On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 11:49:15 +0100, Jure Spik <webdesign(a)carpediem.si> wrote:
Our company wishes to use a wiki to create a user-browsable database of law
regulations, best practices and other accounting material. I tried to read
the GPL but I find it incomprehensible :S
From what I've read I think I should not use
material that must not be
changed so can Laws be published on a wikipedia or is it
Also, am I allowed to display banners on the wiki ?
Thank you for your advice,
The GPL only applies to the use and modification of the program and
its source code. It has no effect on the kind of content that can be
hosted on a site running the MediaWiki software.
Wikipedia itself licences its content under the GFDL, so that the
encyclopedia articles themselves are licenced to be used in various
ways by anyone who so wishes - obviously a law that fell under a more
restrictive copyright would not be compatible with that. But there is
no compulsion to use the same licencing arrangement just because you
use the same software - if you set up your own wiki installation, you
are as free to choose its copyright status as you would be for any
Similarly, you are free to modify the software in any way you so wish,
such as to accomodate banners or interface changes. Here, the GPL does
have an effect - IANAL, but this is my understanding: if your site is
publically accessible, the exact nature of your changes to the core
software must also be made public, since the GPL forbids you to have
users who cannot build further on your changes. Basically, if you
improve on the work given freely by others, you have to give your
improvements equally freely.
Hope this clarifies things a little.
Rowan Collins BSc