Last modified: 2011-03-13 18:05:18 UTC

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Bug 1386 - Page Licenses/Copyright notices
Page Licenses/Copyright notices
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Page editing (Other open bugs)
All All
: Lowest enhancement with 1 vote (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
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Reported: 2005-01-23 01:37 UTC by David Cornelson
Modified: 2011-03-13 18:05 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description David Cornelson 2005-01-23 01:37:51 UTC
I know many wiki's seem to be struggling with licenses and copyright and I came up with what I 
think is an elegant solution.

On the first edit of an Article, have another text box for "License or Copyright Notice" and a 
checkbox for [ ] Public Domain  [ ] Copyright. The default would be PD. If the user enters text 
into the textbox, the Copyright checkbox is set. On submit, the copyright text gets saved in the 
database with the username of the author. This would only be available for logged-in users. All 
other Articles would get set as Public Domain.

So then at the top of that page, the license is mentioned at the top of the page saying something 
like "This Article is copyrighted. See {link} for details."

Only the original author would be allowed to change the copyright, but the contents would be 
editable. In the case of a byline author, all future edits are considered gifts to the byline 
author. In the case of a collective license, like one of the Creative Commons licenses, each person 
that edits the article is responsible for signing it and agreeing to the license. (If they don't 
then they're giving away their rights).

So a MediaWiki wiki could then allow PD and licensed content in a shared environment without any 
legal hassles.

Even if someone could write up a list of things that would need to be changed, I could probably 
jump into the code myself. Maybe this could be an extenstion or something.
Comment 1 Robert Horning 2005-07-29 10:14:08 UTC
Some copyright licenses don't "allow" you to change the status in a manner like
this.  Article copyright status is more of a Wiki-wide issue anyway, and
something that should be covered as part of the overall Wiki organization.

If, for instance, you change the copyright status of an article from GFDL to
Public Domain, and another author has contributed, you would have to essentially
"go back" and revert to earlier content before the new user made changes.  I see
some ugly consequences to allowing a change of this nature, and certainly the
"original" author does not nor should have any precedence to any other
contributor.  If they were the "only" author, such a license change might be
permitted legally.  Image and media copyright status is a little more flexable,
but is not usually modified by user in the same manner that text on a Wiki is
Comment 2 David Cornelson 2005-07-29 14:15:35 UTC
I actually already modified my version of mediawiki (IFWiki.Org) to implement a License tab. It's 
worked fine so far even though only a handful of people have used it. Only the original author has 
access to the License tab. If someone were to try to move material in and out of various licenses 
and cause problems, we'd just boot their material off the wiki. So far, no problems.
Comment 3 Rob Church 2006-03-27 20:35:38 UTC
Don't see a widespread need for this. As someone commented above, licencing
issues are sorted when the wiki is created. If this is desired, someone can hack
it in or write an extension.

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