Ivor wrote (originally on the London list, but I feel this is more
applicable on the dev list):
I feel we need some kind of statement on the London
site of the copyright
status. [E.g "]All material on the site http://openguides.org/london
I'm sorry to say I don't like this approach at all. I don't want to impose
this kind of copyright on anyone - who enjoys writing material only for it to
instantly become someone else's property? Also, since the legal status of
"OpenGuides" is shadowy at best, I don't think that would make a very good
On the other hand, I *do* want a compulsory licence for material on the
site. My current favourite is the GNU Free Documentation Licence, as used
by Wikipedia, which states:
The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other
functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom...
Actually, this isn't just my current favourite; it's been my favourite for
over a year. I'm also interested by the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial license, because I quite like the idea of
forbidding for-profit redistributions, but that focuses more on
free-as-in-beer than free-as-in-speech. It's my opinion that the Wikipedia
usage of the GNU FDL is the most appropriate thing I've seen to date.
I wonder if we should consider a copyright statement
on the site, and a
? message on each page (via the template of course).
There should without question be a link to the license in each page's
footer, and a message on the editing template as well. I reproduce here the
message you see when editing a Wikipedia page.
Please note that all contributions to Wikipedia are considered to be
released under the GNU Free Documentation License (see
Wikipedia:Copyrights for details). If you don't want your writing to be
edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here.
You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from
a public domain or similar free resource. DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK
If we decide on a licensing scheme, then it won't be troublesome to
incorporate it into the distribution. However, I am not at present sure
whether the matter of licensing should be decided centrally - namely, by us,
and imposed as a condition of being part of the OpenGuides network - or on a
per-site basis by each site's staff. Thoughts?
Applying a licensing scheme to the existing sites - particularly London -
will be a little more problematic. For each, any and all copyrighted
material must be firstly located, and then either excised, have permission
gained from the copyright owners for usage of it or left in place if it is
felt that it falls under "fair usage". We will also have to provide the
option for authors of material on the site to withdraw what they have
written if they are not willing for it to fall under the licensing scheme.
For this, I suggest announcing a "grace period" of one month, after which
time the license will apply to all pages.
On the topic of copyrighted material, for things such as photographs,
which tend to be embedded in pages but continue to exist as someone else's
property - for example, the photograph on the London site's "Calthorpe
page - we may have to modify the license to specify an exception for
specially marked materials belonging to other persons.
- link to Google archive of my Grubstreet
list post on May 21 2002. (Kake, will this archive ever come back?)
# Earle Martin http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?EarleMartin