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Re: migration of wiki material: suggested licence and legal issues

On Sat, Oct 01, 2005 at 03:37:21PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Sat, 01 Oct 2005, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > * Consequently, its source code should be (easily) available for
> > download
> It would actually just be better to expose the actual on disk storage
> that moin-moin uses (whatever that is) for rsync or similar. [This
> will probably have to happen via a mirror, since spohr is restricted.]

I think that the requirement to provide the page sources is satisfied by
what is served up by the "edit" button. However it would be more
practically useful for the storage to be available.

> > * Each copyright holder for material in the old wiki, should be
> > contacted and asked to agree to the relicensing *before* the
> > corresponding material is migrated to the new wiki.
> I disagree with this, simply because it will require far too much
> effort to track down every single contributor and ask them to license
> their works appropriately. 

I think this depends on how much material from the old wiki is actually
desirable enough to migrate. Since the old wiki was used by different
groups for different purposes, it isn't easy for one person to gauge
this. I've added a section to the MigrationStatus page for people to
tally up notable pages to keep/not keep[1], and I'll add those which are
useful from my POV.

For anything other than a very small set of pages though, I agree that
it would be far too much effort, unfortunately. But this should preclude
the migration, rather than precluding establishing the legality of a

> Far better to migrate the information and to have a tag (or something)
> on each page that indicates what license the material on the page is
> under based on the contributor who contributed it.

A multi-licence wiki would be both detrimental from the perspective of
using it (stuff from one page couldn't necessarily be moved into
another, a dump of all the data would have to be divided up by-licence
before use) but I think also un-manageable in practice.

I think many people contributing to a wiki wouldn't really be interested
in the licence the material was under, perhaps they're just changing
some punctuation or adding an observation, which they do not attribute a
specific value to.  Therefore I doubt people would be inclined to make a
specific licence choice for each edit, or each new page, etc.

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/MigrationStatus#head-8e5fcc0c3c1e66d5aa597e6eb493fe1d6f9149ba

Jon Dowland

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