[Haskell-cafe] List of authors happy to have work moved to theHaskell wiki

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at talk21.com
Sat Jul 14 12:26:27 EDT 2007

>> I've created a page to track contributors who are happy to have 
>> their work moved to the Haskell wiki, and thus explicitly licensed under
>> the `simple permissive license'.
>>     http://haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell_Cafe_migration

Hi Don,

i'm all for using mailinglist postings to improve the wiki, using the wiki 
as a cache to memoize answers to frequently asked questions, but i 
have to admit to feeling rather uncomfortable with a general copyright
waiver like that. 

would it mean i'd have to be more careful about what i write on the 
list (if Oleg wanted to add his name, would he still post those serialized 
essays)? or would i have to think for each mail whether or not to add 
a more specific license to disable the default waiver (if you post material 
you may later want to use in your book, or interim results from your 
research projects; remember, anything on the wiki is free for all, so 
anyone could "republish" it if it ends up there..)? if you hadn't told 
Conor about wikifying his idiom bracket examples, he would not 
have thought about adding more stuff. nor would he have known 
that you liked them or that there's now another place where people 
can find out about, discuss and edit that idea.

will everyone start to use those standard disclaimers as signatures by 
default, in case some code/idea they post might otherwise fall under
their copyright waiver (which they signed on to because they thought
it was generally a good idea)?

why should we have to think about licensing at all? it is nice to see
so many of you willing to go that far, but i have been burned before, 
not on a haskell list, and such a waiver would have left me completely 
out of the loop. none of the scenarios i can think of would even need 
such a copyright waiver:

1) someone notices a faq, and decides to add an entry to the faq category
    on the wiki; they list the most common forms of the question, look through
    the mailing list archive for some typical good answers, write a little intro
    and add links to the archived answers. no problem.

2) similar to (1), but none of the existing emails is directly useful without 
    a lot of context from their threads; so, instead of just linking to the emails,
    someone writes a little text of their own, inserting quotes from some of
    the archived emails where useful, and adding links to the original emails
    at the end. or someone takes ideas and quotes from several emails to 
    form a coherent summary of a thread. or someone takes ideas from 
    their specific threads to present a generalized answer, again providing
    links to the original emails. the only problem i can see here would be 
    misrepresentation by quoting out of context, or editing quotes, but
    those are standard wiki issues. no new problem.

3) someone writes an entirely new text to answer a faq more directly. no
    need to reference other texts, unless they were used as the sources of 
    non-standard ideas. no problem.

4) someone writes a text that mixes original contributions with extensive
    excerpts from other texts, possibly modified; either the plan or the    
    result should be discussed with the original authors, so that they can
    have a say in how their work is used. in as much as someone else's
    work is used or modified for the final result, it should be acknowledged,
    with modifications and permissions made clear. no problem.

i am happy for my contributions to this list to be referenced, or quoted
with reference, and in most other cases, i'd expect simply to say "go 
ahead, thanks for doing this" if someone wanted to put in the work to 
improve the wiki partly based on something i wrote; but unless the 
parts taken from my emails are trivial, or folklore, or explicitly 
referenced as separate from the new text, i would expect to be 
asked, so that i have the chance to say "no" or "not in this way". 
once i've said "yes", the general wiki license applies, of course.

does that sound unreasonable?


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