Consider adding license information to wiki contents?

Bastien Nocera hadess at
Fri Apr 13 10:48:42 UTC 2018

On Fri, 2018-04-13 at 11:40 +0100, Thomas Kluyver wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 13, 2018, at 10:11 AM, Daniel Stone wrote:
> > Sorry for the lack of reply, I've been quite busy lately. I also
> > don't
> > have a great answer for you. We cannot post-hoc enforce a licence
> > on
> > content: anything that is there is copyright to the actual author.
> > We
> > can enforce a licence on new content, but relicensing the existing
> > content is quite a time-consuming process: first finding who wrote
> > it
> > in the first place, and then getting in contact with them. The
> > former
> > is difficult because we have moved from twiki -> MoinMoin ->
> > ikiwiki,
> > in most cases losing history. We can find the history, but it takes
> > a
> > lot of time. Secondly, this content dates back in some cases to
> > 2004,
> > and contacting people after 14 years is notoriously difficult.
> I have seen other projects tackle relicensing by *attempting* to
> contact all contributors and explicitly giving some timeout - "if we
> don't receive any objections in a month, we'll go ahead". This seems
> like a sensible compromise - most people don't care about the
> licensing of two sentences they wrote on a wiki five years ago.

This isn't how copyright works, sorry.

If you think those 2 sentences are trivial, replace them. You now have
copyright on those. If you think that some contribution is trivial
(say, a typo fix), you need to show that it is trivial and therefore
that there's no copyright claim for that change.

Even assuming good faith, relicensing people's work when you've failed
to contact them isn't how relicensing works. It might be how you
protect yourself in court though...

> Of course, finding the list of contributors and valid email addresses
> for each one would still be quite a lot of work, but that strategy
> makes it a manageable amount rather than a crazy amount.
> Is the history from the previous wiki systems preserved somewhere?
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