This page is an overview for choosing a new license for

wiki specific constraints

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).
  2. Choose a Public domain-like license. C. Allow relicensing
  3. or, Do copyright attribution to (actually, to Debian project), so one just have to mention that the work comes from our wiki. (There are probably legal issues here).

  4. 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

    [ 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.

  • ?Anchor(MIT)


    [ 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.



    [ BSD] License ([ 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 : [ 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.([ wikipedia]).


    CC0 Waiver

    Creative Common's [ CC0 Waiver] ([ wiki]; [ 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 :


    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.

    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