[Ns-developers] copyright for wiki text

John Heidemann johnh at ISI.EDU
Mon Jan 2 20:38:46 PST 2006


On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 16:46:08 PST, Tom Henderson wrote: 
>sam at meta.net.nz wrote:
>> We went through this process with the Waikato Linux Users Group wiki, 
>> which has a large amount of content in it. The comittee members 
>> eventually decided on a Creative Commons license. Have a look at:
>> 
>> http://www.wlug.org.nz/WlugWikiLicense
>> 
>> For further information.
>> 
>> Cheers,
>> Sam
>> 
>
>Reviving this thread...
>
>It seems that there are two issues with the wiki (and perhaps the 
>documentation in general): copyright and license.
>
>Regarding copyright, Lloyd suggested some kind of transfer to a 
>foundation, but we don't have one in place.  However, we do not require 
>such copyright transfer for source code.  I would like to propose, 
>unless there is objection, that we sidestep this issue by assuming that 
>wiki contributors implicitly own the copyright to anything that they 
>generate.  Will this cause potential hardship down the road?
>
>The licensing does need resolution.  I originally suggested GFDL, but 
>Mathieu and John pointed out the objections to them.  Lloyd and Sam 
>suggested Creative Commons, but Debian project seems also to consider 
>that as a non-free documentation license.
>
>The Debian project seems to have considered this issue at length, and if 
>we follow their lead:
>http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/ddp-policy/ch-common.en.html
>we can possibly use the same GPL-based license that we use for the 
>software 
>(http://nsnam.isi.edu/nsnam/index.php/Developer_Information#Licensing) 
>for wiki text.  Although I had previously proposed the FreeBSD 
>documentation license as an alternative, I would be fine with GPL as 
>well, for consistency.
>
>Any further thoughts on selecting the license for the wiki?  If there 
>are no objections or further discussion, I'd like to suggest that we 
>post on the wiki that content contributed to the wiki be licensed, by 
>default, under the same GPL license we are using for the source code 
>(perhaps replacing the word "program" with "wiki text" in the language). 
>  If the contributor does not want to or cannot use GPL (example, he or 
>she has written up some documentation for other use with other 
>licensing, or is linking to someone else's documentation) the wiki 
>should provide a hyperlink to that other material and not include it 
>directly.

IMHO (and IANAL!), the Debian complaints about CC seemed fairly minor.

I'm not opposed to GPLing the web site, though.

>p.s. I assume that we can migrate parts of the existing documentation 
>and web pages to such a license (perhaps John H. can confirm).

Yes, you are welcome to port the existing web pages into the wiki
under either of these terms.

   -John




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