Managing a Wiki--what license should I use? Also, (c) issues?

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I've recently started up my own public Wiki, and am wondering whether I
should license the information found there.  For instance, Wikipedia
uses the GNU Free Documentation License, which states that the text is
free for anyone to use, as long as the license is reproduced along with
the text used.

What are arguments, for or against, licensing the information contained
in the wiki?  What is dis/allowed when no license is expressly applied?
 What other licenses are there besides the GNU license?

And what about copyright?  This is a separate issue, isn't it?  Who
owns the copyright on an article--me, the person with whom it
originated, or all the contributors?  Or nobody?

Finally, what legal issues might someone be faced with when managing a

I know, I know.  Go ask a lawyer.  I'm not looking for any definitive
answers here, though, just a bit of a direction to go in.


Walter Gildersleeve
Freiburg, Germany


Re: Managing a Wiki--what license should I use? Also, (c) issues?

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If you go the GNU license route then you are saying that anyone can use your
content on their website (provided presumably they have a suitable statement
of where they got the content from).

The bottom line is: Do you want other people to be able to take your content
and use it on their website? Yes or no?

Sorry, can't advise about other types of license.

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Re copyright, normally I would have thought (but I'm not a lawyer) that it
resided with the author of the artical. However, that's not likely to be an
issue for you because they are giving it to you (so implicitly they are
saying you can use it). It might be an idea though to include a statement to
the effect that any content may be reproduced elsewhere blah blah.

Just my best guesses. Hope it helps.
Brian Cryer

Re: Managing a Wiki--what license should I use? Also, (c) issues?

NullBock wrote:

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For simplicity's sake, you might want to use the license chooser from
Creative Commons: /

They also provide explanations of some of the other quick-pick licenses
(see the left-hand column).

Kim André Akerĝ
(remove NOSPAM to contact me directly)

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