MultiCopyrightWiki

You have a TargetGroup. Within this group are people who want to have their text CopyLeft or PublicDomain. There are also people who want to give away the minimal copyrights necessary to contribute. There are people somewhere in the middle. Copyright is a HardSecurity LegalSolution, making compromise impossible. Yet, you need to choose a copyright policy, or else stumble into a CopyrightTrap.

Therefore, create a MultiCopyrightWiki (cf MultilingualWiki). Implement as two ParallelWikis, with NearLinks and TwinPages. For example, CommunityWiki and MeatballWiki.

People who prefer PublicDomain will be satisfied by the provision of a CopyLeft site together with PrimarilyPublicDomain tags. People who want to give away minimal copyrights will be satisfied by default copyright plus some sort of ClosedAuthor? tag.

Moving content between wikis is a challenge. Obviously permission may be sought and granted. We hope there'll be lots of GluePeople who grant permission for all their words to be used in both wikis. Alternatively ideas may be rewritten to move between wikis. However, the plentiful use of NearLinks renders this unnecessary in 99.9% of cases, so there's very low overhead. The copyleft side can also license all its text to be moved to the default copyright site, as CommunityWiki does for meatball.

By allowing people to choose their copyright policy, you provide a strong defense against copyright-related divisiveness, without weakening the community to forks in general. Cf EnlargeSpace, DefendAgainstPassion.


Emails I sent

I sent the following two emails to GNU and CC. I encourage others to send them comments, also, so that the organizations feel that this is a significant enough issue to bother thinking about:

Hello,
  I'm sure you've heard this before, but I'd like to add my voice to
let you know that some communities I'm involved in are having problems
with the incompatibility between the GFDL and CC licenses. It sure
would be nice to be able to have a document that can accept content
from both GFDL and CC sources, and also donate content to both GFDL
and CC sources.

I would recommend that new versions of the GFDL and at least the CC
by-sa license be issued which each allow the license to be converted
to the other.

For more context, I am involved with some wikis which want to produce
and use open content. One wiki (CommunityWiki) triple-licenses all
content so that it will be maximally reusable. (see
http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/community/CommunityWikiLicense). GFDL
and ShareAlike are two of the three licenses. We
figure that this way any content we create will be able to be adopted
by either GFDL or ShareAlike sites. But it prohibits us from adopting
any content from almost anywhere.

Another wiki (WikiTravel) has chosen the CC by-sa license because they
feel the GFDL is too restrictive for the wiki environment.

(http://www.wikitravel.org/article/Wikitravel:Why_Wikitravel_isn%27t_GFDL)

However, this prohibits them from importing content from WikiPedia,
the GFDL wiki encyclopaedia, which is a shame as it is pretty likely
that no WikiPedia contributors would have wanted that outcome.


Thanks,
  bayle

One rather different usage scenario for open content licenses is
wikis.

* Wikis allow contributors to edit each others' words.

* A wiki often ends up being a joint work of massive collaboration;
hundreds of people may have contributed to the work. Sometimes,
hundreds of people may have touched a single paragraph.

* Often, contributions are made anonymously.

* On some wikis,
it is permitted on a wiki for someone to erase the signature on signed
text, making the text anonymous.

* Often, wikis consist of many distinct "pages". It is desirable to be
able to share individual pages without significant copyright legalese overhead.

* Each page may be
modified hundreds of times a year. Often, it is impractical to keep a
complete change history, or to require the change history to be
transmitted with the document.


We've been having discussion on wikis and trying to figure out which
licenses are best for us, but perhaps these discussions could benefit
by some review by someone who actually knows about law.

For example,
it seems to some of us that the GFDL's changelog maintainance
requirements are too strict for wikis (although WikiPedia, one of the largest
wikis in the
world, disagrees); but often we want to make the text available to other
GFDL sites. What is the appropriate wording for a license that makes
contributions to the site available under both the GFDL and a CC
license, while not forcing the wiki site to maintain a changelog according
to the GFDL's terms?


In general, we just want to be able to take content from one Open
Content wiki site and copy it to another one.

Ideally, we want our
content to be available to other sites, whether CC or GFDL, and we
want to import content from either CC or GFDL.


