Talk:Guide to the dual-license

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Latest comment: 16 years ago by Slgrandson in topic Needs to be updated

More licenses![edit]

Why stop at Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike? I want to hept-license my content under the GFDL, CC-by-sa, CC-sa, CC-nc, CC-by-nc, the QingPL, and the GPL. Anthony DiPierro 03:15, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Well, the CC-at-sa is most like the GFDL, which would make it a comfortable ideological transition for users. Please free to create a Guide to Open Content multi-licensing or something. -- Kowey 09:45, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)

IANAL but I am pretty sure that a person can dual license all their work, even when the edits make a derivative of a GNU FDL work. That license just requires that that derivative work also be under the GNU FDL. I see nowhere in the license that mandates that the author of the edits to the GNU FDL work only license his/her edits under the GNU FDL. --Maveric149

Mav: I think you're wrong. The GFDL says:
You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License, [...]
The by-sa says:
You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License, [...]
It seems to me that "precisely this License" and "only under the terms of this License" mean just that: you can't offer a "Modified Version" (= "Derivative Work") under a different license, too. I'd love to see a lawyer's interpretation of this, though. --Evan 01:43, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)
"Precisely this License" deals with the whole modified work, not the exact modifications. If I were to take out just those exact modifications and if I owned the copyright to those exact modifications, then I would be able to place whatever copyright I want on those changes. But in order for my work to be legally used in the whole modified work, then my edits in that work must be under at least the GNU FDL. IANAL, but I think I am right. :) --mav
So, "your modifications" would mean something like a en:diff, right? Or do you mean the modified work as a whole? It's questionable if you have the same kind of right to that diff as you do to something you create out of whole cloth. Copyright holders have rights to authorize or prohibit "derivative works" made from their works, and that patch may qualify. It may not include anything from the original work, but just because it's based on the work, the original creator has rights to tell you how you can use it or re-license it. --Evan 17:51, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I use multiple licenses on en, for articles and only articles. They can only cover my own edits. Those edits can't be derivative works because they include none of the original work. To the extent that a collection of them may include portions of the original work, the status of the combination of multiple edits and one or more sections of original work would have to depend on the details. Retaining the word "the" in the middle of a pair of edits would be unlikely to make them a derivative work, while retaining something truly original and notable could. Jamesday 04:14, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've been seeing people dual-licensing and otherwise giving permissions to use Wikipedia contents on non-GFDL terms. But I am still not sure if it is okay to do it. I mean, Wikipedia carries this notice saying that contents are licensed under GFDL. Can your statement effectively override the GFDL license notice? Or is it technically better to provide the same content outside the Wikipedia for others to use on non-GFDL terms? I thought you might have a good idea on this.Tomos 06:25, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
So, I think the whole argument here is based on a very broken AuthorshipModel based on spatial parts of the page. If I wrote this paragraph, and you wrote that paragraph, then I can do what I want with "my" paragraph and you can do what you want with "your" paragraph.
But pages in wiki are a unified whole, not a composite of paragraphs, sentences, and words. When I make an article, and you add something to it, you've modified the entire article, and made a new work based on it. Adding to a wiki page isn't about creating a new work that just happens to sit on the same page with a lot of other people's work. It's about taking an existing work and modifying it. --Evan 21:42, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
IFAIK, the concept of a diff(especially a non-context diff) being a copyrightable, non-derivative work seems pretty clear. In the case of one of my contributions, the non-derivate diff would be something like the following:
Revision of The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series) as of 22:31, 28 Mar 2004 by JesseW
Summery: adding a note about the other radio series
Line 56:
 	+	----
 	+	Note: There is also another dramatization by The Mind's Eye, with a 
  different cast, which is still being sold. See
  for more details. (If anyone wants to write an article on this, please do so.)
That includes no material (other than the name of the page which is not long enough to be copyrightable) that I did not write personally. It is mine to license, or multi-license as I see fit.

