[Haskell] Re: haskell.org Public Domain

Simon Peyton-Jones simonpj at microsoft.com
Tue Jan 10 23:38:26 EST 2006

I'm no expert on licenses, but I'd like to say what I hope we can


A) It should be easy for people to contribute to the Wiki.
   In particular, it should be easy for multiple people to contribute 
   to a single Wiki page, so that the question "who is the author"
   has (by design) no clear answer.

B) It should be easy to use material taken from the Wiki:
	i) it should be easy to know what the license is
	ii) the license should make it easy to use the material

To me B(i) suggests that we should avoid a multiplicity of licenses.
Having a different license per-page would be bad enough, but the
multiple-authorship of a Wiki means that we could end up with different
licenses for different bits of the same page.

My suggestion would be

* One license for the Wiki.  If a contributor wants to put up material
with a different license, then link to it as Udo suggested.  (This also
makes it clear that the link is to material that is not to be edited by
others, whereas by definition the entire Wiki actively solicits editing
by others.)

* That license should be maximally permissive.  Anything viral defeats
B(ii).  Preferably even more permissive than BSD (e.g. no obligation to
display a copyright notice.  Who would the copyright notice be *to*?)
I'm not fussy about the details.  Just some way of saying "You can do
what you like with this material".


| -----Original Message-----
| From: haskell-bounces at haskell.org [mailto:haskell-bounces at haskell.org]
On Behalf Of Wolfgang
| Jeltsch
| Sent: 10 January 2006 22:30
| To: haskell at haskell.org
| Subject: Re: [Haskell] Re: haskell.org Public Domain
| Am Dienstag, 10. Januar 2006 23:03 schrieb John Meacham:
| > [...]
| > I would say something like 'contributions and any derivations must
| > usable for any purpose by anyone in perpetuity without restriction'
| > that public domain, BSD, or the GHC license are all fine.
| First, the GHC license is a BSD-style license as far as I know.
| BSD-style licenses have restrictions.  The restriction I remember is
| derivative works have to include the original copyright notice, the
| disclaimer, etc.
| If we do as you propose, different licenses could be chosen and the
| wouldn't know what the exact licensing terms of this or that article
are.  I
| think, it is better to choose one permissive license for all the
| > [...]
| >         John
| Best wishes,
| Wolfgang
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