Licensing of the Ubuntu Documentation Wiki

Matthew East mdke at
Sat Apr 7 11:11:07 BST 2007

I've sent the following email to all persons who are registered as
having edited the Ubuntu documentation wiki. Since I've had quite a few
bounces, I'm sending it to some mailing lists as well.

Dear Contributor to the Ubuntu Wiki,

You may recall we emailed all contributors to the Ubuntu wiki some time
ago asking for views on a potential change of the Wiki copyright policy.

This email is sent to you to inform you of the outcome of that
consultation process and the resulting change to the licensing policy on
the documentation wiki.

NOTE: this change applies to the documentation wiki only, at, and not to the Ubuntu development
wiki at In the future we will be considering
the scope for a similar change to be made to the Ubuntu development

= Decision =

After discussion among the Ubuntu Community Council and an initial
consultation period, it has been decided  that new material on the
documentation wiki should be licensed under a free license, CC-by-SA[1].
The documentation wiki will be changed to make this clear to those
creating or editing pages, and of course external links from the Wiki to
documentation under other licences will continue to be welcome.

This decision is not intended in any way to underestimate the value of
contributions, but rather to ensure that the material on the
documentation wiki complies with the same standards of openness as the
Ubuntu project as a whole.

[1] See

= Rationale =

The documentation wiki is a collaborative resource, and the product of
the Ubuntu community as a whole. Its content, put together by many
contributors with different knowledge and points of view, is immensely
valuable to us all. Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no clear
definition of what rights contributors to the documentation retain over
the material that they post, or the extent to which other persons are
entitled to copy or modify the material. For example, it would be very
useful to ensure that community contributed documentation may be copied
into documentation in the Ubuntu distribution without complex licensing
issues, ensuring that those working on documentation can concentrate on
producing the best documentation possible rather than legal

= Feedback =

We would again like to make a good-faith attempt to ensure that
contributors of existing material are happy with this change. We invite
any contributors who have any questions or concerns about this plan to
contact us at <community-council at>. Given the
consultation that has already taken place in relation to this change, we
hope that the vast majority of contributors will welcome it.

In the absence of substantial numbers of objections, this change will be
made to the documentation wiki after approximately one month.

More details can be found here:

Many thanks for your contributions to the Ubuntu documentation, and we
hope that you will continue to help!
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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