OMG wiki license

Jon Phillips jon at
Sat Jan 27 12:26:39 CET 2007

On Thu, 2007-01-25 at 16:21 +0100, Harald Welte wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 25, 2007 at 07:29:47AM -0500, Richard Franks wrote:
> > then there is no copyright issue as the contributors have implicitly
> > put their words into the public domain?

This is not true and for sure in the US, where the instant someone
contributes, their contribution is governed under copyright.

> Public domain only exists in the UK/US common law countries. 
> I for example, as a German citizan, cannot put something into the public
> domain - unless my copyrigt expires some decades after my death.

Yes, this is a murky area. I agree with Harold. However, public domain
does not apply to this.

> So, yes, I firmly believe it is problematic to copy that old content
> into the new official wiki.

Yes, this is true. And, we need to correct this somehow. I will outline
below. Basically, the problem with the current temp wiki is that there
is no license declaration, which means the content is controlled by
copyright of each author. To make it more problematic, there is no
required login, so it is very difficult to track these authors down.

Thus, there are a few possibilities, that we can weigh in on.

1.) restart the wiki using GFDL 1.2 license and delete the current
content. Then, the authors who created the previous content can login
and add this content that they created to the wiki (which can be
compared via diffs). And, all content from that point forward would be
licensed under GFDL 1.2, as long as that statement is on every single

2.) Make a relicense agreement which would require every single person
who has contributed to sign (which is also very unlikely because we
don't have the full capability to match nonlogins (only IPs are
recorded) with names. Thus, this type of agreement would be nearly

I think the best step is #1, with a complete deletion of the old content
on the wiki and the authors who have contributed can go back through the
wiki and re-add the content that they added that is an original
contribution and not a derivative of an old work. The most important
part is that there needs to be a license declaration for the GNU FDL 1.2
license on every page.

What do you all think about this? Yes, this sucks, but it is better to
set a time to do this and just do it.

There is another option suggested of authors, when the time to move over
content to the official wiki comes, then authors move their own
contributions over. This is problematic because authors have made
derivatives of others works and certain contributions are dependent on
others. However, there haven't been than many additive contributions, so
I still think #1 above is the best option.

Harold and others, what do you think? At least that way, not all is
lost ;(

If you all agree, lets set a time, say SAT 27th, 11:59 PM PST to delete
and note the license on the wiki pages to restart this. I can do the


> The official wiki will, in the spirit of Wikipedia (and for
> compatibility) be using GFDL 1.2.

Yes, then I think the temp wiki should use GFDL 1.2 license as well so
content can move over to the new one.


> Cheers,
Jon Phillips

San Francisco, CA
USA PH 510.499.0894
jon at

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