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Wiktenauer talk:Copyright Policy

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Hi there. I've been reading Wiktenauer for about a year, and love the project. Wiktenauer is an amazing resource thank you for putting it together!

I have some feedback on the Copyright Policy page, and would like to help improve it. Clearly a lot of effort has gone into ensuring that all parties are properly attributed, and that contributors have choices in how their content is licensed to others. However, there are a number of errors in the application of licenses that I would like to help clear-up. I understand that your time is limited, and the details of copyright licensing are not your top priority. But if you are willing, I would love to discuss the matter further, either here, email, chat, or informally somewhere around Boston (I see some contributors are in the area).

My email is seth@sethish.com. I will be following this Talk page as well.

Seth Woodworth 17:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to point out the errors that you see and we'll discuss them.
~ Michael Chidester (Contact) 00:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok. Wikipedia uses a Creative Commons license, but uses a CC-by-sa license, without the -nc (non commercial) clause. The CC-by-sa description says: "All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects." This strongly suggests that CC-by-sa is not compatible with a derivative CC-by-nc-sa work.
Next, the GPL cannot be interpreted as GFDL. Also, both the GFDL and the GPL are explicitly incompatible with an -nc license because of 'further restrictions' clause of the GPL (and GFDL). Disallowing commercial use is considered a 'further restriction' On the other hand, the GPL has strange rules for when it comes into effect. The GPL is only invoked when the 'software' is distributed, I am not sure that making the text available satisfies this or not. Is the GPL'd text only from Mark Rector/Schielhau.org?
There may be additional concern around the nature of the site as a derivative work, or as a library of works with different licenses. But I think that a strong case can be made for Wiktenauer not being a derivative work as a whole. If content is clearly organized, and labeled (as it appears to be) incompatible licenses may co-exist on the same page. But for content that can be considered a derivative work:
  • the gpl is incompatible with any CC -nc license and the Educational license
  • Wikipedia content (CC-by-sa) is compatible with the GFDL, but not a CC -nc license, the Educational license and possibly not the GPL
Solutions: for the GPL'd content, it seems like there are few external sources. It might be easiest to ask that copyright owner(s) to use their content under the GFDL, or a Creative Commons license. For the -nc material that contains Wikipedia text, it would be easiest to re-license the material without the -nc clause. But that might not be acceptable to yourself and those who have contributed content.
One last note, I mention these incompatibilities because I became aware of them and would like to help. You are clearly acting in good faith, and going well out of your to provide citations and copyright information. The HEMA community seems to support your work and is not concerned with the current copyright status. Wikipedia is extremely lax with their copyright, and in the worst case, works with organizations to ensure proper citation and licensing. Please do not take my comments as a source of worry or haste. IMO the matter of copyrights need not be a pressing concern, but I will do whatever I can to assist you if you would like to pursue the matter.
Seth Woodworth 04:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, the Creative Commons issue is a case of lazy updating on my part. I randomly decided to add in the Non-Commercial clause to the default license several months ago and didn't bother to check how it affected existing content. Oops. I suppose I should just drop that and go back to the BY-SA--it only affects content written by me, so it shouldn't be a big issue.
As for the GPL/GFDL, as I said I suspect that was an error since the GPL isn't designed to apply to documentation. And it only applies to the content from Schielhau.org. Either way, is it really a problem since all of the content under that license is clearly marked as not falling under the default license?
~ Michael Chidester (Contact) 21:27, 29 June 2012 (UTC)