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  A. Choose a specific license.
  B. Triple license under [#MIT], [#CC-BY] and [#GFDL] so it's compatible with most license.
 A) Choose a Public domain-like license.
 C) Allow relicensing
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 A) Triple license under [#MIT], [#CC-BY] and [#GFDL] so it's compatible with most license
 B) use [#CC-BY] 3.0 ''wiki specific'' feature.
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 * http://wikispot.org/Choosing_a_License
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 * ''Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a XXX License'  * ''Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a XXX License'' (see CC website)

This page is an overview for choosing a new license for wiki.debian.org.

  • ?TableOfContents(2)

wiki specific constraints

  • As opposed to usual documents, wiki pages are usually made of lots of tiny contribution. Therefore the traditional notion of author probably doesn't apply as usually.

  • Content should be moved to official material (website, packages, etc..). Preserving the history of contribution (Attributing the work) on the new repository isn't (always) possible.
  • Right to delete stuffs (actually, this is more an internal rule issue than a license issue).

Possible strategies

  1. Relicense the wiki, with a license that handles properly the fact that a wiki page doesn't have a single author, but lots of contributors (Therefore, it's difficult to give credits). A) Choose a Public domain-like license. C) Allow relicensing
  2. or, Do copyright attribution to wiki.debian.org (actually, to Debian project), so one just have to mention that the work comes from our wiki. (There are probably legal issues here). A) Triple license under [#MIT], [#CC-BY] and [#GFDL] so it's compatible with most license B) use [#CC-BY] 3.0 wiki specific feature.

Desired features

This table summarize the desired features for the new license.



















[#Allow Derivative]






[#Allow commercial]



















Redistribution :

Allow to redistribute the content in various forms (raw, html, pdf, encrypted...) and on various media (packages, cd). This feature is Required.


Allow Modification :

Allow modification by others (add and remove). This feature is Required.


Allow derivative works :

Allow Debian derivative distribution to use the document. Allow to reuse content in package Documentation, etc. This feature is Required.


Allow commercial use :

Allow commercial Debian derivative to reuse the material. This feature is Required.

  • Debian has commercial derivatives. we want those distribution to be allowed to use our documentation.
  • ?Anchor(Attribution)

    Attribution / Give credits :

    Not required or _not_ wanted.

  • Even thought we actually want to give credits / attribute a work to it's original author, I believe it isn't possible to guarantee that all work attribution will be preserved over time. Furthermore, the actual name of the author isn't always known). Finally the number of contributors for a given page can make it .

  • ?Anchor(Share_Alike)

    Share Alike :

    Preserve the license on copies. This feature is wanted.

  • However this doesn't apply except for [#PD PD] where it doesn't apply.
  • Proposed licenses

    Here are some proposed licenses for the wiki.


    GFDL 1.2

    [http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/fdl.html GFDL] 1.2 License ([wiki:DFSGLicenses Debian DFSG], [wiki:GNU_Free_Documentation_License Wikipedia])

    Attribution :
    The GFDL really focus on attribution, which is a feature we don't want that much.
  • http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel_talk:Why_Wikitravel_isn%27t_GFDL

  • ?Anchor(MIT)


    [http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php MIT] License ([wiki:DFSGLicenses Debian DFSG], [wiki:MIT_License Wikipedia])

    Attribution enforced :

    Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders> [..] The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies However it also says or substantial portions of the Software.



    [http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php BSD] License ([http://www.freebsd.org/copyright/freebsd-doc-license.html FreeBSD] copy, [wiki:?DFSGLicenses# Debian DFSG], [wiki:BSD_licenses Wikipedia]).

    Attribution enforced :

    Copyright (c) <YEAR>, <OWNER> ; All rights reserved. [..] Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.


    Public Domain

    Public domain interpretation : [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/ Creative Commons], [wiki:Public_domain Wikipedia].

    Implicit public domain don't allow duplication :

    [..] The distribution of many types of Internet postings (particularly Usenet articles and messages sent to electronic mailing lists) inherently involves duplication. The act of posting such a work can therefore be taken to imply consent to a certain amount of copying, as dictated by the technical details of the manner of distribution. However, it does not imply total waiver of copyright.([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain#.28Almost.29_everything_written_down_is_copyrighted wikipedia]).


    CC0 Waiver

    Creative Common's [http://staging.creativecommons.org/licenses/zero/1.0/ CC0 Waiver] ([http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CCZero wiki]; [http://creativecommons.org/press-releases/entry/7919 Press-release]) is a protocol that enables people to either assert that a work has no legal restrictions attached to it or waive any rights associated with a work so it has no legal restrictions attached to it (quote ).

    Notes :

    • Basically, CC0 is meant to be a world-wide Public Domain.
    • CC0 is currently (2008-08) a draft, but rumors says that it should be released by the end of the year.


    Home made "allow relicense" license

    Create a home made license which allows to reuse the contents in a another work without giving explicit credits to original authors, if it's under any DFSG compatible license.

    • Pros : Probably what wiki.d.o contributors want.
    • Cons : Yet another ugly home made license.

    See also:

    Sample wiki licenses

    • Does [#PD] and [#CC0] actually allows to reuse some content in a work in a different License (In order to implement that work in any existing documentation).
    • Does any [#allow-relicense] license exists ?
    • License for images, icons, diagrams, snapshots ?

    Implementation ideas