[Fwd: Non-free documentation [was: Re: Ubuntu Traffic #11 -- 2004/11/05]]

Louise McCance-Price lu at canonical.com
Tue Nov 16 14:50:24 UTC 2004

Hi all

We will licence all new documentation under the GFDL.

    * Anyone who creates Ubuntu documentation can choose the license
      they want to register it under and they retain their copyright
      over their work. They can do with their contribution what they wish.
    * Contributors do need to grant Canonical Limmited a copyright
      assignment so that we can publish the content as a coherent whole
      under any licence.
    * Invariant sections was a point of discussion - if you are creating
      a document, leave out invariant sections if this is an issue.
    * Derived works will remain under the license of the originator.

Thus to answer Thomas: you retain the copyright over your contributions 
when you edit the Wiki and website but also grant Canonical a copyright 
assignment, so we can publish the work under any license.

== Traffic ==

To this end, Mako,  please could you amend our Traffic footer to read:  
"Ubuntu Traffic is created and produced by Canonical Ltd. All pages are 
copyright Canonical and freely licenced under the GFDL".

Many thanks.


> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Non-free documentation [was: Re: Ubuntu Traffic #11 -- 2004/11/05]
> From:
> Thomas Hofer <th at monochrom.at>
> Date:
> Sun, 14 Nov 2004 15:31:26 +0100
> To:
> ubuntu-devel at lists.ubuntu.com
> To:
> ubuntu-devel at lists.ubuntu.com
>Benj. Mako Hill wrote: [Saturday 13 November 2004 06:46]
>>Ubuntu Traffic is a newsletter summarizing the goings-on in the
>>Ubuntu community -- focusing on IRC and mailing list activity.
>First I'd like to say that UT and other, unrelated "Traffics" are very 
>useful services that give great insight into the various projects, even 
>to a casual observer.
>The footer of the Ubuntu Traffic page says: "Ubuntu Traffic is created 
>and produced by Canonical Ltd. All pages are copyright Canonical."
>I'm a bit disappointed that the UT is non-free - in contrast to the very 
>similar looking project "Kernel Traffic", which is licensed under the 
>I guess that UT is made by paid employees of Canonical, unlike the other 
>Traffics, which are created by unpaid volunteers. So it's 
>understandable and perfectly alright that Canonical wants to retain 
>exclusive redistribution rights. I'm disappointed only because it makes 
>me wonder if Canonical's commitment to free and open source software 
>extends to documentation and things like the bug database as well.
>To summarize my observations and questions:
>1. At least *some* documentation created by Ubunutu is non-free.
>2. Who owns the bug database? Can I mirror/fork it?
>3. Do I retain the copyright over my contributions when I edit the Wiki?
>4. The Wiki as a whole seems to be non-free - I can't find any licensing 
>information beside of Canonical's copyright notice. A non-free wiki is 
>an absolutely no-go for me.
>To say it blunt: When I work free of charge, I want to commit my energy 
>only to projects that can be forked anytime, completely and without 
>disruption. I think Debian is such a project. Its openness is what made 
>Ubuntu possible. Ubuntu seems to be very close to this ideal, and I'm 
>excited about it, because I had wished for a long time that such an 
>addition to the strong, slow moving Debian base would exist. I hope 
>someone can provide me with some real facts about Ubuntu's licencing in 
>order to turn my slightly sceptical excitement into complete bliss. ;-)

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