Sun Sep 13 00:35:17 NZST 2009
more edits to login and vote in favour of relicensing at
Any other legal fine points which I raised in my previous message are
nothing more than mere fine points, given the lack of viable alternatives.
My previous message described the lack of alternatives at some length.
Although somewhat awkward, much of the free software world rightly prefers
licensing documentation and content similar to the wiki under the GPL.
The default DokuWiki content license, CC-BY NC SA, is a configuration
option in DokuWiki which was never examined by the Koha project for
configuring differently. The license is not compatible with the GPL. The
use of that license is essentially an accident of installing DokuWiki and
not examining all the configuration options.
If the matter is left uncorrected, it could hold back the project in
future. Please vote.
The remainder of my reply is inline:
On Thu, October 8, 2009 15:03, MJ Ray wrote:
> Thomas Dukleth wrote:
>> I have a very brief examination of the history of the difficulty and a
>> proposed remedy for the ambiguity of the ballot question.
> I think that the email was not very brief.
Sorry for my poor wording. I had intended to state only that my treatment
of the history was fairly brief but that is still a relative term.
> It seems unhelpful to send
> a ~2000 word essay late in the process.
I needed to make comment when I had the opportunity to think well on the
matter. Lack of updates to the wiki page had confused me about when the
issue would be put forward again and I do sometimes miss some comments in
IRC meetings. I know that others have also missed some of my comments
during meetings in the past.
My main goal was to quickly encourage clarity on the ballot and not to
disrupt the process in any way. I think that if the ballot question is
posed with complete clarity as it is now there is no problem.
My secondary goal was to present an argument at length about why I believe
that an affirmative vote on the ballot question is the best solution
> I asked for wikis to be GPL in the general
> meeting on 2005-05-21, before the main one moved to Dokuwiki. I feel
> that the Koha community was paying attention, but wasn't careful
> enough then and now we are dealing with the consequences.
I applaud your early attention to the issue. I know that it is difficult
to persuade others to pay attention to such issues to avoid issues such as
license compatibility problems.
>> 2. AMBIGUITY OF LICENSING QUESTION.
>> There is no precise question on the wiki relicensing ballot. Do we mean
>> GPL 2 invoked with the or later clause as with the Koha code itself?
> Yes, that is what we mean. The ballot has been updated. That was
> mentioned in yesterday's meeting, so an attendee mentioning it here
> too seems a bit strange.
I believed that I knew what was meant but the ballot had previously
referred to a history of the matter without a simple clear question which
seemed ambiguous to me.
>> I suppose that we could rearrange the words to something like following
>> which program and software have been substituted in a way which reads
>> in English.
> No. The wiki is software and program is a word defined in the GPLv2.
> It seems like an unnecessary risk to replace them with more ambiguous
> words like "content".
This issue is awkward but one in which free software communities should
have no real problem.
The document content created by the users of a program is usually not
considered part of the program nor a derived work of the program, and
therefore, not necessarily covered by the same license as the program
itself. In the case of a wiki, I can see an argument that the formatting
and arrangement of the content might fall under the license for the wiki
program itself. In any case, the concern is significantly about reuse of
the content outside the wiki and possibly divorced from factors which
would have been a necessary product of the wiki program itself.
The data vs. code distinction is recognised by the DokuWiki developers.
DokuWiki code is available under GPL 2 but not under a CC license.
However, the default license for content and designated as such as set by
the footer license option is CC-BY NC SA, which is not compatible with the
GPL and the basis of our problem. GPL is not even available as a
configuration option for the content license appearing in the footer,
therefore, we will have to modify the DocuWiki code or add a custom
template to provide a GPL 2 or later statement for the footer.
>> [...] We ought to seek legal advise about such matters. [...]
> Feel free.
Seeking legal advice on such matters is a good idea in future but because
of the data vs. code aspect of this issue I doubt it would inform us of
anything significant that we do not already know to manage for the
relicensing process. I think that it was inappropriate for me to raise
the issue of seeking legal advice at this stage to inform us of answers
which we can anticipate. I tried to explain in my previous message that
the answers which we could anticipate on this issue would not be likely to
Again, I urge those who have contributed a page or 5 or more edits to
login and vote in favour of relicensing the Koha wiki content under GPL 2
or later at http://wiki.koha.org/doku.php?id=relicensing from 9 -11
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