Consider adding license information to wiki contents?

Thomas Kluyver thomas at
Sat May 5 17:00:28 UTC 2018

I also stole about 30 sheets of toilet paper from a hotel a few weeks ago. Please, someone explain property law to me!

More seriously, it's clear that my proposed solution is not going to fly, because we're taking copyright Very Seriously. Since we are taking copyright Very Seriously, there are two problems:

1. No-one can copy code samples from the wiki, or redistribute specifications or anything, because they don't have a license. This is what the thread was originally about, and it seems like a pretty major flaw for a body making interoperability specifications for open source software.
2. Whoever runs is violating all the contributors' copyright by redistributing the content they created, because you're not asked to grant a license when you edit the wiki.

Is anybody interested in fixing this? Do we even have a record of who edited what before the wiki was migrated to its current form?

If you think we can live with the ambiguous copyright situation as it is, then you weren't really taking copyright law Very Seriously, you were just picking an argument with me for trying to suggest a solution.


On Sat, May 5, 2018, at 3:29 PM, Thomas U. Grüttmüller wrote:
> On 13.04.2018 13:11, Thomas Kluyver wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 13, 2018, at 11:48 AM, Bastien Nocera wrote:>
> >> This isn't how copyright works, sorry.
> > 
> > Thanks, I was aware of this. No, it doesn't strictly adhere to 'how copyright works', but realistically, people who contribute to a freely available wiki about open source software are not going to sue you for putting an open source license on it.
> People might change their view on free software.
> People might also die, and their rights will be inherited by their heirs.
> > It's not even clear what they'd sue for: you can't lose revenue on wiki content that is already accessible at zero cost.
> It does not matter. Copyright violation is a criminal offense, just like 
> trespassing or slander. It does not matter for it to be forbidden, if 
> the victim suffers financial damage or not.
> > As I said, this is something I have seen projects do. The Ubuntu wiki underwent relicensing in 2011, for instance, with the wording in an email:
> > "In the absence of a substantial number of objections, this change will be made to the Ubuntu wiki after approximately one month."
> This is dangerous for re-users of the work, because they rely on the 
> license, but the license is invalid. So, without knowing, the re-user 
> will do a copyright violation and might be sued.
> Thomas
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