Multi-licensing situations on page text

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Multi-licensing situations on page text

Andrew Whitworth

There is a regular question on en.wikibooks that we have yet to find a satisfactory answer on. I would like to know if some people here could give us some insight on the issue.

The question is whether an individual book, or even an individual page can be cross-licensed under the GFDL and another license (such as CC-BY-SA-x.x). I know that individual contributors can release their content under a plethora of licensing schemes, but can we say that a single book is released under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5, for example? And even if we say that the book is licensed in that way, can we say that all future wikibooks editors MUST also agree to release their contributions to that book under that same licensing scheme?

The question arose earlier as to whether an individual book could be entirely released into the PD, although we've already decided that this isn't really possible.

Would it be more reasonable to say that "XX version of this page, when uploaded originally, was cross-licensed under GFDL and YY. Future revisions of this page are only GFDL, but it is possible to copy, distribute, and fork XX version under an alternate license as well, just not on this server."?

Also, so long as we are talking alternate licensing schemes, how much of a pain in the ass would it be to try and change the licensing scheme for an entire site, such as en.wikibooks? Would it even be possible, or is it something that should have been dealt with at the very beginning and cannot now be changed? Is it something that we could say "all pages are released under the GFDL, but all pages after XX date are also released under YY license"?

--Andrew Whitworth
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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Oldak
On 19/11/2007, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> There is a regular question on en.wikibooks that we have yet to find a satisfactory answer on. I would like to know if some people here could give us some insight on the issue.
>
> The question is whether an individual book, or even an individual page can be cross-licensed under the GFDL and another license (such as CC-BY-SA-x.x). I know that individual contributors can release their content under a plethora of licensing schemes, but can we say that a single book is released under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5, for example? And even if we say that the book is licensed in that way, can we say that all future wikibooks editors MUST also agree to release their contributions to that book under that same licensing scheme?
>
> The question arose earlier as to whether an individual book could be entirely released into the PD, although we've already decided that this isn't really possible.
>
> Would it be more reasonable to say that "XX version of this page, when uploaded originally, was cross-licensed under GFDL and YY. Future revisions of this page are only GFDL, but it is possible to copy, distribute, and fork XX version under an alternate license as well, just not on this server."?

Derivative works must be licensed with both licenses if the original
work is covered by both licenses. GFDL and CC-sa licenses require that
derivative works are licensed with the same license (or a different
version of the same license). Two licenses covering one work doesn't
change the conditions of either license and isn't a reason to take the
requirements of either license less seriously - both licenses must be
carried across to derivative works.

> Also, so long as we are talking alternate licensing schemes, how much of a pain in the ass would it be to try and change the licensing scheme for an entire site, such as en.wikibooks? Would it even be possible, or is it something that should have been dealt with at the very beginning and cannot now be changed? Is it something that we could say "all pages are released under the GFDL, but all pages after XX date are also released under YY license"?

Because GFDL requires derivative works to be similarly licensed and
because Wikibooks doesn't hold the copyright of any of its contents
(the contributors do), you cannot un-GFDL Wikibooks unless you have
the agreement of *every* contributor. It may be possible to introduce
a policy whereby all new edits after a certain date are dual-licensed,
but this would be inelegant, problematic and constricting.

Hope this helps.

--
Oldak Quill ([hidden email])

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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Robert Rohde
On Nov 18, 2007 5:48 PM, Oldak Quill <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 19/11/2007, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > There is a regular question on en.wikibooks that we have yet to find a
> satisfactory answer on. I would like to know if some people here could give
> us some insight on the issue.
> >
> > The question is whether an individual book, or even an individual page
> can be cross-licensed under the GFDL and another license (such as
> CC-BY-SA-x.x). I know that individual contributors can release their
> content under a plethora of licensing schemes, but can we say that a single
> book is released under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5, for example? And even if
> we say that the book is licensed in that way, can we say that all future
> wikibooks editors MUST also agree to release their contributions to that
> book under that same licensing scheme?
> >
> > The question arose earlier as to whether an individual book could be
> entirely released into the PD, although we've already decided that this
> isn't really possible.
> >
> > Would it be more reasonable to say that "XX version of this page, when
> uploaded originally, was cross-licensed under GFDL and YY. Future revisions
> of this page are only GFDL, but it is possible to copy, distribute, and fork
> XX version under an alternate license as well, just not on this server."?
>
> Derivative works must be licensed with both licenses if the original
> work is covered by both licenses. GFDL and CC-sa licenses require that
> derivative works are licensed with the same license (or a different
> version of the same license). Two licenses covering one work doesn't
> change the conditions of either license and isn't a reason to take the
> requirements of either license less seriously - both licenses must be
> carried across to derivative works.


