[Foundation-l] Multi-licensing situations on page text

Oldak Quill oldakquill at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 01:48:31 UTC 2007

On 19/11/2007, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> There is a regular question on en.wikibooks that we have yet to find a satisfactory answer on. I would like to know if some people here could give us some insight on the issue.
> The question is whether an individual book, or even an individual page can be cross-licensed under the GFDL and another license (such as CC-BY-SA-x.x). I know that individual contributors can release their content under a plethora of licensing schemes, but can we say that a single book is released under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5, for example? And even if we say that the book is licensed in that way, can we say that all future wikibooks editors MUST also agree to release their contributions to that book under that same licensing scheme?
> The question arose earlier as to whether an individual book could be entirely released into the PD, although we've already decided that this isn't really possible.
> Would it be more reasonable to say that "XX version of this page, when uploaded originally, was cross-licensed under GFDL and YY. Future revisions of this page are only GFDL, but it is possible to copy, distribute, and fork XX version under an alternate license as well, just not on this server."?

Derivative works must be licensed with both licenses if the original
work is covered by both licenses. GFDL and CC-sa licenses require that
derivative works are licensed with the same license (or a different
version of the same license). Two licenses covering one work doesn't
change the conditions of either license and isn't a reason to take the
requirements of either license less seriously - both licenses must be
carried across to derivative works.

> Also, so long as we are talking alternate licensing schemes, how much of a pain in the ass would it be to try and change the licensing scheme for an entire site, such as en.wikibooks? Would it even be possible, or is it something that should have been dealt with at the very beginning and cannot now be changed? Is it something that we could say "all pages are released under the GFDL, but all pages after XX date are also released under YY license"?

Because GFDL requires derivative works to be similarly licensed and
because Wikibooks doesn't hold the copyright of any of its contents
(the contributors do), you cannot un-GFDL Wikibooks unless you have
the agreement of *every* contributor. It may be possible to introduce
a policy whereby all new edits after a certain date are dual-licensed,
but this would be inelegant, problematic and constricting.

Hope this helps.

Oldak Quill (oldakquill at gmail.com)

More information about the foundation-l mailing list