This is currently a draft.
Here's the announcement draft:
FROM: Debian Wiki Team TO: Debian-Devel Announce, Debian Project News SUBJECT: DebianWiki new license ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello, Currently, wiki.debian.org doesn't have a license. This is an issue as it prevents re-using and publishing the content anywhere else. ,---[ Executive Summary ]--- | | This is a proposal to switch the Debian Wiki license to Creative | Common's BY-SA, because that license is DFSG free, it is copyleft | and it is used on some major wikis. | `-------------------------------------------- Our plan goes like this: 1. Build a tool to analyse wiki contributions [DONE] 2. Write a proposal [DONE] 3. Request for review on debian-www [CURRENT] 4. Forward question and RFR debian-legal [TODO] 5. Request for comment (wiki, d-d-a, project-news) [TODO] 6. Submit a poll (doodle.com) [TODO] 7. License the content [TODO] 7a.New license for new contributions & contributors [TODO] 7b.People license their previous contributions [TODO] 7c.Show progress meter icon for each page [TODO] 8. Drop/move non-free pages after a while [TODO] Wiki constraints ================ We need to choose a license. Obviously that license should be DFSG & OSI compliant, but we also have some other constrains because it's a wiki: Lots of contributions: A single wiki page can be written by hundreds of contributors. Attributing credits to the full list of contributors isn't always practical/possible (printed media, video, screen-cast...). Re-factoring, merging and splitting pages. An important task in wiki maintenance is to refactor, rewrite, merge and split pages. This maintenance makes it difficult to attribute the work. (If one moves a paragraph from one page to another, wiki engine don't and can't reliably track the credits for that paragraph. Only the comments/changelog can be used to track it, e.g "Import foo from page bar"). The most efficient way to give credits, it's simply to link to the page history. Re-using wiki content. It should be possible and easy to re-use the content of a wiki page in various situation: software documentation, Debian manuals, release notes, printed papers, etc. Re-distributing the "source code" of wiki pages (i.e wiki markup) isn't practical, especially for printed media. Inter wiki collaboration. Sharing and synchronizing wiki pages among wikis (Debian derivatives, Upstream, Wikipedia, tldp.org...) So far, wikis have proven to be effective for collaboration _inside_ a project, but there has been no collaboration among wikis. There are probably two major reasons for that: Incompatible licenses and the lack of tools. Wikis should use the same license, so it is possible to re-use, share, import and export content among wikis. Also, we need some Distributed VCS ^W Wiki-engine with conditional paragraph and variable substitution, à la WML (Website Meta Language), but that's another story. Homepages The wiki contains some homepages, which may contain private data (email address, telephone number or personal opinions) Homepages are not meant to be redistributed. Those data may need a special statement or a different copyright/license. Admins should be allowed to modify and delete homepages. Dual license ------------ The wiki, at large, must have only one single default license: If the wiki were dual licensed, it would be almost impossible to import any content, excepted if that content were already under the same two licenses. However, we recognize that some content can't be re-licensed under the new license (because we can't get previous contributors to re-license their contributions, or because the content is *meant* to be re-used in a document under $GIVEN license,). Only DFSG-free licenses are allowed. Therefore, we plan to allow the following two exceptions: "This page is dual licensed under $WIKILICENSE and $OTHERLICENSE". and "This page is licensed under $OTHERLICENSE. New contributions since $DATE are also licensed under $WIKILICENSE". Copyleft? --------- One important argument in the debate about liberal licenses (BSD, CCZero) versus copyleft licenses (GPL, CC-BY-SA) it's that we want to be able to collaborate (branch) wiki pages with Debian upstream, Debian derivatives and other documentation initiatives. It is important for open-source movement to be able to collaborate on documentation. This collaboration _must_not_exclude_commercial_ actors of the free software movement. Those companies, even more than individual contributors, wouldn't let a competitor re-use their work in non-free material. Therefore copyleft licenses are likely to get more contributions from companies. Note: Companies publishing documentations, seems to follow one of the two following strategies: - Use a license that strongly give credits to them, like OPL, GFDL with cover-page, or CC-BY-ND. - Use a license that guarantees that the work will remain free (GFDL with no cover-page, or CC-BY-SA) None of them seems to use liberal license. Constraints summary ------------------- 1. The license must be DFSG and OSI compliant. 