This is false.  It is a license not a contract.  To create a legitimate
derivative work, the author of the new version must have a legal right to do
so.  To accomplish this, he only needs to invoke one of the two licenses.
Hence a derivative work need only be covered by one of the two prior
licenses.

As a matter of policy, a wikiproject could hypothetically require that all
pre-existing licenses be carried forward, but this would be a project issue,
not a legal one.

-Robert Rohde
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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Oldak
On 19/11/2007, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Nov 18, 2007 5:48 PM, Oldak Quill <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On 19/11/2007, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > There is a regular question on en.wikibooks that we have yet to find a
> > satisfactory answer on. I would like to know if some people here could give
> > us some insight on the issue.
> > >
> > > The question is whether an individual book, or even an individual page
> > can be cross-licensed under the GFDL and another license (such as
> > CC-BY-SA-x.x). I know that individual contributors can release their
> > content under a plethora of licensing schemes, but can we say that a single
> > book is released under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5, for example? And even if
> > we say that the book is licensed in that way, can we say that all future
> > wikibooks editors MUST also agree to release their contributions to that
> > book under that same licensing scheme?
> > >
> > > The question arose earlier as to whether an individual book could be
> > entirely released into the PD, although we've already decided that this
> > isn't really possible.
> > >
> > > Would it be more reasonable to say that "XX version of this page, when
> > uploaded originally, was cross-licensed under GFDL and YY. Future revisions
> > of this page are only GFDL, but it is possible to copy, distribute, and fork
> > XX version under an alternate license as well, just not on this server."?
> >
> > Derivative works must be licensed with both licenses if the original
> > work is covered by both licenses. GFDL and CC-sa licenses require that
> > derivative works are licensed with the same license (or a different
> > version of the same license). Two licenses covering one work doesn't
> > change the conditions of either license and isn't a reason to take the
> > requirements of either license less seriously - both licenses must be
> > carried across to derivative works.
>
>
> This is false.  It is a license not a contract.  To create a legitimate
> derivative work, the author of the new version must have a legal right to do
> so.  To accomplish this, he only needs to invoke one of the two licenses.
> Hence a derivative work need only be covered by one of the two prior
> licenses.
>
> As a matter of policy, a wikiproject could hypothetically require that all
> pre-existing licenses be carried forward, but this would be a project issue,
> not a legal one.

Still thinking about our hypothetical GFDL and CC-by-sa dual-licensed
document, even if the CC-by-sa license is used to "invoke" the right
to a legitimate derivative work, this work will still have derived
from a GFDL-licensed document and would also have to be licensed under
the GFDL. At least, this is my impression of licensing and I may be
wrong.

GFDL and CC licenses are independent of each other. One can't be
chosen for a derivative work (and the other dismissed) if the original
was licensed under both. Both licenses require that any derivative
works must be licensed under the same or a similar license (GFDL and
CC licenses are too dissimilar to be considered "similar licenses",
and can't be substituted for each other).

--
Oldak Quill ([hidden email])

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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Oldak
On 19/11/2007, Oldak Quill <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 19/11/2007, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Nov 18, 2007 5:48 PM, Oldak Quill <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > On 19/11/2007, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > There is a regular question on en.wikibooks that we have yet to find a
> > > satisfactory answer on. I would like to know if some people here could give
> > > us some insight on the issue.
> > > >
> > > > The question is whether an individual book, or even an individual page
> > > can be cross-licensed under the GFDL and another license (such as
> > > CC-BY-SA-x.x). I know that individual contributors can release their
> > > content under a plethora of licensing schemes, but can we say that a single
> > > book is released under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5, for example? And even if
> > > we say that the book is licensed in that way, can we say that all future
> > > wikibooks editors MUST also agree to release their contributions to that
> > > book under that same licensing scheme?
> > > >
> > > > The question arose earlier as to whether an individual book could be
> > > entirely released into the PD, although we've already decided that this
> > > isn't really possible.
> > > >
> > > > Would it be more reasonable to say that "XX version of this page, when
> > > uploaded originally, was cross-licensed under GFDL and YY. Future revisions
> > > of this page are only GFDL, but it is possible to copy, distribute, and fork
> > > XX version under an alternate license as well, just not on this server."?
> > >
> > > Derivative works must be licensed with both licenses if the original
> > > work is covered by both licenses. GFDL and CC-sa licenses require that
> > > derivative works are licensed with the same license (or a different
> > > version of the same license). Two licenses covering one work doesn't
> > > change the conditions of either license and isn't a reason to take the
> > > requirements of either license less seriously - both licenses must be
> > > carried across to derivative works.
> >
> >
> > This is false.  It is a license not a contract.  To create a legitimate
> > derivative work, the author of the new version must have a legal right to do
> > so.  To accomplish this, he only needs to invoke one of the two licenses.
> > Hence a derivative work need only be covered by one of the two prior
> > licenses.
> >
> > As a matter of policy, a wikiproject could hypothetically require that all
> > pre-existing licenses be carried forward, but this would be a project issue,
> > not a legal one.
>
> Still thinking about our hypothetical GFDL and CC-by-sa dual-licensed
> document, even if the CC-by-sa license is used to "invoke" the right
> to a legitimate derivative work, this work will still have derived
> from a GFDL-licensed document and would also have to be licensed under
> the GFDL. At least, this is my impression of licensing and I may be
> wrong.
>
> GFDL and CC licenses are independent of each other. One can't be
> chosen for a derivative work (and the other dismissed) if the original
> was licensed under both. Both licenses require that any derivative
> works must be licensed under the same or a similar license (GFDL and
> CC licenses are too dissimilar to be considered "similar licenses",
> and can't be substituted for each other).