Just because we generally _think_ of articles as being "a unified whole"(and it's a good thing that we do, it makes better articles) does not mean that it's unclear or ambigious who wrote what. It gets hairy when you consider that people have probably copied text they didn't write when rearranging pages, but for intra-page moves this should be pretty visible, and for inter-page moves, it would be harder, but not impossible, esspecially if people are good about summary lines. JesseW 07:44, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think you're wrong, Jesse. First, you're incorrect about the nature of "derivative works". A derivative work does not have to include the content of the original work. For example, a sequel to a novel, using the same characters, is a derivative work of the original novel. A translation of a song from Portuguese to English is a derivative work. Chilling Effects has a nice discussion of Derivative Works.
Second, it takes a lot of work to display a diff as a diff in MediaWiki (or any wiki engine). We publish articles, not diffs. A standalone diff that could be published separately is the exception, not the rule, in a wiki environment.
The law on copyright for additions and modifications to an existing work is pretty clear. The whole reason copyleft works is that authors can control how derivative works are published. Sophistry aside, each version of a page is a derivative work of the previous version. "I can do whatever I want with my edits" is simply incorrect. --Evan 01:26, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why vs Why Not[edit]

Could somebody explain why anybody would want to do this? Perhaps explain what the creative commons license is and in what way, if any, it is superior to the GNU FDL. TUF-KAT 01:56, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have added a link to the license on the content page. I personally feel this is the license we should have taken for wikipedia, had it been available, for the very simple reason that the Creative Commons do a good job of making their licenses easy to understand. This combined with their flexibility (there's many licenses you can choose) makes chances high that people will choose CC this over GFDL. For me, it's more a question of availability than anything else. I want CC to be able to use Wikipedia material. -- Kowey 09:35, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
We use the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license for Wikitravel. There's a page on that site about Why Wikitravel isn't GFDL and why we use the CC by-sa license instead. --Evan 01:57, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Rebuttal to Why not dual license[edit]

It adds an additional layer of complication onto the already difficult GFDL licensing. It makes things hard for other people -- not for the dual licensor -- which is pretty unfair. It's confusing.

I don't see how this makes it hard for users. They can just ignore the other license.

It's got a very tiny audience -- most anyone can use the GFDL license, with only a few folks who can't.

Not sure what you mean by audience. Take for example Wikitravel. Can wikitravel incorporate wikipedia text? Is Wikitravel not audience? I'd figure that since CC is so much lighter for people to deal with, the number of CC users would tend to be larger than GFDL users.

And Wikipedia is working with the en:Free Software Foundation to try to make the GFDL compatible with other copyleft content licenses.

Fantastic! But I'll continue dual-licensing until their efforts bear fruit.

The biggest reason not to dual licence is that your dual-licenced content could become incompatible with Wikipedia.

  1. User X copies your content which is dual licenced from Wikipedia
  2. User X works on this content under a CC licence and expands it

Now, if user X does not decide to dual-licence his modifications under the GFDL ( as opposed to what happens by default: his modifications are licenced under the CC only ) you and others would be unallowed to merge his changes back into wikipedia which you otherwise could have done, a dual licencing scheme leads to situations when copied content becomes incompatible with the parent, which if you just use GFDL does not happen.

I doubt that would be a problem. Somebody who is already willing to copyleft their work should be easily convinced to re-adopt the GFDL for the sake of reuse in GFDL texts. This is not like the BSD/GPL, war, i don't think. -- Kowey 17:59, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)


At the bottom part, do you mean CC-by-sa by "CC-sa-at"? Tomos 01:30, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

thanks -- Kowey 10:13, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

New CC wiki?[edit]

I am thinking about starting a new project with mediawiki? What would I have to do to make the whole project CC? Is it enought that I change all the references to GNU to CC in the MediaWiki:All_messages of the new project?

Many thanks,-- 16:25, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Creative Commons petition (dual licensing)[edit]

On my user page, I have a draft of a petition. This petition proposes that the Wikipedia community migrate toward releasing its collective work under both the GFDL and Creative Commons liscenses.

While this has been suggested previously (see here: ), I believe that this proposal gets around the problems that have been mentioned. If it doesn't, I'm confident that the Wikipedia community, working in collaboration, can find a way around any problems.

Please go to my user page and edit this draft, especially if you disagree with this proposal. I'm planning to move the final petition to Wikipedia talk:Copyrights after July 1, 2004 (although I may hold off). Before I move it, I will make sure I personally approve the final draft. If you disagree with the final draft, you can link to a statment of your objections. At this time, I will also remove any signature from the draft, since I can't be sure that people who signed the draft will agree with the final form.

Thank you!

