Ubuntu Wiki to be re-licensed to CC BY-SA

Elizabeth Krumbach lyz at ubuntu.com
Tue Feb 15 22:04:42 UTC 2011

The license of content of the Ubuntu Wiki has always been publically
listed as copyright Canonical Ltd. Working with the Ubuntu Community
Council, Canonical has decided to transition the content in the Ubuntu
Wiki to the the CC-BY-SA license[1]. This license is a free culture
license[2] and is the same license used both by the Ubuntu
Documentation wiki [3] since 2007 [4] and by Wikipedia.

If you are happy with the idea of this transition for the content you
have provided, you do not need to do anything. If you have problems or
issues, please read the feedback section below and contact us.

The rest of this message provides a rationale, details, and
information on providing feedback.

= Decision =

After discussion among the Ubuntu Community Council, it has been
decided that the material on the Ubuntu wiki should be licensed under
a free license, CC-by-SA[1]. The Ubuntu wiki will be changed to make
this clear to those creating or editing pages, and of course external
links from the Wiki to material 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 wiki
complies with the same standards of openness as the Ubuntu project as
a whole.

= Rationale =

The Ubuntu 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 content 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 content may be shared by
many teams without complex licensing issues, ensuring that those
working on content can concentrate on producing the best information
possible rather than legal negotiations.

Furthermore, consistent with Ubuntu's philosophy, it is important that
material created for use on the Ubuntu wiki be available for other
communities outside ours to benefit from. Using an open license on the
Ubuntu wiki allows other communities to re-use material which may be
useful to them under terms which are widely recognised in the free
software community.

= 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 lists.ubuntu.com>. Given that
the re-licensing of http://help.ubuntu.com/community was fairly
uncontroversial and since the aim to re-license the Ubuntu wiki at
some point later has not brought up any objections, we hope that
contributors will welcome it.

In the absence of a substantial number of objections, this change will
be made to the Ubuntu wiki after approximately one month.

More details can be found here:

Many thanks for your contributions to the Ubuntu Wiki, and we hope
that you will continue to help!

= Exceptions =
If you want to license a code snippet on the wiki under another open
source license [5], please specify the relevant license in the snippet
itself. In the event that no license is specified, the license
applicable to the code snippet would be the same as that applicable to
any other material on the wiki.

[1] See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
[2] http://freedomdefined.org/Definition
[3] http://help.ubuntu.com
[4] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2007-April/000275.html
[5] http://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses

Elizabeth Krumbach // Lyz // pleia2

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