Introduction to the DRACC series

Title: Introduction to the DRACC series
DRACC: 0000
Category: Regulatory
Scope: Global
Authors: Leenaars, M.A.G.J.; Šuklje, M.
Date: January 2017
Copyright: The Commons Conservancy

This doc­u­ment is part of the DRACC se­ries. You can re­use it un­der a “Cre­ative Com­mons At­tri­bu­tion 4.0 In­ter­na­tion­al” li­cense.


This doc­u­ment serves to es­tab­lish the “Di­rec­tives and Reg­u­la­to­ry Ar­chive of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]” - or DRACC for short. DRACC is a write on­ly se­ries of of­fi­cial doc­u­ments cre­at­ed and/or main­tained by [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. The doc­u­ments in the DRACC se­ries are num­bered se­quen­tial­ly in dec­i­mal no­ta­tion, start­ing at ze­ro and with an in­ter­val of one.

Per­sis­tent be­hav­iour is es­sen­tial to al­low con­trib­u­tors to trust the pro­vi­sion­s ­made with­in these doc­u­ments. The fact that DRAC­C’s can­not ev­er be changed is it­self an im­mutable con­di­tion in an im­mutable part of the statutes of [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. A DRACC doc­u­ment can there­fore be unique­ly re­ferred to by use of the unique iden­ti­fi­er “DRAC­C” with its se­quence num­ber in the se­ries. ­For mnemon­ic and ty­po­graph­ic rea­son­s, pad­ding of the ac­tu­al se­quence num­ber with ze­roes may be re­moved or added. For in­stance [DRACC 0001] and [DRACC 1] both re­fer to the same DRACC doc­u­men­t, in this case the doc­u­ment de­scrib­ing the o­rig­i­nal mis­sion state­ment of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. One can al­so re­fer to it by its ti­tle as DRACC “Mis­sion state­ment of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]”, which has the added ben­e­fit of ref­er­enc­ing the lat­est ver­sion, if a new ver­sion was to ev­er be pub­lished. Please note there are pos­si­ble ex­cep­tions to this de­fault be­haviour, such as the one de­fined in the sec­tion “Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm­s” be­low. Au­thors SHALL ex­plic­it­ly men­tion non-de­fault nam­ing be­haviour promi­nent­ly in­side each DRAC­C.

All pol­i­cy doc­u­ment that are off­i­cal­ly re­leased by [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] are al­lo­cat­ed a canon­i­cal DRACC se­quence num­ber. In ad­di­tion, [The Com­mon­s ­Con­ser­va­cy] may al­lo­cate names­paced alias­es to sub­sets of doc­u­ments with­in the DRACC se­ries that be­long to­geth­er. An ex­am­ple would be DRACC ABC-Y, where the names­pace ABC in­di­cates the sub­-series name, and Y in­di­cates the sub­-series se­quence num­ber (a­gain, start­ing at 0 and us­ing on­ly nat­u­ral num­ber­s). The use of names­paced DRACC alias­es is oth­er­wise iden­ti­cal to the ­main doc­u­ment se­ries, and is ad­di­tion­al to the pub­li­ca­tion and num­ber­ing there.

Categories and scopes

Not ev­ery DRACC doc­u­ment has the same weight, which is why they are ­cat­e­gorised. The cat­e­go­ry to which a doc­u­ment be­longs is in­di­cat­ed in the meta­da­ta head­er at the top of each doc­u­ment with the field “Cat­e­go­ry”. A ­doc­u­ment that acts as a reg­u­la­tion is for in­stance pub­lished in the cat­e­go­ry “Reg­u­la­to­ry”, while a doc­u­ment that is mere­ly guid­ance but has no manda­to­ry aspects has “Cat­e­go­ry: In­for­ma­tion­al” at the top.

If the scope of a cer­tain reg­u­la­tion is lim­it­ed to a spe­cif­ic Pro­gramme with­in [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy], this will be in­di­cat­ed in the meta­da­ta head­er at the ­top of each doc­u­ment with the field “S­cope” (for the def­i­ni­tion of Pro­gram­me see DRACC “Map­ping Rights to Pro­grammes”). A doc­u­ment that con­tains pro­vi­sion­s ap­pli­ca­ble through­out [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is pub­lished with “S­cope: ­Glob­al”, while a doc­u­ment that de­scribes some­thing which ap­plies on­ly at the Pro­gramme lev­el con­tains “S­cope: Pro­gram­me”.

