1 Which license?
See also this giant list.
GFDL is more convenient if we wish to import material from Wikipedia. Most Haskell library code is available under BSD. Opinions? —Ashley Y 01:14, 9 January 2006 (EST)
I think the content has to be such that it is easy to add things to Haskell implementations and libraries. As fptools and GHC are under the BSD3 license having the wiki with a more restrictive license can create problems. --EinarKarttunen 03:12, 9 January 2006 (EST)
There's a quick discussion of the various licenses at LWN.
I'll just note that if we start with a very liberal license, it can be tightened later. If we start with a restrictive license, there is no such option (short of contacting every author (or their heirs), and having them agree to it).
I don't care much for the FDL, it is too complex, and it's hard to grok how to deal with invariant sections, authorship (you are required to list at least five for derived works) etc.
I notice it is possible to interpret the wiki as a collection of independent works (see Udo Stenzel's recent post on the haskell list) - which wreaks havoc on any scheme requiring attribution. If so, I agree PD is probably less hassle.
(Of course, this assumes we are in a jurisdiction where PD is a meaningful concept - this excludes at least some European countries. I can't imagine this being a problem in reality, but perhaps there should be a textual note with a bit more detail?)
I've never heard of OPL, but have heard of the others, so perhaps OPL is too obscure. I would go for either public domain or BSD. Perhaps multiple licenses are appropriate, public domain, BSD, GPL and GFDL - if everything is licensed under all of them then everyone will be happy.
--NeilMitchell 07:06, 9 January 2006 (EST)
I vote for public domain. I'm no license expert but I basically think that code in public manuals and the like should be completely free of any type of restrictions. You want to include it in your open-source app? Fine! You want to include it in your comercial multi-million dollar application? Fine! It's not like a wiki page will include large quantities of truly valuable intellectual property anyways, so less probably is more here. Why make it more complicated than it needs to be when it's likely it will have little or no practical consequences? Like someone said, if something is more restrictive then it can be flagged as such, or linked from the wiki to some other location. --SebastianSylvan 13:02, 9 January 2006 (EST)
Why not dual license under GNU FDL and BSD? Wouldn't that take care of most code- and documentation-reuse issues?
There is some relevant discussion here. I would vote for using public domain by default, but it should be very easy to specify a more restrictive license using the wiki markup.
I've later changed my mind on this issue. I think that a single, mandatory, and exeedingly permissive license would be the best solution. As for worries about the incompatability of wiki-ism and moral rights in some countries, I believe that the nature of wiki edit history makes it irrelevant. It is impossible to deface the work done by any person because it is trivial to find out (a) who made the original work and (b) who modified the work and exactly what they changed.
This concern is especially invalid in the case of code snippets published to the wiki because: "Moral rights do not cause difficulty with computer software licenses, because civil law countries have made special statutory exceptions where, absent agreement to the contrary, an author may not object to the modification of a software work by a grantee who has acquired the right to adapt the work. (Source: French Copyright Law revision of July 3, 1985, art. 46. See Ginsburg, Reforms and Innovations Regarding Authors' and Performers' Rights in France: Commentary on the Law of July 3, 1985, 10 Colum.-VLA J.L. & Arts 83, 90 (1985))" (cited from: "Public domain." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 Jan 2006, 02:50 UTC. 11 Jan 2006, 13:27 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Public_domain&oldid=34701571>)
For BSD we have to be careful, as there are a couple different versions floating around, with various levels of utility. Public domain has the issue that it doesn't disclaim warranties, and that's a little bit extra peace of mind it would be nice to have. I'm not sure I see a need for reproduction of copyright notices, so perhaps a Simple Permissive license is the way to go.
2 Public Domain straw poll
Should we switch the license to public domain?