Crazyeddie 21:24, 20 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

One problem is the massive amount of text already available. There is no way that can be converted. Another is convincing people to release material under two licenses. I doubt this will happen. Dori | Talk 23:44, May 20, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Dori. We've got tons of material released under the GFDL, if we had to go to everyone who has submitted material and re-ask if they want to also release their contributions under a new license, it would be a nightmare. RickK 23:46, 20 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I don't propose that we ask each contributor to give permission. I do propose that we ask every registered user permission for content that was released underneath their username. Even I'm not crazy enough to think we should (or even could) track down every anyonomusly submitted piece of content. This would be a one time click on a dialouge box, so from the user's point of view, it would be relatively painless. I'm hoping that maybe 60% of the Wikipedia be made available for use by projects using Creative Commons. Ideally, the portions that we can't track down will be replaced over time by new dual-liscenced material, but this will take years. Crazyeddie 19:14, 2004 May 21 (UTC)
Indeed. I guess Crazyeddie's proposal is inspired by the relicencing effort of the Netscape browser. But in that case most (I guess > 90%) of the code was written by employees of a fairly small group of companies, so merely getting those companies to agree takes care of 90% of the relicencing effort. Secondly, they didn't allow anons to contribute, so tracking down almost everyone else was fairly straightforward. This left only a tiny percentage that couldn't (or wouldn't) relicence. I'd guess that maybe 50% of wikipedia's articles have been edited by an anon at some point, and absolutely 100% of the significant ones. So, without exaggeration, it would be less work just to delete the database and start again. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:24, 21 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
No, this is the first I've heard of that effort. The Mozilla project I'm guessing? Actually, I'd guess the number of articles that have been edited by an anon would be closer to 90%. However, I'm not concerened with what article may have been edited in the past by a GFDL only contributor. I'm only concerned with what portions of the current version of the article were contributed by dual-licensors and what portions were contributed by GFDL-onlies. As for starting from scratch, that's pretty much what the smaller wikis are stuck with doing right now. I think this migration is going to be a big, hairy mess to accomplish (which is why I'm doing this as a petition to encourage debate and consensus) but it would still be better than starting over. Crazyeddie 19:14, 2004 May 21 (UTC)
A biiiig problem with your suggested solution is this part: "(With a link to a page containing just the CC portions.)". The MediaWiki software currently has no such thing as a "blame" feature (who contributed which parts of a page), and such a feature would be impractical with the way articles are edited (in any combination of expansion, reduction and refactoring you feel like; unlike a program maintained by CVS, which is most of the time edited line by line or even block by block). So it would be impossible to have a licensing status for anything more fine-grained than each article, and as Finlay says, that would rule out dual-licensing on most articles. It's a pain, but our only hope is for the FSF and CC to create versions of GFDL and by-sa that are compatible (and don't let's even start on the "should we abandon copyleft"; it's just plain too late!). - IMSoP 00:51, 21 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I really don't know too much about the inner workings of the Wikipedia. For the record, I based that CC only page idea on the page histories. I thought that maybe we could somehow do a diff between the different versions and figure out who contriubted what. I think if we can work out the legal angles, the technical side will be hairy but doable. Fortunately, I'm not the one who has to work out the Small Matter of Programming, since I can't code to save my life.
I do agree that for this plan to work, we will need a way of determining who wrote what. This shouldn't be impossible. Any programmers out there? Here's the problem:
  1. We have a copy of each version of an article.
  1. We know who submitted each version.
  1. We have (or will have) a database of users who have agreed to the CC scheme.
  1. Given this, write a program that determines which portions of the current version were created by CCers.
Incidently, I've been wondering: if the GFDL was modified enough for material to be released under the CC, would the old version of the GFDL still be compatible with the new version? Can CC material be released under the GFDL? If a wikipedia article includes material from another wikipedia article, does it have to give the changelog of the other article? (As well as not being a programmmer, I'm also not a lawyer. Just because I started the petition doesn't mean I know anything about what I'm talking about.)
Has somebody seriously suggested abandoning copyleft? Good lord, without copyleft, this place simply wouldn't work!Crazyeddie 19:14, 2004 May 21 (UTC)
I quite like that Wikipedia is under the GFDL, what do people have against it --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 13:43, 2004 May 21 (UTC)
My main objection to the GFDL is that it's keeping me from reusing Wikipedia in another project. I wouldn't get so worked up about this except I'm reasonably sure that the contributors would approve of this reuse if they could. As for why other wikis don't use GFDL, the short answer is that people reusing content from them would have to include about 12 pages of legalese along with a 1-2 page article. Crazyeddie 19:14, 2004 May 21 (UTC)

Who created this page?

I'm not sure what you mean. Also, could you login and sign your message? Crazyeddie 00:43, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

I've come up with a new plan to get around the problems you've all brought up. I'm submitting it as a new thread to avoid quadruple indentation. Crazyeddie 00:43, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

How to help people locate dual-licensed content...[edit]

Given that material on a page may be used under the CC license if that material (i.e., a section, or whatever) was added and edited only by dual-license editors, might it be useful to have a template to include on an article's talk page indicated that the article contains material submitted under the dual license, and which therefore might be able to be used thusly? Or does such a thing already exist? Or would it be problematic? Also, has there been any discussion about tagging dual-license edits in the edit history so as to be able to located them quickly, or better yet dual-license filtering so as to be able to locate material quickly?Kukkurovaca

The quick answer to your questions is no, but I personally am planning shortly to create a dual license page explaining the process with respect to the English Wikipedia (as opposed to this meta page which is geared towards all languages and for CC only). Such a page is designed to provide more information to others to at least open the dialog a bit. There are many people who share concerns about dual-licensing and would oppose putting a talk page note. Even a WikiProject template message on the talk pages for city articles that the rambot has created have raised objections on the basis that they clutter up the talk pages and act as a form of spam. Personally, using the talk page for such a note would be cumbersome and may confuse people if the article has users who both do and don't dual license. The way I see it is that some users are ok with the tradeoffs and want to share their changes under another license. Simply having more exposure may cause more people to sign up. If enough people do it, then maybe there will be an incentive to implement a dual flagging mechanism in the software, however I wouldn't count on it. In the end what dual-licensing does is allows someone to at least check to see if something is dual licensed and manually do the work. It is hard, but at least not impossible. The more people that do it, the more articles that will fall under the a different license. Over 30,000 rambot articles are dual-licensed, and that is no shabby number. If I got a small handful of people to dual-license, then the most recent version of many of those articles would probably be dual-licensed. There are also technical problems with having a software solution. When someone copies and pastes content from one Wikipedia page into another, such changes probably cannot be dual-licensed because they are most likely GFDL to start with. And tracking such edits is difficult at best. -- Ram-Man 20:21, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
One thing we could do on the other hand is add something like [[Category:Dual_licensed_user]] to the user CC template. This should make it easier to find users at least; no more manually adding them to the meta page. -- Kowey 20:38, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've already added categories to the CC-by-sa template used on the english wikipedia page, so that every user should be listed under that category as a user who uses that license. I suppose a few other pages will show up, but it should be sufficient for this task. I see no reason to add another category that people have to add. Just seems to make it more cumbersome. -- Ram-Man 20:56, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

After discussing the issue and going over the old talk on this page I created an English Wikipedia multi-licensing page which contains general instruction on how to use multiple licenses with Wikipedia. It is based partially on this article and is intended to replace it. This page already lists those who are using alternate licenses, which does not really have anything to do with the CC dual-license. Please check it out and update it as appropriate. -- Ram-Man 23:59, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Images template[edit]

I'd like to (dual) license photos I upload with CC-BySA-2.0. Is there a template to use on the image page? If so it should be mentioned in the article also. -- 22:58, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think the "text contributions" bit of the license template is quite surprising, it's not mentioned anyway as far as I can see. I think most everybody using the template intended to license their images also, so would it be too radical a step to step in and amend the template, with notifications to the users involved? 10:42, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Remove lists of dual liscencors?[edit]

These lists are not actually necessary since you can use 'What links here' feature from the relevant template page. For example Links to 'DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual' shows over 700 user pages transcluding that template! So the list here is hopelessly incomplete. How about we remove them and just link to the 'What links here' listings? -- Harry Wood 08:30, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Hmm... that is true. It would be nice to have global wikimedia stats, though. Maybe we could wait until the single login transition is complete and then just do a summary. I personally wouldn't object if you deleted the chunk of text right now though... curiosity now satifisfied... -- Kowey 15:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Needs to be updated[edit]

I have heard that Creative Commons has moved to the 3.0 versions of their licenses. The content on this page is in need of updating in order to reflect these changes. --Slgrandson 16:05, 28 May 2007 (UTC)Reply