[pmwiki-users] Cookbook Recipes & Licensing

Criss Ittermann crisses at kinhost.org
Mon Jun 30 06:26:14 CDT 2014

Answering general comments...

Unfortunately, I’m not a (patent/trademark) lawyer.  Even more unfortunately, one of the members of my client organization IS.

I know something about intellectual property, but I know much less when it comes to software, especially with so many custom-made licenses out there.  I don’t begin to understand how the different licenses interplay, so I’m not even going to try to license my own recipes as anything other than GPL 2.

I can clean up all my recipes.  It would be wonderful if other cookbook authors cleaned up theirs and made sure their licenses are clear.  Where the license is already in the PHP, I’d like to see it reflected in the wiki just for ease and I’d double-check it in the PHP.  And just as someone can alter the license info in the wiki, they can also re-upload the PHP with a license code change as well -- so that issue is moot.  We're already depending on a culture of trust and mutual respect.  There are no protections here against this, and there’d be issues if it ever came to a real legal battle regardless of whether the license info was in the wiki or the PHP document.  A good reason to stop expiring the history/edit logs for PmWiki.org, at least there would be an IP address if something were tampered with.

I believe most people upload to the cookbook with the intention of it being non-proprietary, and probably GPL, which is why I suggested a default (to make it easy).  The default could be "Please fill in a license (i.e. GPL2, Creative Commons X, LGPL, etc.)".  Also, many cookbook pages are “ideas” without a php document — the license for the intellectual property & ideas on the page should also be stated on the page.  A method of working wiki markup or processing data is still possibly a patentable process.

So, for the record in the case of proof of documentation in case any of my own recipes are ever tampered with — my recipes are GPL.  If I wanted it to be proprietary, I would not put them up on the website.  I’ll go chase them down shortly and fix my own recipes. I’d appreciate if other authors would help out and do the same.

One thing I always liked about PmWiki was that the recipes were (? apparently…) “open” for community use.  I’ve seen by-attribution clauses in recipes (to always credit the originator in the code/license of derivative works), but I haven’t seen any with non-commercial use licenses — nor with fees to purchase the plug-in (but hey, In my opinion feel free to put up a donation request link!).  Other CMS packages had proprietary fee-based plug-ins for functionality I needed and I didn’t feel like passing the cost along to clients for single-seat proprietary licenses as plug-ins for otherwise "open source" software.  I always, when I create something reusable and cohesive, try to share my own creations upstream as well — I don’t see a benefit in keeping it all to myself.

I fully expect to share some of what I’m doing for this membership website back upstream.  After a lot of screaming, and banging my head against the keyboard…  even just getting a signed contract and initial payment has been more trouble than the check is worth.

Dissociative amnesia can be a survival trait if what you've experienced is worth dying over.

On Jun 27, 2014, at 3:17 AM, jdd <jdd at dodin.org> wrote:

> Le 25/06/2014 20:24, Criss Ittermann a écrit :
>> Does this need to bother “upstream” folk?
> yes, a bad licence can break the hole site licence
>> Could it just be as easy as adding “License: GPL 2” (as a default, being the
>> same as PmWiki’s license) to the Cookbook header template so that new authors
>> are encouraged to add their license information on each Cookbook page?
> good example, but there are some other free licences some people may want.
> The LDP discussed this at long some years ago, with as result (but for docupmentation):
> * http://wiki.tldp.org/LdpWikiDefaultLicence
> Having no licence means nobody have the right to change anything, it was extremely prejudiciable to the LDP to have docupents likes this
> jdd
> -- 
> http://www.dodin.org
> _______________________________________________
> pmwiki-users mailing list
> pmwiki-users at pmichaud.com
> http://www.pmichaud.com/mailman/listinfo/pmwiki-users

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.pmichaud.com/pipermail/pmwiki-users/attachments/20140630/5a6273a2/attachment.html>

More information about the pmwiki-users mailing list