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Re: Debian Wiki license.

On Sun, 2008-03-02 at 19:39 +0000, Jon Dowland wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 03:15:21AM +0100, Franklin PIAT wrote:
> > I have the impression that since wiki.debian.net was moved to
> > http://wiki.debian.org in 2004, It has never had a valid
> > "/copyright.html" page.
> > (because that page was static on wiki.d.net, but wiki.d.net had a catch
> > all redirect to *.org, so the copyright wasn't ever served)
> > 
> > If that was confirmed, may be we could apply the (www.)debian.org
> > license to the Wiki ? (inherit ??)
> > 
> I do not believe we can apply any new license to existing material
> without getting permission from each contributor. In some cases we have
> anonymous edits so we won't be able to contact the authors.
I'll try to rephrase my question :
If someone can confirm that the page wiki.debian.org/copyright.html
never existed, could we consider that the license of http://debian.org
was the one applicable to the wiki at that time ? (based on the fact
that wiki.debian.org is a child domain of debian.org).

I ask because I think it might be very convenient to have the same
license for www.d.o and wiki.d.o.
That's probably a question for debian-legal.

> We could fix *future* edits. If we made it so that you could only submit
> an edit if you agreed to license your content under a license (like
> wikipedia do with the GFDL); then all new pages would be ok, at least.
Yes. It's just a matter of clarifying previous license, then may be
choose a new one.

If you could work on this, that would be useful.

> We would still need to track which pages were from before we implemented
> a new scheme.
A small script should do.

Later, we could then ask people to re-license their contributions.
(and automatically tag pages accordingly)

> Take, as an example, <http://wiki.debian.org/Maintainers>. I created
> this page initially (and Anibal has greatly improved it) and opted to
> stick the "GPLv2" copyright on the bottom. The reason I did this was the
> maintainers scheme was relatively new, the procedure was having wrinkles
> ironed out, and so things changed quite frequently: a wikipage was ideal
> for keeping track of what was happening. However, at some point the
> procedure will settle down and the package documentation will need
> updating. When this happens, that documentation can be derived directly
> from the wiki-page.
IMHO, It's reasonable to use per-page license in this case (like Debian
Reference does).
Such page should states that they are meant to be distributed outside
the wiki.

> I did not want to wait for the wiki copyright situation to be resolved
> before doing this.
If we choose a new license, then we could tag the new pages with it, 
and ask everybody to use the same single new license.

> > I'm just sure of one thing : Having a discussion on a wiki is insane ;)
> > Wikipedia has no other choice, because of their business 
> > model... but Debian has mailing lists.
> I think in some cases a "summary of discussion" page could be useful.
> I've often thought that a page tracking a particularly large thread on
> -devel would be handy
I agree (Wikis have replaced former Usenet FAQs).


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