Constitutional Realms

While a lot of thought has been put in­to mak­ing the frame­work be­hind [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy], both ex­ter­nal changes (such as im­por­tant mod­i­fi­ca­tions to ­copy­right law, or even the in­tro­duc­tion of new le­gal mech­a­nism­s) and pro­gres­sive in­sight (after be­ing op­er­a­tional for a longer pe­ri­od and see­ing d­if­fer­ent types of Pro­grammes scale up) could re­sult in pos­si­ble de­sign im­prove­ments to the ini­tial de­sign of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. But im­prove­ments are in the eye of the be­hold­er, and what is progress to some is not un­like­ly to feel detri­men­tal to oth­er­s. The regime un­der which a Pro­gram­me is es­tab­lished it­self is im­mutable, to pro­tect those who feel the cur­ren­t si­t­u­a­tion should re­main. This long term per­sis­tence makes [The Com­mon­s ­Con­ser­van­cy] en­tire­ly pre­dictable and re­li­able.

For those who would like to al­low im­prove­ments over time, a spe­cial cat­e­go­ry of ­DRACC doc­u­ments was cre­at­ed: “Con­sti­tu­tion­al”. Con­sti­tu­tion­al DRACC doc­u­ments them­selves con­tain on­ly an in­dex which iden­ti­fies a com­plete set of core reg­u­la­to­ry DRACC­S. These au­thor­i­ta­tive­ly de­fine all the re­quired ter­mi­nol­o­gy, and ar­range the rel­e­vant le­gal mat­ters at the high­est prac­ti­cal lev­el. Such a ­com­pre­hen­sive set of adopt­ed prin­ci­ples and reg­u­la­tions shall be called a ­Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm, and the pos­si­bil­i­ty to cre­ate mul­ti­ple (like­ly mu­tu­al­ly in­com­pat­i­ble) Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realms with­in [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] acts like a ver­sion­ing or snap­shot­ting mech­a­nism at the foun­da­tion lev­el. Ev­ery of­fi­cial ver­sion re­mains avail­able to be used for as long as there are com­mu­ni­ties that feel like do­ing so, and ad­di­tion­al ver­sions are added for those who want to adopt them (giv­en the prop­er man­date and ad­e­quate com­pat­i­bil­i­ty). That way a Pro­gramme does­n’t have to leave [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] just for the ­pos­si­bil­i­ty to change the regime or to keep its regime when all oth­ers have changed it.

A switch of Con­sti­tu­tion­al realms is a com­plete­ly vol­un­tary op­tion, which the ­gov­ern­ing body of a Pro­gramme MAY choose to adopt if it so choos­es. There CAN­NOT ev­er be a manda­to­ry ‘up­grade’: the re­spon­si­b­li­ty for ­choos­ing which Con­sti­tu­tion­al realm is adopt­ed lies at the Pro­gram­me lev­el. A Pro­gramme MUST sub­scribe to one (and on­ly one) sin­gle ­Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm. The rea­son for this ex­clu­siv­i­ty is that d­if­fer­ent Con­sti­tu­tion­al realms may re­write ter­mi­nol­o­gy and con­tra­dic­t each oth­er, so their reg­u­la­tions can be in­com­pat­i­ble with oth­er­s. ­DRACC 0002 “Core Reg­u­la­tion­s” de­fines the first of such Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm­s, and it it­self is an im­mutable part of the statutes of [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. By de­fault a new­ly es­tab­lished Pro­gram­me ­sub­scribes to the most re­cent­ly pub­lished Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm.

The ti­tles of DRACC doc­u­ments that are part of a Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm are u­nique with­in the con­text of that Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm, and on­ly the Board of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] MAY cre­ate new DRACC with the same names. This will al­low these doc­u­ments to be re­ferred to by their name rather than by a speci­fic num­ber, with­in the ap­pli­ca­ble Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm. When a DRACC in a cat­e­go­ry other than “Con­sti­tu­tion­al” men­tions a reg­u­la­to­ry DRACC by name, it does so with­in the cur­rent Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm of the Pro­gramme. For ex­am­ple, for al­l Pro­grammes that DRACC 0002 ap­plies to as their Con­sti­tu­tion­al Realm, when such Pro­grammes or any DRACC they use re­fer to “Grad­u­a­tion DRAC­C”, this means DRAC­C 0007, re­gard­less whether there is a new ver­sion of the Grad­u­a­tion DRAC­C al­ready.

Publishing and prohibiting new versions of a DRACC

DRACC doc­u­ments once pub­lished, do not ev­er change and can­not be with­drawn (with the not­ed ex­cep­tion of a valid court or­der as de­scribed in the nex­t ­para­graph). When there is a need (and not to be for­got­ten: an ad­e­quate man­date) ­to make changes to what is stip­u­lat­ed in a spe­cif­ic DRACC doc­u­men­t, an up­dat­ed ver­sion SHALL be pub­lished with a new num­ber. The new doc­u­ment SHALL clear­ly indi­cate whether or not it op­er­a­tional­ly ob­so­letes or dep­re­cates (a part of) a pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished DRAC­C.

