Learning patterns/Using open licenses

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A learning pattern forOrganizational design patterns
How to include the license in a contract or letter of appointment
OptiCC some rights reserved.svg
problemProducing free knowledge outside the Wikimedia projects in a word of all rights reserved.
solutionInclude the license in a contract or letter of appointment.
creatorIopensa
endorse
created on29 September, 2014



What problem does this solve?[edit]

Producing free knowledge outside the Wikimedia projects in a world of all rights reserved.

What is the solution?[edit]

It is necessary to explicitly agree on the license when working with partners and collaborators (volunteers and retributed). The license can be included in contracts and letters of appointment.

  • In general our Wikimedia default license is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike. This licenses is comprehensible and easy to use. Please remember that our license is more restrictive than the Creative Commons Attribution (our default license requires the ShareAlike and and this can be an issue in OpenAccess) and it is not a convenient choice for dataset (dataset should not require attribution).
  • Consider also the possibility of making an agreement with people/institution to get all non exclusive rights, also the right to sublicense content. In other words all people involved have all rights on the content, and they can have a grader use of content and release it under open licenses.
Situation Authorization needed and how to collect the authorization
Joint project in which more partners are involved. Include under which license the content produced by the project will be released (and since you are already there add the license in the project description).

Few grant-makers will require you to produce open content by default (it is the case of projects financed by Wikimedia Foundation; it is not necessary to include the license because it is already open by default).

Production of videos, comics, images, charts, texts, games not dirtily uploaded on a Wikimedia project by the author.
  • Ask the author to sign you an authorization
  • Ask the author to send an email with the authorization
  • Include the license in the letter of appointment
Production of content by different authors not associated together (i.e. a video which includes sound, images, the work of actors, the work of the film maker...)
  • Ask every single person involved to sign you an authorization
  • Ask every single person involved to send an email with the authorization
  • Include the license in the letter of appointment
Production of content by different authors contract employee of an organization/institution

Content produced by contract employee (not occasional collaborators) should belong to the organization/institution they work for

  • Ask the responsible of the organization/institutions to sign you an authorization
  • Ask ethe responsible of the organization/institutions to send an email with the authorization
  • Include the license in contract or partnership agreement


Typology of document How to write the document
Online authorization
  1. Prepare the text for the person/institution, based on
  1. Send the template completed, and ask the person to send it to ("OTRS") at permissions-en@wikimedia.org (if you are releasing text) or permissions-commons@wikimedia.org (if you are releasing images, audio, or video); ask to be in cc so you can follow the procedure and record the ticket number.
  2. Record the ticket number.
Written and signed authorization You might need to make the agreements as written and signed authorizations for two reasons
  • The Internet connectivity is bad, or the person you are asking the authorization to would feel disorientating in considering providing its agreement by email.
  • In general institutions are more used to provide agreements on their letterhead.
Person
  1. Prepare the text for the person/institution, based on
  1. Print it out and ask the person/institution to sign it (you might want also to make a copy of the ID card of the person).
  2. Scan it and send it to ("OTRS") at permissions-en@wikimedia.org (if you are releasing text) or permissions-commons@wikimedia.org (if you are releasing images, audio, or video).
  3. Record the ticket number.
Institution
  1. Prepare the text for the institution, based on
  1. Ask the institution to use the text for a letter on their letterhead, and to send it back to you signed.
  2. Send the digital letter to ("OTRS") at permissions-en@wikimedia.org (if you are releasing text) or permissions-commons@wikimedia.org (if you are releasing images, audio, or video).
  3. Record the ticket number.
Letter of appointment It is a letter in which you appoint a person or company for a job.

Include in the letter

  • Your data
  • The data of the person you are appoint
  • Object (the work you are commissioning - content, objectives, expected results). Indicate the project related if relevant.
  • Period of the work and deadlines
  • Budget
  • How the personal data of the person will be used, stored and managed
  • The license of the content produced
  • How the work will be attributed
  • Your signature
  • The signature of the person who is appointed.
Project Include in the project the line "This project and all its documentation is released by default under the license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (include also the link).

General considerations[edit]

Since you are already managing the issue of the license also:

  • Collect information about attribution (this can be really useful when crediting authors and partners)
  • Include how you will manage privacy (in different countries you have to adhere to the local legislation and you need to explicitly state how personal data will be used and managed)

Local legislation and intellectual property. Pay attention to local legislation and intellectual property. In case of doubts, assume that copyright is extremely restrictive even (and in particular) in a country where piracy is the norm.
Take particular care of the authorizations in Africa (and probably in other contexts where the so called piracy is dominant); open licenses are not commonly used and artists can be particularly bitter about their copyright: you can be misinterpreted as abusive rather than as a supporter of open content. Having the necessary authorizations makes it clear what and how you are working, and it avoids ambiguities and misunderstanding.

When to use[edit]

Every time you produce content outside the Wikipedia projects or not directly on the Wikimedia projects.

This is not necessary when people contribute to the Wikimedia projects directly. If a person for example edits Wikipedia or uploads an image on Wikimedia Commons, by saving he/she accepts the open license of our projects, the conditions and the attribution is recoded in the "history page".

See also[edit]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

This learning pattern comes from the experience of the project What is about - C'est quoi. A series of communication tools about Wikipedia. Cameroon pilot project.