisdiction-agnostic manner. All the preceding examples involve some creative element, e.g. adapting a book as a movie. Format-shifting Markdown to HTML lacks this creative element, furthermore the license has separate clauses that allow format-shifting without involving any adaptation. – amon Oct 10 at 5:56

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