LQWiki:License Proposal

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The current objective of the LQ Wiki is to create the "largest general Linux knowledgebase on the web". To meet this goal, I think we'll need to embrace the fact that the Open Source community consists of documentation that is under multiple licenses. I am proposing that we add the ability to add GFDL content to the LQ Wiki. On a technical level, we'd do this by adding a GFDL namespace. All GFDL content would go here, while the main namespace would remain 100% CC by-sa. Of course, no mixing of content would be allowed. I'd like to get community feedback on this proposal before we implement this. Thoughts? Jeremy 12:00, Aug 13, 2005 (EDT)

It seems worth a try. Since CC-by-sa is the preferred license, how about one namespace for all content that's under other marginally-acceptable licenses? We can make templates to identify a page's specific license. That would probably work better than creating a new namespace for each one. Being in a separate namespace would be a big clue that the article's license isn't preferred, and the license-identification templates could have a link to a page explaining that fact (in addition to describing the license). --Yath 12:27, Aug 13, 2005 (EDT)
I'm in favor of having a separate namespace for each license. This will help us easily identify which license an article in under, will make it clear to the article editor which license any content they use must be licensed under, will help prevent the mixing of licenses and will make exporting article by license easy. I think having a single namespace for all non-CC licenses would quickly get too confusing, and we'd also lose the ability to decide which licenses are indeed acceptable. Jeremy 13:39, Aug 13, 2005 (EDT)
Can you clarify whether you feel these non-CC-by-sa-licensed articles would be considered second-class articles, present only for completeness, or would the wiki simply be supporting several licenses simultaneously? If it's the latter, namespaces shouldn't be used for articles at all. That would put the article's license right in the title and be needlessly distracting. --Yath 16:57, Aug 13, 2005 (EDT)
They would not really be second class per-se. In the end, CC by-sa would be "preferred", but not in a way that diminished other content. At first, the only two licenses allowed would be CC by-sa and GFDL. It's absolutely not needlessly distracting as it's imperative that content with different licenses never mix. Just having everything lumped together would not be manageable IMHO and would almost be negligence, as it would seem to encourage breaking the license. Jeremy 17:20, Aug 13, 2005 (EDT)


We've gone ahead and made the change. More information is available in the LQWiki:Copyrights article. As always, feedback is appreciated. Jeremy 10:28, Aug 17, 2005 (EDT)

I do find this a bit confusing. Ofcourse, first of all the GFDL itself already is confusing :). Specially when applied to wiki-like pages (what to do with titles, network location, invariant sections and cover texts, but IANAL ;). But I'm more concerned with that it now could be possible to have 2 pages with the same topic/name in both namespaces, which would be very confusing.It seems this is mainly aimed at allowing wikipedia content to be copy-pasted (which personally I don't find very usefull, just linking to it sounds much more usefull to me).As for the first page in this new namespace, GFDL:Changelog, why is this GFDL? AFAIK (but IANAL ;p), quoting is allowed and covered by fair use. These 2 lines are already a proper quote (with a proper attribution link, well the external link does need the 'www.' removed to work, but I'm a bit hesitant to alter GFDL documents :).I think the other content on the page could just be CC by-sa licensed. Also, this namespace should really only be used when an actual large wikepedia page is copied and altered to be more aimed at linux, otherwise the page should just be altered at the wikipedia site.Jor 12:39, Aug 17, 2005 (EDT)
Thanks for the feedback. This isn't really about just copying Wikipedia content (I agree - that's not necessarily particularly useful). It's about acknowledging that a lot of Linux and Open Source documentation out there is not under a CC license. Excluding all that content seemed to be against our stated goal. This will have to go through a sort of testing phase to see how it works out and I agree that the potential for confusion is there. Jeremy 14:43, Aug 17, 2005 (EDT)