simplest copyleft license for a wiki
emacswiki.org uses the FDL at the moment; I'd like to move away from
the FDL to a very simple license I can understand in two minutes, and
I want to allow people to "upgrade" to the FDL, the GPL, the Creative
Commons ShareAlike (CC SA) license, the XEmacs manual license, or any
other copyleft license when they copy text from the wiki. At the
moment it is possible to convert the entire wiki into a big monolithic
HTML file, which can be distributed by other channels. Furthermore,
code samples from the wiki might be useful additions to both the
Emacs and the XEmacs manual.
I'm looking for some advice concerning the wording of the following
license. The goal is to keep this license as short as possible while
still making it a copyleft license upgradable to any of the other
1. You have the right to copy, modify, and/or distribute the work.
2. You must grant recipients the same rights.
3. You must inform recipients of their rights.
4. When you distribute the work, you must provide the recipients
access to the preferred form for making copies and
modifications, for no more than your costs of doing so.
5. Recipients must place identical restrictions on derivative
6. You may change the license to any other copyleft licsense such
as the GPL, GFDL, CC SA, or the XEmacs manual license.
There has been some discussion on the wiki already, so if you are
interested in the details, see
Item 4, for example, has a peculiar wording because the old wording
was deemed unclear: "You must make it trivially easy for recipients
to copy and modify the work."
Another suggestion for item 4 was said that access had to be provided
for free because we don't want to support weird business models that
includes written offers etc. "When you distribute the work, you must
provide free access to the preferred form for making copies and
modifications." In the end it was felt that "for free" might prevent
us from upgrading to the GPL, so we used the wording from the GPL, "no
more than your cost."
There is no substitute for experience.