Sim­i­lar to the lock on the parts of the statutes that de­scribe the im­mutabil­i­ty of the DRACC se­ries, some DRACC doc­u­ments are to be valid for­ev­er. This ­con­cerns for in­stance the doc­u­ment that de­scribes on how as­sets are dis­tribut­ed across Pro­grammes with­in [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] — DRACC “Map­ping Rights to Pro­grammes”.

Any DRACC doc­u­ment MAY it­self spec­i­fy that it can­not be re­placed, by adding “S­ta­tus: Fi­nal” to its doc­u­ment meta­da­ta head­er. In such a case, [The Com­mon­s ­Con­ser­van­cy] MUST nev­er ob­so­lete, re­move or pub­lish a new ver­sion of the ­doc­u­ment ex­cept when it is forced to by a court of law. If a Pro­gramme is ­Forked (see DRACC “Pro­gramme Fork­ing”), any such locks SHALL prop­a­gate to the new Pro­grammes. Pub­lish­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tions to a doc­u­ment with sta­tus “Fi­nal” (as new doc­u­ments) MAY be al­lowed, but no new pro­vi­sions may be added.

Mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to ev­er im­prove a pol­i­cy or reg­u­la­tion writ­ten down in a ­DRACC is some­thing to thor­oug­ly con­sid­er and re­con­sid­er be­fore­hand, be­cause it ­severe­ly re­stricts flex­i­bil­i­ty to re­pair mis­takes. If on­ly part of a cer­tain ­doc­u­ment needs to be locked down, or can be ob­so­let­ed but on­ly af­ter a cer­tain pe­ri­od of time or un­der very spe­cif­ic con­di­tion­s, the sta­tus can be set to “S­ta­tus: Par­tial Lock­”, “S­ta­tus: Time Lock­”, or “S­ta­tus: Con­di­tion­al Lock­”. In­ ­such a case doc­u­ments SHALL con­tain a sec­tion “S­ta­tus in­for­ma­tion” con­tain­ing a ­com­plete his­to­ry of doc­u­ment mod­i­fi­ca­tion, in­clud­ing the per­son­(s) re­spon­si­ble ­for these changes and a short mo­ti­va­tion.

Removal of DRACC documents after a court order

A spe­cif­ic DRACC doc­u­ment MAY on­ly be re­moved in the ex­cep­tion­al case that a ­court or­der valid in the coun­try where [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] has its seat de­mands the re­moval of in­for­ma­tion con­tained in it, and af­ter a re­place­men­t ­DRACC doc­u­ment (with a new num­ber and with mod­i­fied con­tent) is cre­at­ed. Al­l ref­er­ences in oth­er DRACC doc­u­ments to the re­moved DRACC doc­u­ment SHALL then be ­con­sid­ered to tech­ni­cal­ly re­fer to such new DRACC doc­u­men­t. DRACC doc­u­ments are pub­li­cal­ly ac­ces­si­ble and can be copied by ev­ery­one for free. [The Com­mon­s ­Con­ser­van­cy] there­fore can­not be ex­pect­ed to gov­ern copies by oth­er­s.

Recommendations on language use

DRACC doc­u­ments are for­mal doc­u­ments that de­scribe the rules and pa­ram­e­ter­s with­in which [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] op­er­ates. DRACC can con­tain in­struc­tion­s which have le­gal con­se­quences and may de­ter­mine the op­er­a­tions of ac­tiv­i­ties with­in [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. DRACC are there­fore REC­OM­MEND­ED to take note of [Brad­ner 1997] in IETF RFC 2119, and use cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of the key word­s ­men­tioned there­in to in­di­cate Re­quire­ment Lev­el­s.

Reuse of these documents

[The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is built around the idea to em­pow­er com­mu­ni­ties with­ a sta­ble, light­weight le­gal frame­work. The frame­work is not lim­it­ed to a sin­gle in­stance, and it should be easy to set up and run your own ver­sion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. There are valid rea­sons to do so, for in­stance be­cause you in­tend ­to serve a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­ni­ty or ge­o­graph­ic re­gion that needs spe­cial pro­vi­sion­s.

The core of the le­gal frame­work is the DRACC se­ries, and there­fore it makes sense that this is avail­able un­der a li­cense that will al­low you to re­use and ­mod­i­fy the doc­u­ments it con­tains for your own or­gan­i­sa­tion.

By sub­mit­ting doc­u­ments to the pub­li­ca­tion queue of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy], a con­trib­u­tor ac­knowl­edges that [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is to be seen as the le­git­i­mate copy­right hold­er and agrees to this vi­sion and these con­di­tion­s. The ­con­trib­u­tor SHALL in­di­cate the use of third par­ty re­sources, and their ­copy­right sta­tus.