Forum:Licence Update

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This is mostly a really boring, technical discussion which won't affect most people. But the Wikia administrators want the users of each wiki to have a discussion about the wiki wide license.

The short form is a question: Do you want to continue to keep all the content of the Traveller wiki under the existing GFDL or make the change to the CC-BY-SA?


This starts with Wikipedia. When Wikipedia was founded in 2001 the only existing free documentation license was the GNU Free Document License (GFDL). The idea was that all the text of Wikipedia would be available to everyone, contributors and readers, for reuse elsewhere. And to encourage contributions.

When Wikia (first called WikiCities) was founded, the founders wanted to use the Wikipedia entries and expand upon them. The chose to require all the wikis created under their banner also use the GFDL.

In the mean time, the interest in building more and more flexible document licenses culminated with the creation of Creative Commons and their six CC Licenses. There have been many electrons thrown about in the discussion of the relative merits of the seven licenses.

Recently, the GNU legal team released a updated (version 1.3) GFDL. This version allows for a limited, one time chance to convert any GFDL document (or collection) to the CC-BY-SA license. During April of this year, the Wikimedia foundation conducted a poll of their users, who voted overwhelmingly (87%) to adopt the new license in addition to the GFDL.

As a result of this poll, the Wikia administrators are asking their users (i.e. members of the Traveller Wiki) about doing a similar change for some or all of the wikis hosted on Wikia.

What's the difference?[edit]

The CC-BY-SA and the GFDL are similar in their philosophy of allowing the free sharing of documents, encouraging people to make copies of work and to extend the with their own. Both require that if you copy a work under the license and make your own new work based upon it, the new work must also have the same license.

The difference comes from some of requirement of the GFDL which can be a little onerous. The GFDL requires that any copy of licensed works must include a copy of the copyright notice, a full list of all contributors, and a full copy of the GFDL itself. Under the CC-BY-SA, you need to include the copyright notice and an URL to the list of authors and the full license text.


Go to CC-BY-SA. Tjoneslo 20:29, 6 June 2009 (UTC)