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

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 02:01:57 UTC 2007

On Nov 18, 2007 5:48 PM, Oldak Quill <oldakquill at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

This is false.  It is a license not a contract.  To create a legitimate
derivative work, the author of the new version must have a legal right to do
so.  To accomplish this, he only needs to invoke one of the two licenses.
Hence a derivative work need only be covered by one of the two prior

As a matter of policy, a wikiproject could hypothetically require that all
pre-existing licenses be carried forward, but this would be a project issue,
not a legal one.

-Robert Rohde

More information about the foundation-l mailing list