Contents license is not the same as source licence

BrunhildaBrunhilda wrote on 25 Jan 2010 17:50

OK, I hope that this is the right place, because I am pretty lost here in this forum.

In December, it was announced that all fee sites will have only one licence: Creative Commons Share-Alike license. After revisiting all discussions on the subject, I realized that all those disucssions were about the source of the wikis, and not about the content. Paradoxically, when you limited the license of fee sites, you limited the license not only to source, but to a content, too. And I think that this brings a lot of unnecessary problems.

I am ok with limiting the license of the site source. You will allow me to copy something that I already wrote:

Wikidot gives you a site for free, and everything you do with its syntax, design, CSS, source, etc, stays under the same licence as Wikidot sites: meaning, anyone can copy, change it and use it according to his own needs, because you did the same with Wikidot site.
I will give you an example of my site: My site is so beautiful and functional only because of Wikidot features and unselfish help other Wikidot members gave me. As a matter of fact, I don't have any moral right to keep my site source away from public view, because it is a result of a team work. Therefore, I am always glad to help the others when I see they have similar problems, and I have a ready made code for them. I always offer them my code to copy it or to use it in whatever way they want. Because I do not own that code, it is not my code, it belongs to all Wikidot users.

But, one site is not only its design, CSS, modules, sources. It is also its contents. And the contents someone puts on it are only his. It is fair to let people to decide by themselves what license they would like to put on their contents.

On the other hand, in this thread in Community site, Shane was generously offering to a free member to be MA of a site for him, so the guy can put the license he wishes. I think that this can be only a workaround, but not a real solution. And this is because of the following:
1. Someone like Shane can find himself in a situation to become a MA of dozens of sites whose subject he is not intereseted in, or even whose language he does not understand. But anyway, he must control those sites so he make sure that everyting is according to the law and Wikidot ToS, since HE is a MA and therefore, he is the responsible one. Imagine I ask him to be a MA of a site in Serbian. And I tell him it is a site for Serbian immigrants to other countries, where I think to put news, dates of gatherings etc. But in fact, I make a chauvinistic site full of hate speech towards Croats, Albanians, etc. which directly breaks not only Wikidot ToS, but also the law. What are the chances that innocent and naive MA gets to know what is going on in the site he is responsible of?

2. Maybe this first example was too extreme, but anyway, it is enough that someone makes a site that goes against the personal convictions of MA, and we have a problem.

3. Now let's see from the other angle: I am a free user, and I want to make a site like mine, or maybe like kawina's that is about some old sources on Portugese and Brasilian literature, or maybe with my photos, I am a photographer, and I want to make my personal site. Since the free site license is as it is, the only thing I can do is to go to Shane and ask him to be a MA of my site. This means that I have to trust to a person that I don't even know, meaning that it is HE and not I who has the last word about anything in this site. Providing that MA is a good person and will not do anything what will put in danger my work, there is still another possibility: Shane, for any reason, has to leave. Or cannot/doesn't want to pay his Pro account anymore. He cannot host my site anymore. So, I have to look for another MA, or become myself MA. Or pay. I think this is too much uncertainty and workaround for someone who has just landed to Wikidot, and probably, as he doesn't know anything about Wikidot, he would probably think it is the same as all other wiki farms, and he will go to the other wiki farm who lets him to determine the license for his contents. Therefore, this license makes Wikidot lose possible users, even before they get to know what amazing things he can have at Wikidot, that no other wiki farm can offer.

Therefore, I think that maybe there should be two licenses. One for the source, the other for the content of the site.

The license for the source is ok. This one you already have. As I already said, a user is already given something under the free license, and anything he makes of it, must be licensed with the same license.

But a user should have the possibility to chose one of many Creative Commons licenses that exist. I would not limit the number, because any of CC licenses will do. But only for the content.

PS:One thing more. If you want this license you have now to be effective, then you should remove the possibility to hide bottom commands. Because, the possibility to make those commands invisible to others is blunt infringement of the license…

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