Re: http://forums.debian.net in beta
First, apologies for the delay in replying.
On Tue, Sep 14, 2004 at 04:08:19PM -0400, Intense Red wrote:
> Secondly, Jeroen mentioned:
> > The legality of this is doubtful, but the claim is made,
> > and I'm not very comfortable with it.
> Why would the legality of this be doubtful?
> If there is a problem with the legality of this, I'd like to know about it.
Having posted in the mentioned thread, I also noticed that it is made
very clear to posters they post under the GFDL, and retract my statement
about legal issues with it -- it's to my opinion indeed sufficiently
clear one is posting under the GFDL.
> > of the site is due to the postnuke and phpbb projects (the latter
> > having their own copyright notices being removed from the site).
> The forum I use is a PostNuke module called phpBB_14. It is a heavily
> modified fork of the old phpBB version 1.4 maintained by a team based in
> Germany. It displays no copyright notice that I know of. Credit for the
> forum is displayed on various pages and you can see those credits on
> debianHELP (see 2/3 of the way down
> for one example).
> I consider allegations of not acknowledging software authors to be fairly
> serious. For the various PostNuke modules I use you can easily reference
> them at <http://www.debianhelp.org/index.php?module=Credits>, the standard
> "credit" URL for a PostNuke site. In the future, please do some checking
> before making such claims.
I apologize again, I was not aware of this early fork of phpBB and the
history of it, and the site referenced from debianhelp was some weird
By the way, there is no problem in the current content being GFDL, in my
opinion, since the GFDL gives _more_ rights to all readers than they
would have if the forum contents were not under the GFDL. One should
keep in mind that usually on mailinglists and forums, no copyright
arrangements are made, and thus all posts are copyrighted by their
respective authors, and nobody has the right to reproduce them outside
of the regular copyright law arrangements regarding fair quoting and the
Currently debianhelp _forces_ posters to supply their comments under the
GFDL, but it is of course free to any author to dual-license their text
under both the GFDL and, let's say, the GPL. I see no legal issues in
dropping the requirement to license any future contribution under the
GFDL, and to merge efforts. Note that on forums.debian.net there is also
some text licensed under the GFDL, and since this provides extra rights
to readers, rather than restricting the rights they have, I have no
objection to that.
By the way, as an interesting point, from a legal point of view, the
GFDL would make it perfectly legal and in the spirit of the GFDL itself
to just copy all content to forums.debian.net, provided possibly that I
make sure to make clear that the texts copied are GFDL'd. Note that I do
not consider such copying without agreement from the debianhelp admin an
option for reasons of common courtesy, 'rude' would be the least way to
call such an action.
Jeroen van Wolffelaar
Jeroen@wolffelaar.nl (also for Jabber & MSN; ICQ: 33944357)