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From Frank Peters <>
Subject Re: Wiki for the project - provenance
Date Wed, 15 Jun 2011 08:09:42 GMT
> I think that's reading too much into the Copyright Notice.
> The notice is not enough to determine what portions are under whose
> copyright.  It is *not* all under Oracle copyright.  In fact, I
> suspect the only part that is will be from Sun and Oracle employees
> (as work for hire) and perhaps others who signed CLAs (although the
> terms don't require one for the site, including the wiki).
> That formula notice is not enough for Oracle to act as the holder of
> copyrights that were in no way transferred by the other contributors.
> (CLAs are not required under the general site terms and definitely
> not for wiki contributions.)
> Assuming that the terms can be held to apply to the wiki (there is no
> notice on the wiki and no click-through with regard to the terms that
> I've seen), all anyone can do (including you or I) is sublicense and
> that is not the same thing.  It is nice that the terms of use assert
> a default permissive license, but that is difficult to apply to the
> wiki also because people are allowed to (1) attach their own
> copyright notices and, as we have seen, (2) assert less permissive
> licenses by signing up on that special list.
> Recall that, in the US and I assume elsewhere, copyright must be
> explicitly transferred in writing except for the work-for-hire case.

The situation is probably more complex since the physical
location of the wiki server is not the US, IIRC. I am not sure
whether copyright assignment (or the equivalent in the corresponding
jurisdiction) can happen implicitly, or if transfer-in-writing
is just a cya measure to make it easily enforceable. To be honest,
I don't want to dive too deep into this.

> In short, the wiki is a mess.  IMHO as we like to say.

Absolutely. A mess. I second that emotion.

But rather than spending our energy solving this legal problem or
pay lawyers to do it, can we find ways to save wiki content that
seem to be perfectly legal?

(1) All pages that are explicitly licensed under CC-BY should be
straightforward. Since it's not an SA license we should be
able to relicense under AL (or just stick with CC-BY if this
is acceptable). Many of those pages come from the talented folks
of ODFAuthors and we may also just ask them to put it under
AL for reuse at Apache OOo.

(2) All pages originally by Sun/Oracle can undoubtfully be

(3) The remaining pages would need analysis and then permission
by the authors whenever the effort seems worthwhile.

Note that my primary concern is user (and developer) docs here,
so anything in English under wiki/Documentation. Any localized
content would need separate treatment.


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