OpenWetWare talk:Copyrights

From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search

Alternative license options for images

  • Reshma 15:02, 21 October 2006 (EDT): Apparently Wikipedia allows you to choose alternative licenses for uploaded files. Perhaps we should enable this as well to permit folks to choose licenses. This would be helpful for posting openaccess papers and patent PDFs (which have different licenses from "regular" OpenWetWare content). It would also enable OWW users to post preprints of their own papers under a license of their choice.

GFDL/Creative Commons

I want to check that we are legally allowed to copy GFDL text (like Wikipedia) on to OpenWetWare (See It's not clear to me because as we are dual-licensing and we don't have the copyright to the Wikipedia article, does that mean technically we can't relicense it under Creative Commons also?

  • RS 16:33, 5 April 2006 (EDT): You're not allowed to use GFDL material on OpenWetWare. All works that use material copyrighted under GFDL, also have to be copyrighted under GFDL. So putting it on OWW and implying that it can be reused under Creative Commons is wrong. Now that being said, I doubt we'll have too much of a problem in practice since in spirit the GFDL and Creative Commons license we chose are similar, if not in letter. Someone correct me if I have this wrong.
  • There is an effort, in progress, to unify GFDL and CC-BY-SA. If this effort succeeds, it will be possible to legally use Wikipedia content at OWW. --Await 23:58, 14 August 2006 (EDT)

Dual licensing

Moved here from OpenWetWare:Ideas/IdeasArchive.

Sasha has requested we consider dual licensing OWW. Currently, all OWW pages are under the creative commons copyright (look on the lower left hand corner) that stipulates attribution and share-alike. Wikipedia and other wiki's such as FreeBio are on the GNU Free Documentation License. There is also a more understandable explanation of the copyright. What I am not completely clear on what the differences between these two licenses are and the specific advantages/disadvantages to either one. Any thoughts? --Sri Kosuri 19:12, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)

  • I suggest that since we have relatively easy access to experts in this area (i.e. John Wilbanks and Hal Abelson), we consult with them. There may be some legal ramifications to dual licensing that we don't know about. --Reshma 20:02, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)
  • I have emailed John Wilbanks and Hal Abelson about this issue. (I have been discussing it with Drew, Randy, John and many other people at FSF, Wikipedia and Creative Commons for several months now.) Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is visiting MIT next week, so, maybe we can also include him in the discussion. It is very much in the spirit of Wikipedia to both use the Wikipedia software (mediawiki) and make our content compatible with Wikipedia! In the short, to medium, term that means using GFDL only or using GFDL and CC-BY-SA (as a dual license). Wikipedia has a huge number of edits (many of them anonymous), so, it's much more difficult (or even impossible) for them to re-license. --Await 00:37, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
  • I like the Creative Commons license because of the search functionality it facilitates since it is machine-understandable. My understanding is that GFDL does not have these machine-readable capabilities? Or is that wrong? Thus, I would be in favor of dual-licensing over relicensing to GFDL. Of course, I am not sure if conflicts will arise if we try and dual license. That would be one question that we should consult with people about. --Reshma 10:30, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
    • Let me second the importance of a machine readable license Endy 10:45, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
  • I was hoping for clarification on the two specific and related questions listed below. --Sri Kosuri 17:42, 23 Sep 2005 (EDT)
    1. Why can't you just take content from OWW currently and post it up on another wiki? Currently, OWW is under a CC share-alike attribution license (which, I believe, has the same rights reserved as the FDL? correct?). So as far as i could tell, it has the same effect.
    2. What specific rights are we protecting or giving up with the FDL versus the CC license? Why are they "incompatible"?
They both require to redistribute the works under the same license that was granted to you. With dual licensing, you can accept only one of the licenses and therefore choose to redistribute the works under only one of the licenses. Say OWW grants two licenses: a CC license and the GFDL; it becomes possible to transfer material from OWW to Wikipedia without asking the authors since the GFDL license grants you this right and Wikipedia redistributes its contents under the terms of the GFDL. But you cannot redistribute the contents of Wikipedia articles at OWW under the CC license unless the authors of the article agree to do so. --MartinJambon 21:24, 18 December 2005 (EST)

Creative Commons (CC) and GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) - fighting brothers

It seems to me the creators of CC and GFDL have similar aims. Yet the two license complicate the work of free information projects like openwetware and wikipedia. To give you an example, I just talked to Rick Watson of the globaltext initiative. That's an attempt to bring free textbooks to everybody esp. to developing countries. Their legal advisors suggested CC. Now, they cannot use the great work done at wikibooks which is GFDL, since they would have to ask every single author to change the license from GFDL to CC. The duplication of free licenses works against their own intentions of free distribution.

Anybody got any news on the unification of the two, mentioned above?

Jakob Suckale 10:12, 4 October 2007 (EDT)

Found this quote from a transcript of the Wikimania 2006 at
"The first job that Larry put forward, which is the unification of the CC‐by‐sa license and the FDL, is, I think, practically attainable." that's Eben Moglen talking; Jakob Suckale 10:21, 4 October 2007 (EDT)

Nagging problems w/ copyright

Steve Koch 13:25, 24 October 2007 (CDT):I don't know the answer to these problems, but want to post a few issues I have with copyright that hamper my ability to use OWW for various purposes:

  • Lecturing. One course I teach is Physics 102, which is physics for non-scientists. My first year teaching it, I showed a lot of videos, images, applets from around the web. I can't simply upload these slides, because of copyright issues (though sharing w/ limited audience via WebCT should be fine, I think).
  • Lab. Within a lab, we routinely post PDFs of articles or give powerpoint talks w/ copyrighted images. On the private wiki, there isn't any problem with copyright.

I guess these both fall into the realm that it's very common to share copyrighted material with colleagues and students. When doing privately (email or private website), I think this falls under "fair use," but if posting to OWW would exceed fair use. Though I'm not a lawyer. I am sure OWW has discussed this issue, but figured I'd post my experiences now while I'm thinking of them.