The above article has a pretty weird mix of rights and context. It’s a republication, with light editing, of a section of a Creative Commons Attribution + Sharealike book. So, by the terms of the original book, this new, republished article also has to have the same Creative Commons terms.
But it’s published behind Medium’s metered paywall, which isn’t exactly full sharing. It’s weird.
And to make it weirder, Medium lets me label the rights on my republished version as Creative Commons Attribution + Sharealike while also putting it behind their paywall. I bet this doesn’t happen often.
One effect of being behind Medium’s paywall is that it is now eligible for distribution to Medium’s paying subscribers. This is a mechanic created by the creators of Medium — they don’t do algorithmic promotion of an article unless that article is marked as being for the paywall section. This is my intention — I wanted to find and package up a section of writing that I think is valuable and then put it in the path of Medium subscribers. While it’s true that they could get this material for free elsewhere, the value I’m trying to provide is curation.
What I’m left with though is a question about what my Sharealike obligations are for my republished version. For sure, everyone who is a Medium subscriber has the rights to repost my post outside of Medium as long as they follow the same licensing, and even if they don’t charge for that post. That seems clear.
What’s a little muddy to me is what the obligation is to the non-subscriber to Medium. What if they are beyond their monthly article limit? I’m pretty sure that the answer is that I owe them nothing — I haven’t distributed my new remixed version to them and so none of the Sharealike terms come into play.
This all seems academic. Almost all non-Medium subscribers should just go to the original source.But on the off chance a non-Medium-subscriber wants to work with my version, here is a gist with the raw HTML. The main difference between my version and the original is that I took out references to sections of the book that aren’t included in the excerpt.