- Yes, or BSD —Ashley Y 15:17, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes --NeilMitchell 13:28, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes, or BSD/CC-AT —Twanvl 13:30, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes, or BSD —CaleGibbard 13:45, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes, or BSD --EinarKarttunen 13:47, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes --SebastianSylvan 15:57, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes, or anything GFDL-compatible -- EricKow 16:49, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- Yes, John Meacham
- Yes, or [New BSD License], to let people from e.g. Germany contribute Arthur van Leeuwen Updated Wed Jan 11 10:06:19 CET 2006
- No — BSD (pref. w/out attribution clause) Jeremy O'Donoghue 14:30, 10 January 2006 (GMT)
- Yes, or BSD --Oc 09:42, 10 January 2006 (EST)
- No, two-clause BSD, or a simple permissive with a disclaimer of warranty. --Aaron Denney
- No, go for a simple permissive licence instead --Malcolm Wallace
- No, go for a simple (very) permissive license. -- Wolfgang Jeltsch 15:31, 11 January 2006 (EST)
Just to clarify, this would mean by contributing, you agree to release everything to public domain with no option to reserve any rights. —Ashley Y 14:18, 9 January 2006 (EST)
Wouldn't that forbid contributions by anyone who can't put things in the public domain? It's not clear that you can do so in the USA, for example. Further, it would mean we couldn't use code from more strictly licensed sources, such as the Haskell 98 Report or the GHC documentation. Neither could we post snippets of the common Haskell libraries as material for discussion. —Brian Sniffen
- What licenses do the Haskell 98 report and the GHC documentation use? —Ashley Y 15:52, 9 January 2006 (EST)
Couldn't the copyright notice say "All content is considered to be in the public domain unless stated otherwise" or something like that? So if someone posts something which is BSD, they just say "The following code is made available under the BSD license". --SebastianSylvan 16:02, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- And then you'll have little bits of the wiki available under different licenses. Someone might take my little snippet of code, modify it, turn it into GPL, and then I can't use my original snippet.--NeilMitchell 16:45, 9 January 2006 (EST)
- This is just untrue. no one can take away your rights to use something you wrote. it is just not possible. just like you can't be forced to release something under the GPL because you incorperate GPL code, you will be forced to remove the GPL code, but your code is always yours no matter what. (short of a legal sale of the copyright) (says User:JohnMeacham)
- I think that's a highly unlikely scenario. A large part of this discussion is pointless. Most of the content will be original, and it is unlikely that any authors will bother tagging their contribution under a more restrictive license. In the rare case that we want to use something which isn't in the public domain (and we can't get the author to release it as such) we'll tag it with its license. --SebastianSylvan 17:29, 9 January 2006 (EST)
3 "Public domain by default"?
OK, so the current consensus seems to be "public domain by default":
- The copyright statement:
- "Content is in the public domain, except where noted on the page"
- The contribution warning (see bottom of any edit page):
- "Please note that all contributions to HaskellWiki are considered to be in the public domain, unless you clearly mark otherwise on the page (see Project:Copyrights for details). If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here. Material marked as copyrighted is particularly liable to deletion.
You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource. DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!"
Opinions? Tweaks? Alternate options? —Ashley Y 13:22, 10 January 2006 (EST)
Would mandatory public domain be preferable? —Ashley Y 16:54, 10 January 2006 (EST)
- Sounds good to me. Maybe "public domain" could be a link to a page where it says something more explicitly ("Do what you want, but don't bug me!", but more eloquent). Useful for countries where "public domain" is a tricky issue perhaps?--SebastianSylvan 17:09, 10 January 2006 (EST)
- OK, I'll set this up tomorrow unless there are objections. I'll mark existing pages as copyrighted (unknown copyright for those that have been copied, and GFDL for the new ones), and encourage the people who wrote them to release them to the public domain. —Ashley Y 19:30, 10 January 2006 (EST)
- If you [SebastianSylvan] want to remove the problems for users in such countries (which is a good thing :-) ), I'd propose to not use the term „public domain“ at all. Just use a license which in effect says: „Do what you want but don't bug me.“ AFAIK, licensing a work under such a license is different from not licensing it at all (public domain). -- Wolfgang Jeltsch 15:31, 11 January 2006 (EST)
- Not licensing it at all is the same as "all rights reserved", i.e. not giving anyone any license. What we want is a maximal license to the public, which is similar to the public domain. —Ashley Y 18:10, 11 January 2006 (EST)
Simon Peyton-Jones thinks it should be a mandatory license instead. Poll:
4 Mandatory/Optional license straw poll
Should the wiki be mandatory public domain (i.e. all contributions must in the public domain) or optional public domain (i.e. contributors can explicitly mark pages as being under another license)? —Ashley Y 01:13, 11 January 2006 (EST)
- mandatory (weak preference) —Ashley Y 01:13, 11 January 2006 (EST)
- mandatory for whatever license is decided, other content can be linked to and hosted elsewhere. --Aaron Denney
- mandatory then my brain can loose "legal thoughts" as soon as I get to haskell.org (a very good thing) --NeilMitchell 03:29, 11 January 2006 (EST)
- mandatory but with the condition that it only applies to text in the actual markup, so images/pdfs/etc can be attached to a wiki page (I'm thinking about the Haskell definition here) under the conditions of their license. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Speck (talk).
- public domain should not be mandatory but a permissive license maybe could —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wolfgang Jeltsch (talk).
5 Simple Permissive License
I did come across the MIT license, which seems close to what people want. Here is my non-expert attempt to adapt it, removing the condition, and changing "Software" to "Work":
- Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining this work (the "Work"), to deal in the Work without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Work, and to permit persons to whom the Work is furnished to do so.
- THE WORK IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE WORK.
Better? —Ashley Y 17:30, 12 January 2006 (EST)
Seems much better to me (than public domain). --Malcolm 05:18, 13 January 2006 (EST)
Done! —Ashley Y 05:30, 14 January 2006 (UTC)