3. The license should allow attribution through URL and changelog. 4. The license should not impose redistribution of the source code. 3. The license should be widely used for wikis and/or documentation. Choosing a license ================== Public Domain Pros: - The content can be re-used anywhere. - No need to list authors Cons: - In many countries, one can't put material under public domain. - Don't allow importing existing material (Almost no existing content is published as PD). => REJECTED: Not international. CC-Zero Pros: - An international implementation of something like public domain. Cons: - Seems to need an explicit waiving procedure. (See CC's tool: http://creativecommons.org/license/zero/ ) - Don't allow importing material from other wikis(except content under Public-domain or CCzero). => REJECTED: Not wide-spread, no content can be imported at this time. BSD, MIT, LGPL... Pros: - Liberal license - Don't prevent re-using the content in a book or paying support. Cons: - Liberal license - Don't prevent re-using the content in a boot or paying support. => REJECTED: Not wide-spread for documentation. Don't protect contributing companies "investment" (no guarantee to remain free). OPL REJECTED: Doesn't comply with DFSG ( http://bugs.debian.org/238245 ) GPL Pros: - Copyleft - Content re-usable in GPL documentation - Use by many documentation (but we don't need to import them). Cons: - Requires to distribute "source code" alongside "compiled". (i.e provide wiki markup code alongside printed leaflet?!) - Provide a full copy of the license. (even with a leaflet!) => REJECTED: - redistribution of source isn't desired. - embedding the license isn't always practical. CC-BY-SA Pros: - Copyleft - Content re-usable in GPL documentation - Used by Wikipedia and Ubuntu - Compatible with GPL2 (which is used by some existing Debian docs) Cons: - Currently this license isn't used in Debian documentations. => ACCEPTED. Proposal ======== Based on the fact above, the license CC-BY-SA (3.0) seems to be the most suitable license as it meets all the criteria. As a reminder, the two most important criteria are 1. Choose a "free" license 2. Choose a license that is already widely used. ************ *** TODO *** ************ Questions for debian-legal - Are small contributions similar to "fair use"? - Assuming a wiki page is made of lots of small contribution. Can we consider that copying the page (all the small contribution) is a fair use of each contribution? - Does images, icons, diagrams and snapshots requires specific statements? Wiki licensing statement ------------------- * Add some statements about copyright attribution ... The Copyright attribution is done by linking to page's URL (which has a link to the revision history, with the list of contributions)... * Add some statements about homepages content: Hint, Apache license has: > 6. Trademarks. This License does not grant permission to use the trade > names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, > except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing > the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE > file. * Add some statement about content administration? This is probably not needed as it's implied in a wiki > 3. you acknowledge and agree that the site editor will have the > right (but not obligation), at the site editor's entire > discretion, to refuse to publish, or to remove, or to block > access to any content you provide, at any time and for any > reason, with or without notice. Misc Information ================ Some documentation in other projects, and their licenses -------------------------------------------------------- Ubuntu: CC-BY-SA (>=2.5) https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DocumentationTeam/License Wikipedia: CC-BY-SA (>=3.0) http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update Opensuse: GFDL http://en.opensuse.org/Legal Fedora: OPL, no clauses http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/DocsProject/Licensing/FAQ Gentoo: CC-BY-NC-SA (>=3.0) http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Creative_Commons TLDP: An aggregate of HowTos. Various licenses http://tldp.org/ Some statistics about Debian wiki: ---------------------------------- The wiki has about 6500 pages (plus 2500 deleted or merged pages). About 3500 contributors have made about 84000 editions. The top 10 contributors have contributed 23% of the words* The top 70 contributors have contributed 50% of the words* The top 440 contributors have contributed 80% of the words* The top 2000 contributors have contributed 90% of the words* The remaining contributors have contributed less than 25 words* each. *) In these statistics, words are counted in a special way (version numbers and code-names are ignored, links are ignored, etc.) [[TODO: SIGN HERE]] ----  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/  http://www.klabs.be/wiki-stats/  http://packages.debian.org/stable/wml  http://wiki.debian.org/DebianWiki/LicencingTerms/RelicensingStrategy  http://wiki.debian.org/DebianWiki/LicenseAllMyContributionGroup