The fear is certainly valid, whether you agree with the interpretation of the license or not. No academic would be happy with the idea of someone twisting their words and republishing something that, if misconstrued, could damage their reputation as a scholar.
I'm inclined to suggest that a CC-BY license does not in fact grant these rights, as the fine print about 'moral rights' points out, noting that 'derogatory treatment' of the licensor's work is not permitted.
Nevertheless, the terms of the license do suggest it is up to the licensor to monitor and police this activity, and if necessary, turn to the courts to enforce it. That's just not practical for a busy academic.
Remixing isn't the only problem. Copyright of images or graphs can also be an issue. Anyone who gives a public lecture these days will be familiar with the release forms that you're asked to sign that require you to grant someone the right to reproduce images and graphs you don't own that happen to be on your powerpoint slides. Academic monographs have the same problem. How can we release our content as open access if the work contains someone else's work for which we have had to ask permission?
If I'm not mistaken, these two issues are the biggest objections to CC-BY licenses for the humanities and social sciences. Thankfully, Professor Mandler has offered another solution, and I'm all for solutions:
New License needed for HSS (Humanities and Social Sciences)
What a fabulous idea. What on earth are we waiting for? I present to you all for consultation: the Academic Freedom License, designed specifically with the needs of academics in mind, that both promotes open access and reuse, and prevents the types of abuses outlined above.
Academic Freedom License
For works released under an 'Academic Freedom License', you are granted the right:
To Share - to copy, distribute and transmit the work in its entirety only.
To Analyse - to data mine and study the work and publish or create work of your own based on that analysis.
To Sell - to make commercial use of the work in its entirety only.
Under the following conditions:
Attribution - You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work)
Excluding - You are prohibited from sharing, analysing, or selling any aspects of the work specified by the author or licensor (such as images under copyright or sections not produced by the author)
With the understanding that:
Waiver - Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
Public Domain - Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
Other Rights - In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:
- Your fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
- the author's moral rights
- Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights