Difference between revisions of "LXDE.org:Copyrights/CC-BY-SA proposal"

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I agree to license all my edits to the LXDE.org wiki, including all past edits, under [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ CC-BY-SA 3.0] (or whichever local version is appropriate):
I agree to license all my edits to the LXDE.org wiki, including all past edits, under [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ CC-BY-SA 3.0] (or whichever local version is appropriate):
--[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] 09:46, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
--[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] 09:46, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Revision as of 04:15, 5 November 2016

The problem

The current license for the wiki is GNU Free Documentation License 1.2, without an "or any later version" option, and which is not compatible with the now more common CC-BY-SA license (CC-BY-SA 3.0 in its latest form).

This makes the content unable to be shared in either direction with wikis using the more common CC-BY-SA license. I want to suggest that we prepare to change by taking the important first steps, which are very easy, ASAP.

See the email discussion thread on this topic.


There is no specific deadline, but the better we plan it and the sooner we start, the less work will be involved. If we do nothing, every edit under the current license means more to resolve later.


We don't need permission of every anonymous editor

If it's a small contribution, it probably doesn't matter, as copyright doesn't apply to just one or two sentences. (I've never heard anyone else raise this in the license context, but it seems very relevant. --Chriswaterguy 09:46, 18 November 2009 (UTC)) It's worth saying that the licenses are basically the same in intent, and it is doubtful that the contributors would mind. Note these two posts I made, describing attorneys' opinions which support this idea:

  1. cc-community: Changing *almost* compatible licenses
  2. cc-community: Changing *almost* compatible licenses

I don't know if that would be different in different countries. Anyway, the point is we don't need to get too concerned with removing every last anonymous edit, as long as a reasonable effort is made to note which material is under the new license, and which is not. More substantial edits by anons, or by editors who have not given permission under the new license, will eventually need to be removed on each page before that page can be considered CC-BY-SA.

I'd suggest that as a transition measure, the wiki is switched to a dual license, but old pages or sections which are mainly GFDL 1.2 are kept and flagged as such. Eventually they will be rewritten or become obsolete. Users who agree to relicense their old contributions would be listed, and hopefully that would account for most of the content. (Here's an idea, but I don't know if it's needed: A note could be added to the license that when a contributor edits a section marked under a certain license, e.g. GFDL 1.2, their contributions are automatically licensed under that license as well as the wiki's default license. That may be stating the obvious, though. Anyway, it's better to edit outside such sections, to create documentation which does not have GFDL 1.2 content mixed in.)


  • Do we need to dual-license with another license? E.g. GPL, to allow for use in commenting in code?


  1. Reach agreement on the desired license or combination of licenses.
  2. Change the license page and all notices to specify that new contributions are under a dual license. This date, (let's call it D1) is important in the cleanup work later. The sooner this is done, the less cleanup work is needed later.
  3. Ask all past contributors to give permission by signing below.
  4. Deal with the old material. Either:
    1. Anything before date D1 is marked as possibly under the old license only. The page must be checked before the mark is removed. (This is the hardest step. A systematic plan is needed, and perhaps a bot can help?) Or:
    2. (Easy option.) Simply state in the license page that some old content before date day/month/year is under GFDL 1.2 only, and it is up to the reuser to establish whether this is the case.

Note that the sooner we change to a dual license and get permission from as many editors as possible, and the longer we wait after that, the easier the process will become. As the LXDE project grows, the older content will shrink in relative significance - as long as we change the license ASAP.

Giving permission under CC-BY-SA

I agree to license all my edits to the LXDE.org wiki, including all past edits, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 (or whichever local version is appropriate): --Chriswaterguy 09:46, 18 November 2009 (UTC)