More discussion on open content licenses for wikis may be found at the
following sites:

*
http://www.wikitravel.org/article/Wikitravel:Why_Wikitravel_isn%27t_GFDL
* http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/community/CategoryCopyright
* http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?CategoryCopyright


Thanks,
  bayle

Here's a response from the FSF:

> For example,
> it seems to some of us that the GFDL's changelog maintainance
> requirements are too strict for wikis (although WikiPedia, one of the 
> largest wikis in the world, disagrees); but often we want to make the 
> text available to other GFDL sites. What is the appropriate wording for 
> a license that makes contributions to the site available under both 
> the GFDL and a CC license, while not forcing the wiki site to maintain 
> a changelog according to the GFDL's terms?

A changelog doesn't need much detail.  Something as simple as the
following would work:

"Morx Fleem: a suspense novel", 2003, JohnSmith, published on foo.com
"Morx Fleem: a suspense novel", 2004, anonymous, published on foo.com

I guess this could even be stored on a per-site, rather than per-article
basis. (It's a good idea for Wikis to keep history anyway).

But if you really don't want changelogs, then a dual-disjunctive CC-sa /
GFDL with exception (to remove section (4)(K)) would meet your needs.  
-------
This is Free Documentation, released under the terms of the GNU Free
Documentation License, with the following exception:

    Section (4)(K) is stricken from the license.

Alternatively, the contents of this file may be used under the terms
of Creative Commons's ShareAlike license, in which case the provisions
of the CC-SA license are applicable instead of those above. If you
wish to allow use of your version of this file only under the terms of
the CC-SA license, and not to allow others to use your version of this
file under the terms of the GFDL, indicate your decision by deleting
the provisions above and replace them with the notice and other
provisions required by the GFDL. If you do not delete the provisions
above, a recipient may use your version of this file under the terms
of either the CC-SA license or the GFDL.
----

> In general, we just want to be able to take content from one Open
> Content wiki site and copy it to another one. 
> 
> Ideally, we want our
> content to be available to other sites, whether CC or GFDL, and we
> want to import content from either CC or GFDL.

Ah, that last is the rub.  You can't import pure GFDL documents into a
site, and expect to be able to get out CC content, or visa-versa.  If
you want to have one site which mixes licenses, you'll have to track
licenses per-document.  This shouldn't be very difficult, but you'll
have to watch out for inter-document cut-and-paste.  

Unfortunately, license compatibility issues usually end up requiring
extra work.  All I can suggest is to use the most standard license
available for the sort of work you're doing, and to remember that it's
even harder over in proprietary land.


-- 
-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF

WikiPedia, one of the largest wikis in the world, disagrees

Actually, it doesn't. Various folks have suggested novel interpretations of our terms and the GFDL to get around the apparent need to have an accurate VersionHistory. Many Wikipedians have expressed the view that, were we to StartAgain, we'd choose a different license: probably ShareAlike. --MartinHarper

The FDL is a fundamentally flawed, overly complex license with lots of loopholes for pedants who want to get their way instead of working with the community. --ErikMoeller on Wikipedia-l mailing list

Open licenses. These kinds of problems with licenses are like problems with choosing technology, except copyright cannot be changed as easily. There are always bugs. Even a very MultiCopyrightWiki may not cover all cases. It may be simplest to use very open licenses that allow derivations to choose their own terms, like a BSD-style license, a PrimarilyPublicDomain license, or even a DefaultCopyright license in certain circumstances (e.g. one with a rapid and active community process to turn over content).

Community licenses. The latter case is important because it's important to note that the text does not exist by itself; it is the text-author relationship that defines copyright. Either the text can change (e.g. StartAgain and rewrite it) or the author can change, and then the copyright can change, a CommunitySolution to release content may be more effective than a LegalSolution. Discussions today often assume the author is a passive entity, at least after the initial creation of content, but that does not need to be the case, especially for a mutative environment like a wiki.

CategoryCopyright

The above text is PrimarilyPublicDomain, except for the email from Dave Turner, ironically

Which text is that, exactly? And what's the advantage of including a contribution under a different license than the CommunityWikiLicense? Don't personal-brand license notices kinda inhibit collaboration? --EvanProdromou

Define external redirect: ClosedAuthor

EditNearLinks: MeatballWiki MartinHarper ShareAlike HardSecurity GluePeople ParallelWiki TargetGroup LegalSolution MultilingualWiki PrimarilyPublicDomain MeatballWikiCopyright ErikMoeller CommunitySolution TwinPages VersionHistory DefendAgainstPassion EnlargeSpace

Languages:

The same page elsewhere:
MeatBall:MultiCopyrightWiki