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Re: Prefered License for forums content

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com> writes:
>>On 2004-05-03 18:45:16 +0100 Sebastian Feltel <sebastian@feltel.de>
>>>Wich license (which fits the documentation needs and is
>>>would you use if you were in my situation?
>>Probably a very simple licence, a localised appropriate (by? by-sa?)
>>Creative Commons licence (if available), the GPL, or the Design
>>Science Licence.

Recall that the Creative Commons Attribution license was ruled to be
DFSG-non-free by debian-legal (initial review request at
, final summary at
.  The by-sa license is likely to be non-free as well for the same
reasons.  The Design Science License was reviewed back in 2000, and it
was considered to be DFSG-free.  However, it is a copyleft, so Brian
Thomas Sniffen's advice below applies.

> I would keep two things in mind when choosing a license:
> * First, if this is for posts made by others to your site, make it
>   clear that they retain copyright, and by posting are giving *you*
>   this license, and you are distributing to others under the exact
>   same license.
> * Second, I strongly suggest you avoid a copyleft.  It makes it easier
>   to integrate other works into yours, and it lets you keep your
>   license much shorter.  For even semi-fixed works, such as free
>   software, I'm a big fan of copyleft licenses.  For a web forum, I
>   don't think they make sense.
> So I'd suggest the MIT/X11 license.

Agreed.  I think a copyleft is useful even for dynamically changing
works if they have large chunks of easily reusable content such as a
Wiki, but for a forum with many small bits of highly specific
information, the GPL or any other copyleft license is likely to be much
longer than most posts to the forum, or even many entire threads.

- Josh Triplett

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