Sorry Robert, I was wrong about this. A post at cc-licenses mailing
list (http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/2005-May/002265.html)
cleared things up. So only original works can be dual licensed, and
derivatives have to be licensed under either GFDL or CC-by-sa and
_cannot_ be licensed under both?

--
Oldak Quill ([hidden email])

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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Katie Chan
On Mon, 2007-11-19 at 02:37 +0000, Oldak Quill wrote:
> Sorry Robert, I was wrong about this. A post at cc-licenses mailing
> list (http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/2005-May/002265.html)
> cleared things up. So only original works can be dual licensed, and
> derivatives have to be licensed under either GFDL or CC-by-sa and
> _cannot_ be licensed under both?

IANAL.

Even if one or both license require you to license any derivatives work
under that particular license (or later version), that does not prevent
you from re/dual-licensing a derivative work taking a different license
as base as long as your re/dual license is the same license (or later
version if allowed). You can think of it as having two branch of work
available, one is license (say) under GFDL, and one CC. They just both
happen to have the same exact content.

In practise, you would of course have to have every editor from the
beginning agreeing to release under both license. If any single editor
release only under one, the work would then be only under that one
license, any derivative work can't then be under the other license.

KTC

--
Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
  - Heinrich Heine

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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
When you have it as one of the conditions of use for a website, the notion
of having the content available under two licenses is a given. These two
licenses do not have to be really similar. For instance in OmegaWiki we have
a combined CC-by and GFDL license. Many people do not stop whining about
their GFDL while they typically are not aware that it is not a license that
was even meant for projects like Wikipedia. It was the best that was
available at the time. For many applications the GFDL prevents cooperation
and consequently a lot of material does not come available under a much more
liberal license like the CC-by.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On Nov 19, 2007 8:12 AM, Kwan Ting Chan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 2007-11-19 at 02:37 +0000, Oldak Quill wrote:
> > Sorry Robert, I was wrong about this. A post at cc-licenses mailing
> > list (
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/2005-May/002265.html)
> > cleared things up. So only original works can be dual licensed, and
> > derivatives have to be licensed under either GFDL or CC-by-sa and
> > _cannot_ be licensed under both?
>
> IANAL.
>
> Even if one or both license require you to license any derivatives work
> under that particular license (or later version), that does not prevent
> you from re/dual-licensing a derivative work taking a different license
> as base as long as your re/dual license is the same license (or later
> version if allowed). You can think of it as having two branch of work
> available, one is license (say) under GFDL, and one CC. They just both
> happen to have the same exact content.
>
> In practise, you would of course have to have every editor from the
> beginning agreeing to release under both license. If any single editor
> release only under one, the work would then be only under that one
> license, any derivative work can't then be under the other license.
>
> KTC
>
> --
> Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
>  - Heinrich Heine
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
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> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>
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Re: Multi-licensing situations on page text

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Oldak
Oldak Quill wrote:
> Still thinking about our hypothetical GFDL and CC-by-sa dual-licensed
> document, even if the CC-by-sa license is used to "invoke" the right
> to a legitimate derivative work, this work will still have derived
> from a GFDL-licensed document and would also have to be licensed under
> the GFDL. At least, this is my impression of licensing and I may be
> wrong.

You can actually do both. You can license under GFDL *OR* CC-BY-SA, or
under GFDL *AND* CC-BY-SA (the latter provided that the licenses are
compatible, which may or may not be the case). In the first case a
derivative work may be under either of the licenses, or again under both
of them. In the second, it would have to be under both.

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